My flight to Germany was cancelled due to Storm Ciara: here’s my thank-you letter to her

Dear Ciara,

thank you for not making me have to go back to Germany today and allowing me to stay here in the UK longer.

You might not know this, but my home country Germany is one of the most casually racist places you will find. Racism is so nonchalantly endemic, bipartisan and socially accepted there that every time I go back I have to acclimatize myself afresh to this toxic status quo of normalized selective dehumanization perpetuated by the right, the center and even parts of the left.

Fascinatingly enough, Germans — from conservatives to liberals, and often even the non-white ones at the receiving end of systemic racism and discrimination — are so blind to this consensual national pathology that it can therefore go on wholly unencumbered and unchecked.

Much to the detriment of those affected like myself and all the others who refuse to toe the line of a hegemonic discourse: one that stonewalls every effort by victims and their far too few white allies to get Germans to acknowledge that racism and discrimination are a structural scourge within their supposedly liberal democratic society.

What is even more mind-boggling: too many people back home actually believe Germany to be a non-racist, liberal and diverse country and happily peddle this fake feel-good narrative to the world and themselves, even though Germany is nothing more than a land of tacit white supremacy where the inclusion and representation of ethnic minorities and people of color depends exclusively on the goodwill of our white German overlords.

And it goes even further, Ciara: if you dare to complain, the Übermenschen that brought you the gas chamber will gaslight the living daylights out of you, calling you everything from a liar to being ungrateful and then they will insidiously act the innocent victim. Thus exhibiting every foreseeable characteristic of white fragility, narcissism and liberal totalitarianism you could imagine.

So goes the continuity of German racism from 1933 to 2020: from outright genocide to sublime psychological warfare.

Hell, Germany is so racist that a privileged superstar like Ai Wei Wei couldn’t bare to live there and prematurely moved to the UK because he found the level of racism in Germany so utterly intolerable. And he lived in Berlin for chrissakes, supposedly the Great Exception and most liberal and diverse place in the country!

I mean, how racist must a country be that you would trade in an awesome metropolis of 3,6 million people like Berlin for a provincial backwater like Cambridge?

Not to mention the tragic tale of an even bigger celebrity: Mesut Özil, another racism refugee from Germany in the UK, unscrupulously bullied to his rightful place — the foot soles of White Germany — by his own country(wo)men because he dared to hold a mirror to Germany’s racist self during the World Cup in 2018.

And what bugs me even more is that White Germany is so shameless in its hubris that it has the audacity to call the UK racist for leaving the German-dominated EU. This despite the UK being Europe’s only truly multicultural and inclusive country where people of color are part and parcel of British identity and walk with their heads held high.

Unlike in Germany where non-ethnic Germans are so used to their second-class citizenry that they have fully internalized their inferior status into their subservient mannerisms and individual auras.

So Ciara, I guess what I’m saying is: I owe you one, girl. Just don’t cause too much damage when you’re roaring through and go easy on the winds, will ya? I only weigh a consistent 60 kilos (a factoid that has been an object of envy for every gal I’ve been with, no matter how body-positive she was) and this “Spargeltarzan”, as we call walking beanstalks like myself in German, has to go outside today at some point.


Timo Al-Farooq



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Timo Al-Farooq

Timo Al-Farooq


Journalist from the gentrified wastelands of Berlin, the capital of the Merkelian Postdemocratic Republic. Based in London.