Germans have a real aversion to noticing their own racism, no doubt that's a product of cultural baggage, but racism is pretty rampant in Germany and permeates all levels of society.
A few of questions to suss things out a bit: What would you or your friends parents think if you announced your engagement to a Turkish girl / guy? If in most of society racism isn't problematic, what do you think the chances of an ethnically Turkish chancellor being elected are? Why are people whose grandparents immigrated to Germany still commonly referred to as foreigners?
I have been in a relationship with a Turkish girl for eight years, dude. Everyone was OK with it. Not once did anyone say anything about it. You know what? It was just fine.
> That's a fairly typical German viewpoint
Did you just assert that I'm a "fairly typical" German racist? If you knew me at all you wouldn't accuse me of painting Germany in an overly positive light. I hate it here.
And sure, there are families where race is a non-issue. I could list examples as well of where I've seen things go the other way, but that's side-stepping my point: surely you'd agree that in many, many families it would be an issue?
In this context it's worth pointing out that my grandpa was a Nazi, and even worse, as is one of my cousins to this day - in an otherwise lefty-liberal family. So if I want to see racism, I don't have to look very hard. But even the Nazi cousin behaved normally toward my girl friend at the time, I guess his hatred is geared more toward anonymous concepts and not actual people. When I asked him flat-out, he spouted some nonsense about how my girl friend is somehow not part of "The Turkish Problem" at all.
> surely you'd agree that in many, many families it would be an issue?
I'm not even remotely qualified to answer this in a meaningful way, especially after the feedback I got here today. All I can say is that, being from Germany, I know a lot of people who elevated being mean and destructive into an artform. Some of them are fascists, some of them are bad in other ways. What I can attest to is the general social climate here, it's just as bad as the actual climate.
There is a lot of racism back in Belgium towards Moroccans, and they are certainly treated as the minority group (at least when I lived there 10+ years ago). This leads me back to a previous post in this thread, where the bottom line is that minority's aren't offered the same opportunities as other citizens and therefor behave differently back towards society - causing further racism. Sadly this has caused it to go as far as having a far-right political party (Vlaams Blok) gain more and more traction because the views of the populous are slowly matching their viewpoints on nationalism.
It would not surprise if the same mentality exist in various other countries that are experiencing the same type of historical issues with regards to racism.
In the US, I've also never felt alienated but that might be because my English is at the native level and I don't have a discernible accent (I sound like your average American). When people do find out that I'm Turkish, they seem to be pleasantly surprised and impressed, and I feel like it creates a positive impression of Turks in general. Top tip for foreigners: try to learn the local language well.