I am encouraged about the possibilities offered in this moment in our nation’s history. This moment invites us to break through and tear down the walls of anti-Muslim fear that have been erected since the attack on the World Trade Center in 2001. Now, the opportunity is for us to see the faces of Syrians and other refugees as people who seek peace, people who long for home, and people who have endured the ravages of civil war. And in their faces to see God.
St. Louis is stepping up. Their Mayor (Slay) is Lebanese, and of then-Syrian-territory descent on his paternal side. And he’s got a lot of support from constituents who want their city to be the reason that caps get raised, and then take a whole lot of refugees.
If you’ve been following the news out of Germany lately, it’s almost as if the good people of St. Louis are saying “Ich bien ein Berliner!”
Actually, you wrote “I am a doughnut!” In German, one doesn’t need the article to express nationality. Just say, “Ich bin Berliner.” If a person just wants to say they are German, they would say, “Ich bin deutsch.”
“Ein Berliner” is a delicious jelly-filled doughnut in the German world!
I’ve heard that before, but I’ve also heard that Kennedy’s phrasing was acceptable depending on context- I’ve been led to understand that “Ein Berliner” is more ambiguous as it could mean either a delicious doughnut Or a person from Berlin, whereas “Ich bin deutsch” is less ambiguous- but the context was clear, so from what I’ve heard (from German speaking people), German speaking people did not think he was calling himself a doughnut.
Upon looking a few other things up, I have also learned that the indefinite article is generally omitted when a person from Berlin is talking about their actual place of residence, but for the way JFK was using the term- in a figurative sense- that was actually the correct phrasing. Additionally, Berliner is commonly used as a word for doughnut in the north, west, and southwest of Germany, but not in Berlin itself, there you’ll more commonly hear “Pfannkuchen.” (Although Google Translate will tell you that means “pancake”).
When JFK initially said this phrase, there was some laughter shortly thereafter- but that was because he initially mangled the pronunciation and made a joke thanking his interpreter for translating his German. Once he said it correctly, he got cheers and applause. No one was confused because the context was clear- he’s not really from Germany, he’s speaking figuratively, and this actually is the correct way to call oneself a Berliner in a figurative sense that speaks to solidarity.
For anyone who thought my initial comment was a little bit strange- I posted a link about a massive amount of support in St. Louis for bringing Syrian refugees to that city. I recalled how in recent weeks Germany, and most especially the city of Berlin, has done a wonderful job of welcoming tens of thousands of refugees into their homeland. Then I made a reference to the JFK thing, suggesting that these people from St. Louis might be feeling a sense of solidarity with Germany right about now. Which is not to say they are actually from Germany, but figuratively speaking, they respect this openness and generosity while seeking to stand with them by welcoming thousands of refugees as they are doing.
With that being said- a jelly filled doughnut sounds delicious right about now.
Well, no. I had the misfortune of having to speak fluent German for 10 years when I lived in German Switzerland and worked in finance. People were laughing because Kennedy said he was a doughnut. But why quibble about the German language? A doughnut might be a GOOD thing to be! Especially a jelly filled one.
Your name makes you sound like a professional wrestling fan! Although Bad News Barrett is now “King Barrett,” until a new “King of the Ring” is crowned. (I know wrestling is scripted, but try doing the things they do without killing yourself. It does take talent and a dedication to the gym.)
This civil war has been raging for years, and the migration is just now hitting this volume? It just occurred to me that the timing of this mass exodus is happening at the same time Russia is building up forces there. I think something big is about to go down, and people are trying to get out of there before it happens. I don’t think ISIS will be around much longer. Too bad the Russians are having to step in to stop them.