It’s Universal

The Austrian Freedom Party’s local chapter had these signs up as late as last weekend. From the US media via the Associated Press:

Innsbruck party officials said Sunday they were getting rid of the posters after Morocco threatened legal action and Austrian state prosecutors said they were considering criminal charges. August Penz, the party’s local leader, said he “never intended to insult anyone.”

The AP’s translation — “Love your home country instead of Moroccan thieves.”— is somewhat incorrect. I would say it’s “Love of Homeland, not Moroccan Thieves”. The “X statt (instead of) Y” formula is a popular political one, where X will rhyme with Y. There is no idea here of actually loving Moroccan thieves or anyone else. (But I’m nitpicking.) Heimatliebe is what we might consider to be one of those code words or dog whistles for “just us, and get the foreigners out”.

I tend to take that rather personally, although they would surely tell me “Oh, of course we don’t mean people like you!” Or, what the hell do I know, maybe they do. In any case I doubt they’d be able to tell a Moroccan from a Mexican — and wouldn’t care either.

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