Rayk Anders is a 29-year old independent journalist known for his comments on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. A young shit-kicker who has received some fame/notoriety, depending on your orientation. His weekly commentaries have attracted up to four million viewers, according to Wikipedia. As of November 2016 he has, according to the same source, about 75,000 YouTube subscribers (including yours truly, by the way), and has drawn about 8.4 million responses since he began in August of 2013. He has the kind of passion Keith Olbermann shows, albeit with less stridency.
This presentation he gave the day after the attack on the Christmas Market at the Kaiser Memorial Church in Berlin gives you a sample of his style and tone. His language is raw, and he’s directly in your face. I found it on the French Huffington Post here. The German version gives a title to his address: "To the Cowardly Piece of Shit behind the wheel."
Have a listen to Anders' rant. Some have suggested that he’s a phony limelight seeker. Nonsense. Lots of people have trouble with people who step up and speak while we stay silent, say the things others are still mulling over. I think they do our work for us. Without whistleblowers, without people who cry “ouch”, what chance do we have to survive the madness that is coming down these days?
Enough of the “let’s all be reasonable,” I say. Let’s get out in the street and the marketplace and scream a while. Reason, by all means, if and when you see reason working. But we seem to be living in a world where truth no longer sways, where the inmates have taken over the asylum, where Mitch McConnell can persuade his fellow Republicans to steal a president’s right to name a Supreme Court justice, where a presidential candidate accused of rape can get the case thrown out on the excuse he’s a presidential candidate, where planes go down with that most magnificent of men’s choruses, the Russian Army Chorus, where it’s almost certain now the fight against global warming is over for a time. The world has gone mad.
So what if one young man calls a terrorist a “cowardly piece of shit”? Is that the kind of thing that we should get upset about these days?
I love Berlin. Absolutely love Berlin. In my history of things that never happened, it's my home. I love it that this guy born when I was nearly fifty speaks out and gives an in-your-face defence of the city and its people. Love every word of his magnificent diatribe. Love the evidence that the younger generation still has the stuff of fighters-back.
Here it is in the original German, with French subtitles. I can’t find an English translation, so I did one.
If you have not been following the news, the terrorist in question was a young Tunisian man named Anis Amri, who was on the run through France and Italy before he was shot and killed in Milan by the Italian police.
Anders' challenge to Amri will go unheard by the killer. The spirit of the challenge, in my view, remains undiminished.
Here in Berlin, on Breitscheidplatz behind me, less than 24 hours ago, a person drove a truck into the Christmas market. And as things stand now, the culprit is at large and is presumed to be armed. But, you cowardly piece of shit, no matter where you come from, no matter where you are, you’ve picked the wrong city. Berlin has two world wars in its bones. Check out any damn old folks' home and you'll find people who can tell you about bodies piled up in a city reduced to ashes. You can’t go more than two hundred meters in any direction without running into a memorial for the victims of war, persecution or death. This city has known hell. And now you come along with your fucking truck, here to Berlin, and you think you’re going to knock the Berliners off their feet?
Look. I can tell you what’s going to happen. We will take care of the injured, we will bury the dead, and we will never forget. And we will go on. The Christmas market closed for only a day. And not out of fear, but out of respect for the victims. The people of Berlin will not only resist, they shit on you. And you chose the perfect place in this Christmas market here in the heart of Berlin at the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church. But have you looked around, you piece of shit? The top of this church is broken off, the walls are damaged. It’s no accident, you genius, that you picked the Christmas market that stands in front of the perfect memorial to peace, not only in Berlin, but in all of Germany.
And the pictures of this church will go out into the world and remind everyone that it has already seen terrible things and that people have gotten back up and gone on. People will remember, and Berliners will be free. They will laugh and cry and celebrate and mourn, but they will be free. You may take away the good mood and damage the Christmas spirit. But you can never take away freedom. Berlin is the city that is the very essence of freedom. Your cowardly attack changes nothing.
Vive la résistance!