Attacks on helpers are to be rejected. Even if great anger about the lack of support at first is understandable from the point of view of affected citizens, it should not affect the helpers of the technical relief Agency, because they are not the cause of the chaos: Their sometimes late intervention is a symptom that has its cause above all in the failure of state organization.
However, aggression by flood victims is understandable to a certain extent in the face of a great material loss (or worse) in connection with lack of help – these outbreaks are acts of despair. A problem for the responsible politicians and journalists in recent days has been to name" alternative reasons " for this despair, so that these reasons are not sought in politics.
Scapegoat “Lateral Thinker”
Here the “lateral thinkers” came into play in the media. According to a dominant interpretation in recent days, the displeasure of the citizens affected by the floods does not arise first through inadequate state and media behavior – but this displeasure is only “stoked” by “lateral thinkers”. Symptoms are explained by this point of view to causes. The cause of the citizens ‘resentment is therefore not state failure and lack of help, but the" perfidious " propaganda of the lateral thinkers in response to it.
This twisted scapegoat argumentation is reminiscent of the justification for the secret surveillance of the portal KenFM: “A part of the so-called alternative media” would “really stoke political alienation and thus undermine confidence in the state”.
An interesting view, so criticism of government and politics is responsible for alienation! This also shows nicely the understanding of democracy what the secret services and their holders do not possess.
The real reasons of anger: “No drinking water, no electricity”
In recent days, statements by Sabine Lackner, Vice President of the Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW), have been dominant. According to her, volunteers of the THW, which is active with a total of 4000 forces in the disaster areas, were sometimes received unfriendly. “This goes so far that our helpers are insulted,“said the vice president of THW, Sabine Lackner, on Saturday in ntv. “If you are traveling with emergency vehicles, you will be bombarded with garbage,” Lackner added.
Behind the attacks are mainly lateral thinkers or people from the prepper scene, who “pose as those affected by the flood disaster,” according to Lackner. It would be made by these people conscious mood. After all, it is also admitted by her that there are also “some frustrated flood victims” in addition to the actors of “Querdenken”.
And then Lackner comes to the point that the anger of the affected citizens is probably actually skyrocketing:
“According to Lackner, around 30,000 people in the flood zones currently have no drinking water, no electricity or have to do without both. ( … ) Some places had been completely cut off for a long time”
The media and the moods
The fact that there are indeed questionable political personnel who now want to cook their soup with the plight of the people should by no means be ruled out here. However, the dominance of reporting with the all too narrow focus on alleged “lateral thinkers” as a source of public anger can be rejected as dubious and transparent. The police did not want to confirm the descriptions of THW in initial statements.
(1/2) Wir selbst haben erst aus den Medien von diesem angeblichen Vorfall erfahren und dies sofort beim THW und unseren Polizeikräften überprüft. Derzeit können wir die Schilderungen in keiner Weise bestätigen. Sollte https://t.co/F2EjWz2GiB— Polizei Koblenz (@Polizei_KO) July 24, 2021
However, this unclear situation did not stop many media outlets from using THW’s Steilvorlage and other incidents. The “taz” even speaks of a” brown flood “in the context of flood and"lateral thinking”.
The helpers and chaos
The real reasons for the desperation of the people, which unfortunately can also break ground in aggression, do not lie with the “lateral thinker"propaganda, but elsewhere
“The volunteers, who came from all over Germany, were seen in the first days not as welcome help, but as a problem. Thus, entire units of the volunteer fire brigades were sent away again by the crisis team and helpers, some of whom came with their own heavy equipment, were not allowed through. Anyone who wanted to help and contacted the official – usually not working – hotline did not get an answer at all. And whoever came through and received an answer was told that they did not need it. From the circles of the district councils it was even communicated that the helpers were perceived as a"disturbance”.
Those who did not let themselves be deterred, work on site self-organized and on their own. In the first days, it was almost exclusively farmers with their equipment and numerous contractors who took the important work into their own hands, while countless firefighters and THW volunteers, all of whom wanted to help, waited en masse at the Nürburgring and were not deployed.”
Intelligence agencies seem to invent new words
The originally positive term “lateral thinker” has been charged with hostility in recent months. It is now a concept of struggle. There are currently few public attributions that can have a harsher impact on those affected – up to job loss and social exclusion. And for many lockdown defenders, the term serves as a central projection surface, against which it is necessary to rally and in the face of which one can assure oneself of one’s “right” position.
I do not feel politically at home with many of the more well-known, actively organized “lateral thinkers”, apart from some overlap in anti-lockdown demands. However, the defamation of the group by numerous journalists and politicians experienced in recent months – especially in its dubious generalization – must be strictly rejected.
The linking of health issues with the attribute “right-wing extremist” must be described as a propagandistic masterpiece. Likewise the dubious, but media-successful generalizations: In the meantime, as a journalist, you can almost with impunity call all critics of corona policy “lateral thinkers”-through the upstream toxic propaganda, insults as “crazy” or “extremist” then resonate unspoken. At the same time, it was established in the media that “lateral thinkers” are generally suspected of being Nazis.
Through these two dubious and incorrect generalizations and links, a wide field of” contact guilt “has been opened up: the combat term” lateral thinker " can now be used as an all-purpose weapon. It is no longer just the all-too-blanket term for all those who express criticism of the Corona policy. In the meantime, the term is apparently intended to denote negatively all citizens (beyond Corona) who do not march on the side of the government – and be it flood victims.