The Berliner Zeitung’s comments are unlikely to be overcome by controversy


Parents with freight bikes are a hot topic for the author of the Berliner Zeitung. He expresses his anger in a comment. But instead of initiating a constructive discourse, it turns into a controversy. Our author asks himself: what is “superior and selfish” here?

Comments are one thing. They have their own opinions, they can be exaggerated, even sharp tongues – after all, the authors usually want to draw attention to a problem or resentment with them. Commenting can do a lot. But if a piece of opinion turns into pure controversy, no one will get anywhere. On the contrary, he risks serving open prejudices rather than initiating a constructive discourse.

Mirk Berliner Zeitung unfortunately, published such a comment on Tuesday – an obviously very emotional topic for the author: parents with cargo bicycles. In the first version of the opinion, she described Marcus Weingärtner as the “Berlin plague” (see Twitter). The headline isn’t that famous right now. “Parents with freight bikes: they are often important and selfish,” she now says.

Already at the beginning of the article, the author, who describes himself as a “truly tolerant person,” resents parents who take “obviously too much space” with their children in the federal capital. He names situations in restaurants where “often poorly bred offspring make a racket like crazy.” Weingärtner apparently finds it even worse for parents to ride freight bikes with their children. If you follow the explanation, they are supposedly arrogant: it is about a father who drove his “wide-legged vehicle” “like the whole world.” The father carried his children, sitting in front of the box, with a “cheeky hat” on their head “probably to a multilingual day center”. The cargo bike is stuffy and bulky. In short: a new “middle class car”.

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The author therefore logically concludes that freight bikes should be abolished. As a driver, he sees that his freedom of movement is restricted by wheels. It is in this derivation that the problem lies when it comes to traffic on German roads: it is assumed that public space belongs exclusively to drivers. Given the significant environmental impact of internal combustion engines on the roads, we should favor alternative modes of transport rather than demonize them per se. Or in other words: would Weingärtner also strictly value a father if he carries his children in a car?

What is “selfish and selfish” here?

To ensure that car drivers and (freight) cyclists do not interfere with each other, widening cycle paths would be a logical requirement for an author who calls himself tolerant. However, his comment seems to be of no interest in the decisions, let alone the disclosure of the true emergency. After all, cars are still plural.

Weingärtner’s anger finally culminates when he shot a mother on a cargo bike that he tried in vain to bypass. The author writes: “At a traffic light, a young woman turned around, smiled and advised her to stay calm in traffic. Well, we can’t all stay home, and a partner helps us finance, ”I muttered.

This is an amazing sentence. Not because it serves the preconceptions that women and mothers allow their partners to put up with. But because it reveals the author’s own exaggeration and satisfaction. An author who describes parents with truck bikes as “autocratic and selfish.”

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