Black money: Why Alice Schwarzer makes it so easy for her critics
Alice Schwarzer: Insulted response to tax allegations© Imago / Müller-Stauffenberg
It was more of a not so great weekend for Alice Schwarzer: The "mirror" revealed that the women's rights activist for decades had paid any taxes on the interest accrued on their Swiss account interest. Like many other tax evaders Alice Schwarzer announced herself last year and paid the outstanding amount of 200,000 euros. Legally everything is clean, debt settled, nobody should be angry. That's why Alice Schwarzer asks herself on her website: "With what right now this denunciation?"
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Good question, and I would like to meet her in one point: It is annoying, how sorely the (virtual) world immediately falls on anyone who has made a mistake. And with Schwarzer there is of course a large attack surface added. To be a feminist many people per se are not so good, and Schwarzer is the feminist par excellence - that is probably already without any tax affair (or other controversies) for a never-ending stream of hate mail.
Strike two: Black represents uncomfortable points of view and is not afraid to tease. Whether the controversial Kachelmann coverage of the former archenemy "Bild" or their controversial campaign against prostitution - if the "Emma" editor-in-chief wants to shake up, she not only kicks people on their feet, but also like to shin.
In addition, Schwarzer is still considered something like a "moral authority". A role model with dirt on the stick is irresistible and makes us all very drunk with moral superiority. "Hooray!" we call enthusiastically. I'm not perfect, but at least I did not evade taxes like the blacks! HAHA! "
For these reasons, I find that despite all legitimate criticism of tax evasion, we should slowly find our way back to the carpet instead of following hundreds of thousands like any other celebrity crime. Actually. But then, Ms. Schwarzer, you had to write a long, complaining justification on your website that destroyed my residual affection more quickly than a jungle camp gig would have done.
You did not have the hidden account for personal gain, write, but only because you felt persecuted in Germany and wanted to set up an emergency exit abroad. Yes, you write that you should have taxed the interest, of course, but your "personal injustice has only sharpened at the point in recent years." That's an amazingly direct non-pology. First write that you regret your mistake, further below it is analogous: "I was the victim then and I did not find my offense so bad." And it does not get any better: According to their own statements, their interest forgiveness started already in the eighties, but you have only paid "taxes" for the past ten years. We are not tax consultants now, but even without a calculator, we still see a gap of decades. or an open bill of hundreds of thousands of euros.
Henning Hönicke finds it a shame how often he has to explain to younger ladies that Alice Schwarzer used to be cool. Actually. (@Hhoenicke)
And then the finale of your statement: "There are mistakes that you can not make up for, for example, character murder, but mistakes in the way I made one can make amends." So, seriously, "Bild" and "Rufmord" belong together like "Schwarzer" and "Feminismus". Who makes advertising on billboards with his own photo for a not unfounded in this point sheet should rather sparingly deal with "slander" accusations. Or did you intentionally throw some grill lighter onto the media stake you are currently standing on?
Crap. Now, despite good intentions, I have yet to put behind the stretched out "Alice black money" index finger, although I find it stupid, how strangely harmless people react. Let's agree on a simple compromise: if you do not want people to make fun of you for tax evasion, then you're not tax evaders. And if it does happen again, do not complain that someone points it out. It is really easy. And we could talk about more important issues again. Feminism for example.
UPDATE from 4.2. Beautiful damage limitation: In the middle of the debate about her tax mishap Alice Schwarzer announced that she founds a foundation. One million euros will be used for projects that promote equal opportunities and women's human rights.According to the press release, that had been planned for months, but "Against the backdrop of the current debate, Schwarzer decided to go public with the announcement of the foundation several months ahead of schedule." Again, this is an amazingly honest PR offensive. "Okay, you're angry about my tax money right now," Schwarzer says, "but look, I'll do something good with the money in the near future, now we can be friends again, right?"
"Against the background of the current debate, Schwarzer decided to go public with the Foundation's announcement several months ahead of schedule."
Ms. Schwarzer, could not you have just kept quiet for a few weeks? Now you've got exactly two things: First, people are even more annoyed with you (and that's saying something) because you're trying to change the topic of conversation with the clumsiest mallet in your arsenal. And secondly, and that's a lot worse, your foundation will now always have the aftertaste of "Schwarzer's image-building after the tax scandal". And that is really sad. I take it from you that you had planned the foundation for a long time. But if you had just waited a few months with the promulgation, what you were going to do anyway, only a few people would have annoyed "Image campaign!" called. Through your explicit linking of tax allegations and foundation, the credibility of the project is gone from the start. I do not know, which is more confusing: That you sabotage your engagement so awkwardly yourself, or that you seriously think that now all black opponents jump up in shock and "Whoa, sorry, we did not know that, of course, everything is in butter " call. Or are you trying to make such a big target that your opponents eventually lose the desire to attack? In this case: please stop! This tactic does not work.