How does racism ruin people's lives
This article is written from a white perspective.
The violent death of George Floyd sparked a huge wave of protests over institutional racism and police violence in the United States. #Blacklivesmatter quickly became a trend on social media. Outrage over police violence and institutional racism also spread in other countries. In Germany, racism is discussed more intensely than usual. Under the hashtags #beiunsauch, #schwarzesDeutschland you can find moving experiences of those who are affected by anti-black racism on a daily basis. Although those affected have been reporting about it for decades, many sacrifice part of their life energy to keep reporting about their traumatic experiences.
Through the texts that I write and the radio reports that I make, I am conditioned to display my pain and that of other black people for money and to unpack it again and again.
Malcolm OhanweJournalist, producer "Kanackische Welle" (quote from SPIEGEL interview)
Racism is violence, be it through words or actions. FIGURES from independent advice centers confirm the shared experience: Two thirds of all right-wing acts of violence in Germany are motivated by racism. Right-wing terrorist acts like those in Hanau are regarded as so-called confessional acts. Most racist incidents are not reported. Accordingly, the number of unreported cases is much higher.
Racism continues on the net
Discrimination and agitation continues online. The STUDY #HassImNetz ”published in June 2019 shows that those who come from families with a migration background are 6% more likely than the average to be directly affected by hate speech. Respondents with a migration background saw 10% more often hate comments on the Internet than respondents without a migration background. The respondents without a migration background who heard hate speech online confirmed that 94% of the hate comments related to people with a migration background.
If you see racism as a mindset that is deliberate and malicious, then few people are racists. Racism is a system that was created with the intention of establishing a certain world order.
Alice HastersJournalist, author, podcaster (quotes from Tagesspiegel interview)
Racism is a system
The racist worldview was cemented through centuries of slave trade and colonialism. It is based on the fact that ultimately white people are at the top of the hierarchy and black people are at the bottom. This manifests itself in citizenship and immigration policy, the common image of Africa, the discussion of formulations in German children's books, racial profiling, the question of who is allowed into a hip club, etc. The effects are varied and white people are often not aware of it.
We can only effectively counter racism if we have the courage to self-criticize. It is emotionally exhausting to question yourself radically. But it is inevitable if we want to change ourselves and the system. Learning requires courage, humility and perseverance. Making mistakes is also part of it, the main thing is that we are serious. Feeling insecure and uncomfortable is part of what is known as “white fragility”.
What does it mean to show your solidarity when it is limited to a demo but does not go beyond it? What do you do on the days when you are not demonstrating in the street? If you show up as soon as black people are murdered, then you are just another problem in the struggle for racial justice.
Black Lives Matter Berlinhttps: //www.blacklivesmatterbe ... 10 points on system change
1. We have to listen to those affected
Since broad-reaching programs on public television programs ignored the issue of racism in Germany, Carolin Kebekus took on the subject in her SENDUNG. She let those who are affected by anti-black racism in Germany have their say. Make sure to check this out.
There is so much expertise that is often overlooked: the FEDERAL CONFERENCE OF MIGRANT ORGANIZATIONS, new German organizations (NDO), inspiring SCHWARZE FRAUEN, PROF. DR.MAISHA-MAUREEN AUMA and much more, which are listed HERE with their publications, demands etc.
2. Learning journey - critical whiteness - learn to think anti-racist
Yes, we are part of the problem. It is not enough to say: "I am against racism". We have to actively learn to be anti-racists, as important activists like TUPOKA OGETTE and NOAH SOW never tire of emphasizing. We can learn to perceive our privileged position through reading, discussions and further training. This learning journey must take place individually and collectively. Germany is still at the beginning of the learning journey and must not get stuck now. Anti-racist exercises must be built into all (further) educational offers. You can find anti-racism training courses by Tupoka and Stephen Lawson HERE. Further training courses are also offered by Noah Sow, NATASHA KELLY and the IDB (Institute for Non-Discriminatory Education).
Schwarz - in the following always capitalized - is intended to draw attention to the fact that it is not a real attribute, so nothing “biological”, but that it means a political reality and identity. “Black” also has the advantage that it is a self-chosen term and not an attribution.
Noah Sow, book author, musician, artist (quotes from the book "Deutschland Schwarz Weiß")
Calling people what they want to be called is not a question of courtesy, nor is it a symbol of political correctness or a progressive attitude - it is simply a question of human decency. The Unnamed are people whose existence is not questioned. You are the standard. The norm. The scale.
Kübra Gümüsay book author, blogger (quotes from the book "Language and Being")
3. Reflecting critically on language and changing it, tackling racist narratives
Some German words that are used to describe black people are oozing with imperialism, colonialism, ethnocentrism. Language does not solve the problem, but it is an important building block. Because language influences our perception and shows our attitude. In the German media coverage it becomes clear again and again that it is assumed that German is synonymous with white.
Racist images and cultural appropriation in children's songs, rhymes and games shape our perception. It also needs visible corrections. Films etc. that convey racist ideas must at least be marked as such.
4. Empowerment and participation for blacks
The initiatives ISD-BUND e.V. and Each One Teach One (EOTO) e.V. do central work for the empowerment of black people in Germany. Programs such as NILE (Network Inclusion Leaders) that support visibility and participation in management positions need to be promoted. It needs protected spaces in which there is no discrimination or questioning. There is also a need for digitally protected spaces for discriminated groups. Empowerment must be an important part of any engagement promotion (e.g. Democracy Promotion Act).
HERE you will find petitions and calls for donations that you can support.
5. Celebrate and promote diversity
We have been a heterogeneous country for a very long time. We should celebrate this diversity. But in Germany many children “with a migration background” grow up who are given the feeling from an early age that this diversity means a flaw instead of wealth. This diversity should also be represented by decision-makers. Accordingly, every fourth politician should have a history of immigration, as well as in the police, the judiciary, the armed forces, the media landscape, etc. (Source: MIKROZENSUS 2018).
6. Protect those affected better
We need consistently implemented anti-discrimination laws at federal and state level with regard to all areas of life. Counseling centers for those affected need long-term funding. Those affected by racism (as well as those who are committed to anti-racism) must be able to take advantage of specific protection options, such as the blocking of the population register, more quickly and with fewer hurdles.
7. Collect data, fund research
There are still too few independent figures on discrimination, racist violence and its effects on those affected and entire communities. In eight federal states, the AFFECTED ADVICE CENTERS are so poorly equipped that they cannot monitor them. The number of cases of racially motivated violence does not in fact relate to the entire federal territory and counseling centers for those affected have long warned that the official statistics represent too few cases. This requires funding, the courage to be self-critical and practical research at German universities.
In order to improve the data situation, EOTO started the #AFROZENSUS project: a survey aimed at black, African and Afro-diasporic people who live in Germany. Based on the results, concrete measures against discrimination and for more participation are formulated.
8. Work through German colonialism
The knowledge that Germany was a brutal colonial power hardly exists in society and has to be worked out individually. We need an institutional anchoring in the curricula of school and extracurricular education as well as research at German universities. This is very important, because our thinking and our politics are still shaped by this forgotten phase.
Berlin has taken the first steps in the direction of PROCESSING, in cooperation with the Bündnis Decoloninze Berlin e.V., which includes the ISD-Bund, AFRICAVENIR INTERNATIONAL, BERLIN POSTKOLONIAL and Berliner Entwicklungspolitischer Ratschlag e.V. (BER). Streets and monuments that honor racists must be renamed or at least marked. The Gröbenufer in Berlin is now called MAY-AYIM-UFER. A few exhibitions in Berlin museums are planned. We need places of learning in which colonial / anti-racist thinking and its consequences can be experienced.
Anti-racist work begins in one's own environment. In the family, with friends and acquaintances, at work etc. It is definitely uncomfortable and may ruin the evening, but these conversations are important because black people die because of these prejudices.
Kemi FatobaJournalist, co-founder of DADDY Magazin Berlin (quotes from NETTZ interview)
9. Show solidarity and moral courage
Silence strengthens those who spread racism. Civil courage is central at all levels, both analogue and especially online.
10. Local and global action for justice
Reparations would only be fair, because our prosperity is based on centuries of oppression and a system of institutional inequality, worldwide. It takes reforms of our international systems and many large and small steps.
What specifically is Das NETTZ doing to combat racism?
We are part of the betterplace lab and we have embarked on this learning journey with the entire team, we want to understand more how we can think and act in an anti-racist way and will REPORT regularly on this. We deepen our level of knowledge in discussions and further training and reflect critically on our thoughts.
At NETTZ we advocate solidarity, a respectful discussion culture on the internet and against prejudice. We encourage others to position themselves, make those committed against group-related enmity visible (more), hold background discussions with decision-makers from tech platforms and politics and pass on specific recommendations there, including currently on the cabinet committee against right-wing extremism and racism. This was formed as a reaction to the racist attack in Hanau and the expectations of it are high, especially from those who are tired of their decades of struggles for more participation and respect.
At the COMMUNITY EVENT 2020 from October 1st to 2nd we want to find out on the first morning in a conversation with victims of racism how we can create a greater awareness of discrimination at all levels. With this increased awareness, we go into the next sessions, some of which are based on this.
Send us ([email protected]) your experiences, your ideas, what we as NETTZ and we all as a society can and must do so that #blacklivesmatter is lived everywhere.
To read on and learn:
- TEST about your own prejudices
- RESOURCE LIST with (audio) books, organizations, etc.
- English-language BOOKS on critical whiteness
- LIBRARY / ARCHIVE by EOTO
- INFO LETTER from the State Office for Equal Treatment Against Discrimination on the UN International Decade for People of African Origin (2015 - 2024)
- BEING BLACK IN THE EU - Second European Union Minorities and Discrimination Survey (FRA - European Union Agency For Fundamental Rights)
This blog post was originally published on Das NETTZ.
Cover photo: Maria Oswalt @mcoswalt | Unsplash
- How do people get around in Russia
- Inflation affects investments in SIP
- How did imperialism affect China?
- How can we start by taxi
- Would you recommend Apple's credit card
- How did you become a Manchester United fan?
- There are gyms specially designed for natural bodybuilders
- Why do you regret your MBA
- Fidel Castro was a genius
- Are all tweets geo-localized
- Which tutoring company pays the most
- What is causing your nose to bleed?
- Mother Teresa what an atheist
- How rich is Sundar Pichai
- Works I2C with Arduino
- Why do animals have four legs
- What is the idea of pooled variance
- What is Ooyala doing
- Is it possible to leave citizenship
- Morality depends on happiness
- How does a blog go viral
- What kind of people are negligent
- How big can a giraffe get
- Which website has the most thesis examples