Standing up together against racism

Standing up together against racism

The sound of hip hop lets its bass crack at the grunen markt. A good 50 people, many of them so-called people of color, i.E. People who do not have a female skin color, stand at the gabelmann on the weekend and listen to the speeches: "it’s not about having individual rotten apples, it’s about having a diseased tree", activist lea – herself part of the black community – draws a comparison with the social situation in the federal republic of germany. She talks about german colonial history and how racism was used to justify paternalism in the colonies. Going back in history, it is not enough to deal with the nazi past: "kant has truncated the theory of different races of man and is still celebrated", lea criticizes.

As early as may, as many as 500 people had gathered on maxplatz to demonstrate against structural racism and police violence – the high point of the black lives matter movement after the black us citizen georg floyd died as a result of a racist police stop. Once again, the fates of breonna taylor and jacob blake bring people to the streets with their anger and grief. Lea already spoke at the rally and also now: "black lives matter is not only a topic of the united states."

Her comrade-in-arms marcia is also convinced: "we have not yet achieved enough to leave the topic lying around." Germany has a huge racism problem. Black people were often simply objectified. The case of oury jalloh, who died in the custody of the german police, is still unresolved.

But how to get a grip on the tense situation? "We call for independent anti-discrimination offices at the state and local levels, where those affected can find advice and be heard", explains mitra sharifi of the bavarian organization agaby. After all, it is also a matter of eliminating structural discrimination that emanates from government agencies and affects people of other skin colors.

Addressing the police, sharifi says: "i know a lot of people with a migration background who have been treated badly by police officers." This is not to be understood as a general accusation against the police, but a study on racial profiling, i.E. Unauthorized police checks based on skin color, would be necessary.

To collect these experiences of racism and other forms of discrimination, the activists have created the platform "share your story" founded where people can share their stories via instagram. Lea, who is studying social work and had already found her way into politics in her youth through the topic of anti-racism, wanted to achieve even more than that.

An encouragement for this was a conversation with bamberg’s second mayor jonas glusenkamp (grunes bamberg). The commissioner had already invited representatives of the "stand up against racism" groups to the rally in june, the bamberger mahnwache asylum, the migration and integration advisory board of the city as well as "share your story" invited to speak.

Room in prospect

Mayors and volunteers agree: it was a good exchange. "We will be given a space for our meetings", says lea and is happy. However, due to the corona pandemic, further financial support from the city is currently out of the question. "The room will be available later this year, and the consideration of an "anti-semitism and anti-racism officer" is already underway, promises mayor glusenkamp. With the commissioner, an honorary ombudsman’s office could be set up.

The committed people and the mayor have also made a strong case for further exchange formats: a talk with the city’s police president is to follow, as is a network with the school representatives of the "schools without racism – schools with courage" in the city. "We want to generate public debate and ask: where does racism appear??", means glusenkamp.

But there are still more projects on lea’s to-do list: "for us, workshops on latent racism for city employees or property owners, which are then also led by people of color, were important." In addition, the activists want to get in contact with the anchor center and achieve an exchange at eye level. The next talk with the mayor is already planned. And it will not be the last public rally, lea emphasizes.

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