Bonn, June 4th 2020
There are a bunch of announcements I was going to make today. But I feel like there’s no appropriate or not-tone-deaf way to do that, so I won’t.
Anything non-political seems incredibly insignificant compared to the global state of things. People are fighting for their lives, be it due to the ongoing pandemic or to systemic racism and police brutality. The latter are currently shaking especially white people’s perspectives on society to their core, not just in the US. A lot of us suddenly realize that we have failed to listen and failed to acknowledge the black experience and the struggle of BIPoC adequately. There’s endless need for solidarity right now, for allies with the #blacklivesmatter movement and for lasting change in the way we think, talk and act, for reforms and for unlearning of the inherently racist structures we have grown-up with. Silence feels like complicity and enabling.
And yet. And yet I am a white woman and it is not my place to take up space in the debates that are happening at the moment. I am aware that I can’t possibly understand what it is like to be a person of color in the US, in Germany, or anywhere in the world. That solidarity means listening to, believing and supporting those who have been sharing their stories all this time and to act on what they ask us to do.
There are a number of ressources on the internet about how we can do exactly that. A good start is to educate/re-educate ourselves on the matter:
(I inserted the links to the audiobooks on Spotify, but you can also buy those in book form)
Obviously, there are many more sources on the subject. The internet is a really helpful place that way.
Other ways of support are donations, signing petitions, taking to the streets or showing our support online with our communities (as safely as possible in times of Corona – there are ways to protest without risking anyone’s health), having difficult conversations with our friends and family members about racism. Calling people out. Activism works. Checking ourselves constantly. We can’t distance ourselves from the institutional, structural, interpersonal and interalized racism in and around us and pretend it doesn’t affect the way we think. Of course it does. That doesn’t make us „bad people“, but it means we have to own up to that fact and reflect and question and check and check and check and react and change.