“Restless, angry and disillusioned, people will not remain silent if the gap continues to widen between their demand for equality and their governments’ denial”
May 28, 2009
May 26, 2009
How many wars would we humans actually fight without heads of states declaring them and a military following orders? Imagine there is war and nobody joins.
Germany had to learn that the excuse of ‘I was following orders’ neither removes responsibility from the individual nor the people of a nation as a whole.
“The fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him. “I was following orders”, is not an excuse
Germany, opposed to the war against Iraq can now demonstrate solidarity with those who refuse following orders. We can demonstrate if we are courages enough to stand up against the USA.
May 20, 2009
When the world looks at Germany, Germany shows sorrow and regret for her past. The Nazi past, and wants to promise to herself and those willing to listen, that we Germans won’t forget so that our history can’t repeat itself.
Not mentioning that German history has never actually stopped repeating itself. The concept of an Aryan race is still on a not so subtle level in most white German’s mind-set. The belief that somebody who is not white also can’t be German, ‘must be’ a foreigner and is therefore nobody of ‘us’.
In the white German mind-set Germans of Color don’t exist. And with this also not their history. The stereotypes are that people of Asian descent are either Chinese who own a restaurant or are Japanese tourists. People of middle east descent are Turkish who refuse to integrate and Black people are African illegal immigrants. All ‘foreigners’ only come to Germany to benefit from our welfare system. [Stereotypes summarized].
The fear of Überfremdung (too many foreigners) are wide-spread, many white Germans believe that problems are caused by foreigners or that difficulties People of Color face in Germany are caused by themselves (because they allegedly don’t integrate).
White German anti-racism does little to reject these ideas, the concept of ‘white privilege’ etc. is quite unknown also among them, racism is considered a problem of “the right”, institutionalized racism hardly exists in their mind-set and anti-racism is for many a synonym to fight pro immigrant’s rights.
But regardless how much we white Germans as a collective try to ignore People of Color as citizens and part of our history, they exist and are starting to tell their history as well as their experiences in Germany.
I think the internet is a great opportunity to undermine Germans effort to silence some Germans, the more people know that they exist the harder it becomes for Germany to ignore them and their human rights.
May 17, 2009
Eurocentrism is a culture that cannot stand on its own. The value of a culture would be the value of a culture itself without a construct of ‘super human’ ideals which appear to be the reality in the illusional Eurocentric mind, in the culture as a whole as well as for the individual.
A Eurocentric mind defines himself via his perception in comparison with his surroundings. How he relates to non-European people is one part of many layers. [White] anti-racism should be searching for a new culture which would replace Eurocentrism. While critical whiteness studies and knowledge about white privilege are important there is the risk that in looking for answers Eurocentrism remains the main point of view and therefore solely the relationship towards the alleged other [People of Color] will be considered. There is the risk of the production of new myths, like “celebrating diversity” with being “exposed” to different races (with the underlying assumption that this is a synonym to different cultures) as an appropriate way to combat racism.
The risk of some white anti-racism is also the assumption, that racist behavior or thoughts could disappear with the help of education about merely racism without recognizing that all racist actions towards People of Color are the result of a Eurocentric culture and will or can also be directed towards people of the own group which is necessary to keep white supremacy alive and to control [white] dissidents.
Whites who for example ‘dislike’ People of Color will also ‘dislike’ whites sympathizing or socializing with People of Color. Whites who are not conform with the norm are to a certain degree and sometimes also almost entirely excluded from ‘the norm’, which also helps to control white people who are afraid of social isolation from main-stream. This within a society, where outside acceptance and the superficial acceptance of somebody white is more important than actual being and therefore more important than being oneself.
In addition ‘othering’ does not only work in regard to People of Color but also class, gender, political orientation etc. Whiteness has created a mosaic of ‘others’ where every white can find a ‘niche’ to further disconnect himself also from white people and to feel superior towards people he will meet on a daily basis. White on white [collective] violence evolving from this shouldn’t be diminished or ignored, it is part of our history and present.
The Eurocentric mind-set exists in absolute thinking; either – or, and nothing in between. Good – bad, perfect – failure etc. A worldview which doesn’t accept the alleged imperfect (which is nothing else then development/growing) can’t accept it’s own imperfection. A culture which cannot accept its imperfection ‘has to’ look at alleged failures of other cultures or has to create it with stereotypes, the same an individual who cannot accept his imperfection ‘has to’ look at alleged failures of others to create some sort of inner self. The social construct of ‘race’ helps the white mind-set to automatically define himself as better, because of being born with a white skin-color and European features. But this is not enough for a Eurocentric mind-set, his life is occupied by the need to be ‘better’/’superior’ over somebody else, also people of his own race. Only then “perfection” can be achieved, an imagined perfection which can only exist in comparison to others and also only with a distorted self-perception.
For somebody white who wants to be anti-racist that means to do his ‘soul-search’ not only in regard to PoC but also how he relates to the world and people of his own race. Driven by perfectionism many alleged white anti-racists consider themselves as ‘already being there’ and with that they stop growing.
White anti-racism has to be careful not to repeat and to continue the Eurocentric world-view with just another ‘other’ to hate and to stereotype. White anti-racism also has to deconstruct well-known European structures with a white male or white males at the top and PoC and white women just in the periphery who are allowed to applaud but not to criticize.
White anti-racism needs white women who understand that many white women internalized stereotypes about themselves and “know their place”, accepting white male dominance and also supporting it. White women have to understand that the artificial division of race, which should tell us that we allegedly have more in common with white males because of skin-color alone makes us a compliant puppet of white male supremacy and disconnects us from the female body world-wide. During history white women sided with skin-color despite being the victims of oppression themselves, only because the illusion of being part of the “civilized” race. White women have allowed the rape of their bodies and the abuse of their children, only to be allowed into the white men’s world of destruction. We share white men’s history even if we weren’t in the position of political power and decision making, we share the collective guilt of history and European history of wars, even if we weren’t soldiers. But as a collective we have never truly tried to stop them, we mainly have fought for the right to participate, even if this means that we betray ourselves.
May 12, 2009
but the US still does, even if this means the execution of innocent people
Global Day for Troy Davis
May 8, 2009
NEW YORK, May 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — In a report made public today, the United Nations independent expert on racism urged the U.S. to address racial disparities in the criminal justice system and end the practice of sentencing juveniles to life in prison without the possibility of parole. He also called on Congress to pass the End Racial Profiling Act (ERPA) and create a bipartisan commission to evaluate the on-going fight against racism and the occurrence of re-segregation, especially in housing and education.
Special Rapporteur Doudou Diene made his recommendations after an official visit in June 2008 during which he met with officials from the Departments of Justice, State, Labor and Energy, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, representatives of state and local government, affected community members and non-government organizations including the American Civil Liberties Union.
The following can be attributed to Jamil Dakwar, Director of the ACLU Human Rights Program:
“This report is a stark reminder of U.S. achievements and failures to fight racism and protect equality for all. For the U.S. to lead by example, it should heed the recommendations of this international expert and do more to address ongoing issues of racism in this country. The government should intensify the enforcement of laws that protect civil and human rights. A good first step would be to work with Congress and local governments to reform and strengthen existing oversight and enforcement mechanisms and provide more resources to enhance investigative powers to review complaints of human rights violations in general and racial and ethnic bias in particular. This administration has pledged to renew the U.S. commitment to human rights at home and abroad. Now we must walk the walk and turn words into action by addressing the ongoing discrimination and injustice that exists here at home.”
The following can be attributed to Chandra Bhatnagar, a staff attorney with the ACLU Human Rights Program:
“Our government invited the U.N. Special Rapporteur to conduct a thorough analysis of racial discrimination in the United States, and now our government should take notice of the widespread and systemic problems that he documented. The report highlights very serious issues including racism in the criminal justice system, and the disparity between sentencing for crack and powder cocaine, serious abuses facing immigrant and African-American workers in the Gulf Coast in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and the overall vulnerability of immigrant workers around the country, and the need to meaningfully address the ‘school-to-prison pipeline.’ The Obama administration has an opportunity to address all of these important issues and this report offers us a path forward toward justice, equality and human rights for all.”
The special rapporteur will present his findings at the next session of the U.N. Human Rights Council next month. On April 27, the U.S. submitted a list of human rights pledges and commandments as part of its bid to join the Council.
The report is available online at:
More information about the ACLU’s work with the special rapporteur is available online at:
SOURCE American Civil Liberties Union