“Prejudice is a burden that confuses the past, threatens the future, and renders the present inaccessible.” – Maya Angelou
“The very serious function of racism is distraction. It keeps you from doing your work. It keeps you explaining, over and over again, your reason for being.” – Toni Morrison
Racism is not an opinion but a crime.
Black people in the USA, the Mayans in Guatemala or Nigerians who toil in Chinese factories, widespread hate crimes against women and LGBT people: people around the world are discriminated against because of skin color, origin, gender, religion, sexual orientation, and political views. They defend themselves against it - but the racist thinking is deeply anchored in many minds and expresses itself in ever new forms.
Not only in the USA, but also in Europe, people are protesting against the unequal treatment of blacks. How big is the problem on the European doorstep and on your own doorstep?
"Racial discrimination and racially motivated harassment are the order of the day for people of African descent in the EU," states the latest survey by the European Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) from 2018. It evaluates the answers of almost 6,000 black people from 12 EU countries.
And that often affects refugees seeking help:
"We can't take in the whole world!" When it comes to flight and asylum, such sentences are quickly used - sentences that are not infrequently based on ignorance and often on racist prejudice. But what to say if your neighbor or colleague is talking like that? According to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), over 65 million people are on the run worldwide - more than at the end of the Second World War. Almost two thirds of them did not even cross their national borders; 86% of the world's refugees live in developing countries.
Very few of them reach Europe - because they want to stay in the region and hope to have the chance to return soon, or because they simply have no way of coming here. Escape to Europe is expensive and dangerous. More and more states are systematically preventing people from fleeing, there are hardly any legal escape routes, and the overcrowded hotspots are sometimes catastrophic. were documented by Human Rights Watch in June 2016 and January 2017 - at the same time, Germany is pushing ahead with a new version of the Dublin European distribution and jurisdiction system, which will make EU states even more responsible at the external borders in the future.
Since the EU-Turkey deal in March 2016, which was largely concluded on German initiative, Turkey has largely closed its borders. Anyone who makes it to Greece anyway runs the risk of being deported to Turkey without examining the grounds for asylum.
Germany and the EU are planning agreements with other third countries to stop and "take back" refugees on their way to Europe. They do not shy away from dirty deals, such as the planned support for the police in the hotly contested Libya, where mistreatment and even torture of refugees has been documented.
But women are also extremely affected: as with right-wing extremist assassins, the dehumanization of women is an elementary component of Islamist ideology. Gender apartheid begins where the separation of the sexes is demanded and enforced and where women and girls are threatened if they want to exercise their freedoms. Therefore every form of misogyny must be combated!
This includes not only counteracting the most widespread form of violence against women, domestic violence, and fully implementing the provisions of the Istanbul Convention, but also recognizing hatred of women as a dangerous underground for extremism and terrorism and resolutely opposing it .
The reactions of state representatives from Turkey, Pakistan, Chechnya and the Iranian regime to the terrorist attacks have shown that extremism and terrorism can only be encountered internationally and that foreign policy cannot be seen in isolation from the internal fight against extremism.
Internally, action must be taken consistently against the curtailment of women's rights, especially to protect women and girls from Islamic communities, that is:
The consistent persecution of female genital mutilation, child marriages and forced marriages, as well as the nationwide financial support of contact points and women's shelters for affected women and girls, because despite bans, girls and women are still threatened by these harmful practices.
The criminal prosecution of those who force women to "chaste" behavior through threats of violence, e.g. want to determine the love life, clothing and social contacts of female family members.
The separate recording of so-called honor killings, in which the perpetrators indicate as a motive that the woman behaved "unchaste", too western "and / or contrary to religious rules. These murders are designed to intimidate and silence women.
“I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality… I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word”. – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
“Defeating racism, tribalism, intolerance and all forms of discrimination will liberate us all, victim and perpetrator alike.” –Ban Ki-moon