Time to listen

All eyes are on the presidential election in the US.  We in Europe are only aware to a certain extent how much actually depends on its outcome. I imagine the stress levels of some Americans to whom this definitely is more than just the question who the next president will be. 

The USA is broken up in the middle, as the preliminary election results show. In the last few months, as we have all noticed, the tense length has become increasingly acute. And even made us here in Europe to question our society and to look into the mirror. What we're talking about at: structural racism. Both there, where on 25. May George Floyd was killed by police officers and a wave of protests that caused civil war-like conditions – as well as here in our own country.

We shared our thoughts on this in a blog post in June. We looked for people who feel affected by structural racism and asked for their opinion and advice – what can we all do (better)? It was important to us to make space for voices that are not heard. Most of us are aware of our white privilege and the fact that teaching does not help if one is not affected by the problem. On the contrary – it can be part of the problem. So what to do?

Well, five months after the biggest riots, things turned out as we had feared – there was a lot of protest, the media attention in this country was at its peak. But what has changed? Unfortunately not much. Unfortunately, we are still here today and, despite the experience of the last few months, we have to watch that Trump actually (regardless of the outcome) was in a head-to-head race in the USA. The media attention turns its back on the conflict after a short time and focuses on Covid-19, and so both peaceful demos and riots (within our country) have dried up. Somehow we have to admit to ourselves that we are not entirely uninvolved in this. Or at least one should ask oneself: Do I go to demonstrations, do I get involved, do I contradict others who make clear or subliminal statements about ‘foreigners’? Do I know enough about cultural appropriation, colonialism and the causes of flight? Few of them, including me, can answer “yes” to all questions. But only then we could actually be a little more certain that we are not part of the problem! Sounds exhausting – for a reason.

What helps us here are the stories that we’ve heard. We have to admit that we expected to gain more feedback than we actually didt. The fact that ‘those affected’ are tired of explaining what they need or what bad things they have experienced is somehow understandable even though. But how different perceptions, approaches and experiences can be, and who has something to say at all, tells us a lot still. 

We therefore recommend that you have a special look at our social media channels in the upcoming days. There we share the different and wide-ranging experiences and perspectives of two people who have given us their insight and opened up about to us. Because that's what we're all about: Rather to listen and learn something from it! :)


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