Anna Swaboda, a member of power4africa e.V., reports on a demonstration against anti-Black racism in the eastern city of Dresden on Sunday.
“The only thing that should be separated according to colour is laundry” was the message on a banner at the Black Lives Matter demonstration on Sunday afternoon in Dresden.
Several hundreds of people gathered at Dresden’s Neumarkt square to be part of another demonstration for respect of the human rights of Black people.
A lot of singing and music from the “Lauti” accompanied the demonstration to the Alaunpark in the Dresden Neustadt. At stops at Schießgasse and Jorge-Gomondai-Platz, People of Colour shared their personal experiences of racism in Dresden. Speakers also appealed to the German majority society and the Dresden police to treat everybody with respect and they made clear the privileged position of the White population.
In concrete terms: I, as a White person, can choose whether or not I want to deal with the topic of racism. People of Colour have to confront the feeling of being different from almost everyone around them from an early age.
Here in Dresden, the problem of a shift to the right, without wanting to damage the image of a beautiful green student city, is particularly clear. An incident at the beginning of the demonstration illustrates the polarisation of our community quite well. A critical onlooker, who apparently does not belong to the participants, responds to the “Black lives matter!” shouts with “All lives matter” – at first glance a good thought. But if you take a closer look, it becomes clear that some of the people who exclaim “All lives matter” on Sunday were the very next day at the Pegida movement at the same place, denying exactly this value of being human to people who do not fit into their image of the White majority society.
So how can every life counts if a group of people is denied the basic right to equality?
It cannot be denied that we are all in some way racially socialised, whether through children’s books or advertising, etc. Whether we like it or not, even if it is unpleasant, we must accept this fact. Because only then we can initiate a dialogue on an equal level, where all positions can reveal their perceptions.
And only in this way we can commonly find a way to the future where a skin colour or presumed origin need not have any influence on the rights of a person.
In order for this future to become the present as quickly as possible, however, it requires many face-to-face exchanges (in a Corona-friendly setting, of course), a lot of strength and support from everyone.
So, thanks to all who are already here and thanks to all who will continue to be here! And we will continue to sing: “we will overcome”.