From the "endangered state of law" in Ellwangen to the "anti-deportation industry", from the "BAMF scandal" to "asylum parasites", from the "Islamization" to the "potential offender": For months we have been experiencing an unbearable public smear campaign, a veritable competition of outrage against refugees and migrants, but also against the solidary milieus of this society. The political debates about migration and flight have been fueled and dominated by the right wing for months - and hardly anyone is not climbing on that bandwagon of rightwing slander.
But not only that. In the midst of a still-alive welcome and support movement, amidst the great and growing protests against the AFD, amidst the impressive battles of refugees for their right to a good life and amidst growing movements for sustainable, global justice the public debate looks like if right-wing populism were the only decisive expression of the current social mood. This claim is wrong. And it is politically fatal.
It is therefore time for us to take a stand - together and clearly. We explicitly refuse the political logic of a solidifying right hegemony. We turn against a policy of resentment - and against strategies that want to capitalize on it for one only seemingly progressive or social policy. We are sure that there are no proressive answers to reactionary questions. The right-wing discourse does not formulate any problems. It is the problem itself.
Let's call the problem by its name. It's not called migration. It's called racism.
In recent years, political racism has been established across much of Europe, pushing the borders between conservative, right-wing and fascist camps. Regarding Germany what holds true is: The largest success of the AfD was not their entry into the Bundestag. Their by far biggest success is that in this country, people can be ruthlessly inhumane in their action and speaking. Racism has again become normal everyday business, in the high house in Berlin as well as at the bakery around the corner. In "top politicians" and ordinary mortals, in "liberals" - and even under the left.
Twenty-five years after the German Bundestag restricted the fundamental right to asylum responding to extreme right - wing attacks and murders, we are again experiencing politics that continuously make concessions to racist resentment – with no need. It works with foreclosure and exclusion, the borders are raised again, protection seekers are locked in camps, human rights are violated, systematically abolished civil rights and bypassed at points where they still exist.
The welcome discourses of the short summer of migration have turned into hostile defense discourses. The curtailment of family reunification and the planned ANKER centers are massively curtailing the rights of migrants, increasing the existential pressure on them and being instruments of isolation and exclusion. Countries destroyed by war and drawn by consequences of war are declared to safe places – out of the actually safe offices of a country, that systematically contributes to the misery of the world through its economy. Home ministry, the deportation offensive, incitement campaigns and institutional racism are part of everyday life – but the massive protest from the middle class is missing.
What's going on in this country?
Not only the middle class does not nail their colors to the mast. Also parts of the political left make concessions to right-wing rhetoric and reactionary ideas, exploring the rejection of migrants even as a resistant moment, assuming a rational, class-political core. Thus, one thing must be clear: racism is never an act of resistance. And just as clear is that the new racism, whether from the right or left, will not have any support from us.
This society is shaped by the numerous, millionfold stories of migration. Migration is a fact. It is at least since the times of the "guest work" in the old Federal Republic or the "contract work" in the GDR and to this day no danger, but a force of pluralization and democratization of this society. In the summer of 2015, we experienced this again.
At that time, the open society of the many was real for all, it was tangible and alive. Since then, nothing has changed in the reasons for flight and migration. Also the practices of solidarity in the districts and the regions did not change. But the public consensus and the political will to handle the consequences of the Western capitalist impulses in the world in solidarity are changing. Instead, the European Union pursues by consensus, despite three decades of dying on Europe's borders, a tightening of their border regime, making the way to Europe even deadlier and degrading the access to refugee protection to a mercy issue.
In Germany and Europe, important resources for social solidarity are blocked due to the ideology of "balanced" households. Urgently necessary public investment in social infrastructure, education, healthcare, social housing and an inclusive democracy are missing. The German path of austerity and one-sided export orientation excludes many people from prosperity, creates precarious working and living conditions and nourishes fears of the future. However, these problems cannot be solved by a class or nationalist welfare-state solution, which relies on social privileges and isolation - and on unworldly fantasies of a "control" of migration and the pleasant private happiness in the "homeland".
Hiding from social realities will not work. We must stop the silent watching and we will call racism and disenfranchisement by name. We will escape the new nationalist consensus and oppose all attempts that try to seal the bulkheads of the prosperity fortress.
Our solidarity is indivisible - because migration and the desire for a good life are global, unlimited and universal.
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- Prof. Dr. Naika Foroutan, Berlin (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)
- Prof. Dr. Micha Brumlik, Frankfurt (Publizist und Autor)
- Prof. Dr. Sabine Hark, Berlin (TU Berlin)
- Prof. Dr. Arjun Appadurai, New York City (New School)
- Amelie Deufhard, Hamburg (Künstlerische Leitung / Intendantin Kampnagel)
- Prof. Dr. Stephan Lessenich, München (LMU - Institut für Soziologie)
- Prof. Dr. Paul Mecheril, Oldenburg (Carl von Ossietzky Universität)
- Volker Lösch, Berlin (Regisseur)
- Georg Diez, Berlin (Kolumnist Der Spiegel)
- Prof. Dr. Sabine Hess, Göttingen (Institut für Kulturanthropologie/Europäische Ethnologie)
- Prof. Dr. María do Mar Castro Varela, Berlin (Alice Salomon Hochschule)
- Ostermeier Thomas, Berlin (Künsterischer Leiter, Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz)
- Borchmeyer Florian, Berlin (Leitender Dramaturg, Schubühne am Lehniner Platz)
- Günter Burkhardt, Frankfurt (Geschäftsführer PRO ASYL)
- Prof. Dr. Iman Attia, Berlin (Alice Salomon Hochschule)
- Mark Terkessidis (Journalist)
- Jagoda Marinic (Autorin)
- Ruben Neugebauer, Berlin (Sea Watch)
- Prof. Dr. Isabell Lorey (Universität Kassel)
- Natalie Bayer, Berlin (Leiterin des Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg Museums)
- Elise Bittenbinder, Berlin (Vorsitzende der Bundesweiten Arbeitsgemeinschaft Psychosozialer Zentren (BAfF) e.V.)
- Prof. Dr. Heinz-Jochen Zenker, Berlin (Präsident Ärzte der Welt / Médecins du Monde Deutschland)
- Bini Adamczak, Berlin (Autorin)
- Dr. Medardus Brehl, Bochum (Institut für Diaspora- und Genozidforschung / Ruhr-Universität Bochum)
- Sebastian Huber, München (Chefdramaturg Residenztheater)
- Dr. Sabine Flick, Frankfurt/Berkeley (Goethe-Universität/Institut für Sozialforschung/UC Berkeley)
- Ulrich Schreiber, Berlin (Direktor des internationalen Literaturfestivals)
- Prof. Dr. habil. David Becker, Berlin (Sigmund Freud Privatuniversität (SFU) Berlin)
- Prof. Dr. Beate Binder, Berlin (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)
- Prof. Dr. Yasemin Karakasoglu, Bremen (Universität Bremen)
- Prof. Dr. Angelika Epple, Bielefeld (Universität Bielefeld)
- Prof. Dr. Anna Amelina, Cottbus (BTU Cottbus)
- Bernadette La Hengst, Hamburg (Musikerin)
- Prof. Dr. Silja Klepp, Kiel (Universität Kiel)
- Pfarrerin Dagmar Apel, Berlin (EKBO/BMW)
- Prof. Dr. Rita Casale, Wuppertal (Bergische Universität Wuppertal)
- Dr. Markus Brunner, Wien (Sigmund-Freud-Universität)
- Zeljko Cunovic, Psychoanalytiker, Frankfurt (Frankfurter Psychoanalytisches Institut/ DPV/ IPA)
- Prof. Dr. Helmut Dahmer, Wien
- Jan Deck, Frankfurt (freier Theatermacher)
- Dr. Muriel González Athenas, Bochum (Ruhr Universität)
- Prof. Dr. Katja Diefenbach, Berlin/Stuttgart (Merz Akademie)
- Jasmin Ihraç, Belrin (Zeitgenössischer Tanz/Choreografie)
- Ivana Domazet, Potsdam (Flüchtlingsrat Brandenburg)
- Prof. Dr. Ina Kerner, Koblenz (Universität Koblenz-Landau)
- Sybille Fezer, Köln (medica mondiale e.V.)
- Dr Andrea Fischer-Tahir, Marburg (Universität Marburg)
- Daphne Büllesbach, Berlin (European Alternatives)
- Univ.-Prof. Dr Andrea Seier, Wien (Universität Wien)
- Irene Franken, Kön (Historikerin)
- Martin Singe, Bonn (Pax Christi)
- Prof. Dr. Cornelia Giebeler, Bielfeld (University of Applied Studies)
- Dr. Kurt Grünberg, Frankfurt (Sigmund-Freud-Institut)
- Kristine Listau, Berlin (Verbrecher Verlag)
- Dr. phil. Nadine Teuber, Frankfurt am Main
- Dr. Monika Hauser, Kön (medica mondiale e.V.)
- Prof. Dr. Susanne Spindler, Köln (Hochschule Düsseldorf)
- Jost Hess, Weiden (Arbeitskreis Asyl Weiden e.V.)
- Rechtsanwalt Dr. Matthias Lehnert, Berlin
- Dr. Anne Huffschmid, Berlin (Autorin metrozones)
- Prof. Dr. Julia Franz, Hannover (Hochschule Hannover)
- Prof. Dr. Annita Kalpaka, Hamburg (Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften Hamburg)
- Prof. Dr. Nausikaa Schirilla, Freiburg (Catholic University of Applied Sciences)
- Prof. Dr. Encarnación Gutiérrez Rodríguez, Gießen (Justus-Liebig-Universität )
- Prof. Dr. Alexandra Karentzos, Darmstadt (Technische Universität Darmstadt)
- Karl Kopp, Frankfurt (PRO ASYL)
- Dr. des. Vanessa E. Thompson, Frankfurt am Main (Goethe-Universität Frankfurt)
- Prof. Dr. Gesa Köbberling, Freiburg (Evangelische Hochschule)
- Dr. Stephan Milich, Köln (Universität zu Köln)
- Johanna König, Melbourne & Frankfurt am Main (Goethe Universität Frankfurt)
- Dr. Daniel Loick, Frankfurt/Erfurt (Max Weber Kolleg)
- Dr. Judith Lebiger-Vogel, Frankfurt (Sigmund-Freud-Institut)
- Arne Semsrott (netzpolitik.org)
- Dan Thy Nguyen, Hamburg (Regisseur)
- Dr. Julia König, Frankfurt am Main (Goethe Universität Frankfurt)
- Dr. Jan Lohl, Frankfurt (Sigmund-Freud-Institut)
- Dr. des. Alexander Vorbrugg, Bern (Geographisches Institut, Uni Bern)
- Prof. Dr. Lena Inowlocki, Frankfurt (Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences)
- Prof. Dr. Heidemarie Winkel, Bielefeld (Universität Bielefeld)
- apl. Prof. Melanie Ulz, Osnabrück (Kunsthistorisches Institut)
- Univ.-Prof. Dr. Johannes Reichmayr, Wien (Sigmund Freud Privatuniversität Wien)
- Maike Melles, Frankfurt am Main (Frobenius-Institut für kulturanthropologische Forschung an der Goethe-Universität Frankfurt)
- Bernd Mesovic, Frankfurt (PRO ASYL)
- Friedrich Trautmann
- Hanna Mittelstädt, Hamburg (Edition Nautilus)
- Dr. med. Michael Wild, Wiesbaden (Arzt, Autor, Umweltaktivist)
- Helmut Neusser, Frankfurt (Hans-Böckler-Schule)
- Prof. Dr. Aram Ziai, Kassel (Universität Kassel)
- Dr. Mariam Popal, Bayreuth (Universität Bayreuth)
- Prof. Dr. Barbara Schäuble, Berlin
- Dr. Julia Roth, Berlin (Universität Bielefeld)
- Prof. Dr. Uta Ruppert, Frankfurt/Main ( Goethe Universität / Fachbereich Gesellschaftswissenschaften)
- Ivana Sajko, Berlin / Zagreb (Autorin)
- Marta Vardynets, Stuttgart (Furtbachkrankenhaus)
- Prof. Dr. habil. Albert Scherr, Freiburg (Institut für Soziologie, Pädagogische Hochschule Freiburg)
- Prof. Karin Scherschel, Jena (HS RheinMain)
- Prof. Dr. Constance von Rüden, Bochum (Institut für Archäologische Wissenschaften)
- Dr. Ernst Schmiederer, Wien (Institut für die Geschichten der Gegenwart)
- Prof. Dr. Holger Ziegler, Bielefeld (Universität Bielefeld)
- Dr. Christoph Schwarz, Marburg (Centrum für Nah- und Mitteloststudien, Philipps-Universität Marburg)
- Prof.Dr. Hans-Günter Thien, Münster (Verlag Westfälisches Dampfboot)