Is a racist categorization necessary? Why?
In our counseling work, we encounter racism and racial discrimination in many forms and in all areas of life:
- A person is denied exercise in a gym. Allegedly only German nationals or nationals from EU countries can become members there.
- A Muslim woman's application is rejected because she wears a headscarf.
- A black employee is bullied by her colleagues - superiors do not intervene.
- Neighbors shower a family with false reports of disturbance of the peace or child abuse.
- In school, siblings all experience the same ascriptions, humiliations and marginalization by different teachers.
Violation of dignity and integrity
For those affected, any experience of racism and discrimination can mean a massive crossing of boundaries. In any case, it is a violation of their dignity and integrity. The experience of discrimination itself, but also the later confrontation with it, is characterized by a multitude of painful and sometimes contradicting feelings: anger, powerlessness, shame, self-doubt, hurt, insecurity, weakness, humiliation, surprise, grief, helplessness, speechlessness. Such experiences often raise fundamental questions about one's own identity, position in society and how others are perceived. They often protrude into important social relationships and also affect central material aspects such as access to work, education or living space.
We support you in defending yourself against discrimination and asserting your rights. We offer you a protected space to talk about what you have experienced and to gain clarity about your concerns. If you wish, we will work with you to develop options for action and support you in implementing them.
What is racism
The ADB defines racism as a practice of social exclusion that appears differently in different historical contexts. Racism hierarchizes, differentiates and devalues people by ascribing them to constructed, mostly negative, group-specific characteristics and properties.
Anyone who talks about racism cannot remain silent about privileges:
“One of these privileges is (...) that if you go for it, you can destroy many of the innate advantages for yourself. So don't come to me with the complaint: “People are also unfriendly to me!” This is also made clear by the fact that you have at most voluntarily, but never compulsorily, concerned yourself with how aggressively German society treats you when it fail to keep their assigned role. They are actually allowed to dance barefoot in batik fiddling and have sticky hair without creating racist clichés. They are allowed to mess up their kitchen without creating racist clichés. You can come too late stoned without creating racist clichés. You can even deal and play the drum without creating racist stereotypes. They take all of this for granted. But it is not. It is a white privilege. "(Noah Sow 2008, p. 51)
The term racism describes a social relationship in which it is categorized which groups of people do not belong to the group of their own and therefore only have limited access to resources. We live in a world that is pervaded by racist structures. These structures result in daily experiences of discrimination for people with racist marks.
In the majority society, racism is mostly understood as something that is committed by maliciously acting people who intentionally and consciously want to hurt other people because of their origin. We experience this explicit form of racism all too often in our counseling practice, but more often those forms of racism that do not consist of malice, but of conscious or unconscious ignorance of the meaning and consequences of racist acts.
What is Discrimination?
We speak of discrimination when disadvantages, marginalization or harassment occur because of basic affiliations or attributions. These include, for example: racist attributions, language, origin, sexual identity, but also age, gender, religion / world view as well as physical, mental and emotional abilities.
The ADB specializes in the trait of racial discrimination. We support you in defending yourself against discrimination and claiming your rights. We offer you a protected space to talk about what you have experienced and to gain clarity about your concerns. If you wish, we will work with you to develop options for action and support you in implementing them.
Options for action can include: securing circumstantial evidence, writing a letter of complaint, soliciting statements, accompanying you to mediation talks, but also information and support in legal steps.
If you have experienced discrimination, you can contact the ADB.
Since there is a tight deadline of two months after the discrimination becomes known for legal action, it makes sense to seek advice as soon as possible.
You can find more information about our advisory services here .
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