“Victims vs. Perpetrators”- The Dehumanization Connection #Halle #Shooting #Antisemitism #Racism #Germany

After the terrorist murders in Halle in Germany on Oct. 9th, where a lone white German gunner targeted a synagogue of members celebrating Yom Kippur, it’s no surprise the admitted connection and inspiration by the murdering of innocents in Christchurch. Another young white male, entitled and privileged, angry, who feels “others” are threatening and taking away what is their right, their lands, their whatevers….

The photo I took when I was in Halle last year to discuss my film and its theme at the IDEENKONGRESS zu Kultur, Alltag und Politik auf dem Land. These violent, selfish, racist events of Oct 9, 2019 happened right outside the hotel.

Last year, in fact, after walking back from the venue almost an hour, in the dark, it did not feel safe. The mood was very aggressive towards “others”. There is a travel warning for POC btw in the east, but I really experience every day that some German friends and others I know, completely lie to themselves about the state of racism, anti-semitism and Violent threat and actions we’re living with daily. They don’t want to face it, and sure as hell don’t want to hear about it, which means ultimately they don’t want to help do anything about it either.

Below is a quote from my Forget Winnetou- Loving in the Wrong Way, featuring Dr. Hartmut Lutz, which is very relevant. As with most things, somehow it becomes playing the victim yet again, even when doing horrific acts or refusing to recognize/act against the obvious signs and rising racism & xenophobia. Dehumanization of others by whatever means, for whatever reason, has enormous consequences on a society. Stereotypes and stereotyping are not harmless.

“Victims vs. Perpetrators: as a German it is morally interesting to define oneself as victim”

“For Germans, dealing with Natives is quite a guilt-free space. They are not Hereros, they are not Jews, they are not Romnja and Sintezza, they are far far away. The German State never dealt with Natives, never colonized them. This is a rather comfortable space to enter. But cultural appropriation of Natives and hobbyism does not protect one from being racist. Not at all. Imagine the CULTURAL APPROPRIATION of Natives and ANTISEMITISM as two sides of the same coin.

Both have one thing in common: the process of Othering and the exclusion of fellow human beings. Through Othering one projects anything on someone else. And those projections and descriptions of others tell you much more about the person who projects and not about the “stranger”. These descriptions can be both positive and negative. Positive imaginations can be detached from realities that other societies are worshiped and adored in rather unreal ways.

On the other side, it can also be totally negative, they are dehumanized and constructed as subhuman objects. But both are ways of objectifying other people, either as objects of admiration and romanticizing or as objects of contempt…even killing. Through these extreme imaginations and projections, the actual people including oneself.”

 

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