That ol’ bu­ga­boo

Siegessaeule - - Tach Auch - Trans­la­ti­on: Jo­ey Han­som

As­saults at Kott­bus­ser Tor and in the Motz­stra­ße neigh­borhood ha­ve up­ped the fe­ar fac­tor in our com­mu­ni­ty. But we can’t draw the wrong con­clu­si­ons – chief edi­tor Jan Noll ex­plains why

> It’s ac­tual­ly old hat by now: a few weeks ago, on­ce again, cer­tain LGBT-fri­end­ly cor­ners of the ci­ty we­re de­emed “no-go are­as“by the me­dia and so­ci­al net­works. This ti­me it was the gay­borhood ne­ar Nol­len­dorf­platz in Schö­ne­berg as well as Kott­bus­ser Tor in Kreuz­berg. Af­ter so­me attacks that we­re mo­re or less pro­clai­med ho­mo­pho­bic in na­tu­re, so­me voices na­med the “mi­grants“as the guil­ty par­ty, cal­ling for mo­re po­li­ce and even so­me kind of gay vi­gi­lan­te group (see pp. 8-9 for our re­port in Ger­man). It’s gre­at that people want to ta­ke ac­tion, but ho­nest­ly, the last thing we need in Ber­lin is a hor­de of pri­va­te law en­forcers who might ve­ry well hold re­sent­ments against cer­tain de­mo­gra­phics, sweeping our streets and im­po­sing their idea of “se­cu­ri­ty“! Don’t get me wrong: ALL as­saults – on gays, les­bi­ans, trans*, people of co­lor, re­fu­gees, people with mi­grant back­grounds, wo­men, men, all bo­dies re­gard­less of sha­pe and si­ze – are de­s­pica­ble, and we need to mo­bi­li­ze against them. Li­ke­wi­se, people’s fe­ars of such vio­lence must al­so be ta­ken se­rious­ly, wha­te­ver that might ent­ail. Ho­we­ver, we need to re­main rea­lis­tic and cool down the­se de­ba­tes that ha­ve be­co­me even mo­re hea­ted du­ring this so-cal­led “re­fu­gee cri­sis“. We li­ve in a me­tro­po­lis whe­re our dif­fe­rent li­ved rea­li­ties in­ter­sect and so­me­ti­mes pain­f­ul­ly col­li­de, whe­re psy­cho­tics and fa­na­tics of all ty­pes may cross our paths at any gi­ven mo­ment. When people li­ve to­ge­ther, the­re is al­ways vio­lence. As a ge­ne­ral ru­le, as his­to­ry has shown us, it’s di­rec­ted most­ly at mi­no­ri­ties such as ho­mo­se­xu­als and people with mi­grant back­grounds. This ap­p­lies to Ber­lin just as it does to any ot­her big ci­ty in the world. Does that me­an we should just le­arn to li­ve with this vio­lence? No way! But we need to de­al with it in a ra­tio­nal way ra­ther than just hy­per­ven­ti­la­ting. If you’re gay, les­bi­an, trans* or even he­te­ro and you walk th­rough “di­sad­van­ta­ged are­as“at night or spend your ti­me at night­li­fe hots­pots, then you might risk a fist in the face. That sucks, but that’s the cur­rent reality we can’t de­ny. We can’t al­low our­sel­ves to be tur­ned in­to vic­tims be­cau­se of that, but we al­so can’t turn in­di­vi­du­al ag­gres­sors in­to re­pre­sen­ta­ti­ves of an ent­i­re group. The dis­pla­c­ing ef­fects of war and ter­ror ha­ve shown up right on our streets, and fe­ar is an un­der­stan­da­ble re­ac­tion, but ab­so­lu­te­ly can­not be mi­sus­ed as a ju­s­ti­fi­ca­ti­on for ra­cism, vi­gi­lan­te justi­ce or any ot­her form of dis­cri­mi­na­ti­on. That’s true for Kot­ti just li­ke it is for Motz­stra­ße or anyw­he­re el­se in our ci­ty. <

When people li­ve to­ge­ther

... the­re is al­ways vio­lence

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