Black Lives Matter: Statement by students of the MA African Studies

As a response to the murder of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter protests, the students of the Master’s program African Studies issued a statement.

As students in African studies at the University of Basel we cannot remain indifferent!

The murder of George Floyd by police forces in the United States is yet another dramatic expression of racism.

White hegemony and dominance manifested in hundreds, thousands, and millions of racist actions against blacks in a country, that so vehemently reserves itself the right to export values of democracy and respect for human rights around the world. 

Yet the focus shall not be only on black people and not only on America.

Around 100’000 black and People of Colour live in Switzerland. They face structural discrimination and institutional racism, stigma, and xenophobia every day. 

Anti-Black racism is often downplayed but manifests itself in racial profiling, social inequality, education, health, and distribution of income and wealth. 

Racism threatens democracy and its core values. 

Public institutions, including Universities shall recognize that discrimination based on race, but also on gender, religion, age and sexual orientation, occurs constantly and on a subtle way. 

Sensibilization campaigns against racism, and other forms of discrimination, shall be promoted publicly, and in different formats, at University campuses, in schools, on the streets, in the parks, at train stations and other public spaces. 

An all-inclusive dialogue with civil society, including students, politicians, refugees, business people, gay, young, and elderly, shall be enabled where actors from different classes, origins, opinions and orientations meet to discuss mechanisms of inclusion.

Discrimination is a denial of freedom and equality and a denial of respect for one another. 

We have been silent long enough and today we can no longer be part of a system that neglects the basic principles of human dignity.

(This was first published on www.zasb.unibas.ch on https://zasb.unibas.ch/en/centre/news/news-details/news/black-lives-matter-statement-issued-by-the-students-of-the-masters-program-african-studies/)

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