The German American School Association stands firmly in solidarity and support with the Black Community and the Black Lives Matter movement. We invite our families, friends, staff and supporters to join us in making a statement against racial inequity and systemic racism and support the Black Lives Matter movement.
As a GASA Board Member of 12 years and an Afro-German who has experienced racism and ‘othering’ all of her life this topic is extremely personal to me.
First of all, let me be clear: Stating that black lives matter does not insinuate that other lives don’t.
Why saying “All Lives Matter” is problematic:
While the intention of the phrase “All Lives Matter” may be to put everyone’s life on equal footing or convey a sense of unity, the response “All Lives Matter” to “Black Lives Matter” is actually more divisive than unifying. The reason for that is that it discounts the Black experience and the disproportionate violence and discrimination Black individuals face every day in this country and around the world.
While the Black Lives Matter movement isn’t new, its message is prevalent at the heart of the protests that have been taking place in America and around the world these past few weeks. The Black Lives Matter movement raises awareness and speaks out against police brutality and systemic racism, which causes thousands of violent incidents each year, most notably the recent deaths of Rayshard Brooks, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor. While these murders got widespread media attention, many more crimes and violent acts go largely unnoticed and aren’t recorded or afforded the outrage they deserve. It is of utmost importance that we seek this dialog and begin to listen to the people affected by racism in our community, so that we can better understand how to tackle this deeply rooted issue and create a society where we ALL feel safe, protected and valued.
“We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” – Elie Wiesel
Multilingualism is the norm in most of the world and we believe that children who speak and write more than one language will be better prepared for life in the 21st century with its growing global economy. The best way to master another language is to start learning at an early age.