- In recognition of the intertwined histories and present manifestations of antisemitism, anti-Black racism, xenophobia, heteropatriarchy and white supremacy –
- And as feminist scholars within German studies committed to intersectional understandings of social justice –
We condemn the violence that has again come to a head in the last week. We are sorrowed by the murders of 11 people at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, and the murders of two African Americans in a Kentucky grocery store, all at the hands of white supremacists. We denounce the symbolic violence that has taken place through the circulation of misinformation about trans people and transphobic language, through antisemitic and racist speech posted in social media and in the physical public, and the ongoing rhetorical attacks targeting immigrants and refugees.
As feminists, it is important to speak out in moments of oppression. We know that this violence is not new, but the convergence of these violences over the last week makes painfully visible the ways in which white supremacy and heteropatriarchy continue to wield power in our society. We have marched and protested, and we will continue to march and protest and speak out. We recognize that silence becomes complicity.
As a feminist organization, we are committed to scholarship that challenges interlocking systems of oppression and power. We recognize that feminist goals must include the end of racism and white supremacy. We recognize that systems that promote and rely on racism; sexism; homophobia; transphobia; ableism; colonialism; and other forms of exploitation, hatred and exclusion are interlinked, and often support one another. We express our solidarity with all groups who stand against these systems of oppression.
This continues to be a painful time for our members, students, and colleagues who are targeted directly, often daily, by racist, antisemitic, xenophobic and transphobic violence – whether as physical threat or verbal aggression. We stand with all of you.
Individual acts respond to a social context, one in which hate speech enables and promotes violent actions. We call on our members, as teachers, scholars, and leaders, to name and challenge white supremacy and heteropatriarchy wherever it is manifest, whether in everyday speech, social media, political discourse, or elsewhere. We cannot allow violent speech to seem “normal.” We cannot allow an atmosphere that enables such horrific violence to continue.
– Women in German (WiG) Steering Committee