The strength of a democracy can be measured by the treatment of its minorities.
According to the constitution, human rights and the protection of minorities are fundamental elements of our democracy. If individual groups are attacked, the state is obligated to protect and support them – unconditionally. All groups, parties, or entities that explicitly and systematically marginalize minorities, deprive them of their rights and in any way encourage their persecution, are in violation of these principles. They must, within the framework of the constitution, be prosecuted and possibly banned.
Germany has a democracy deficit. We are part of the solution.
We are disappointed by established political parties. Instead of taking a clear democratic stance in favor of a pluralistic society, many of them are instead assuming the rhetoric and the political agendas of the extreme right. We have noticed that politicians are consistently ignoring the concerns and fears of Black and other People of Color (BPoC). For years, BPoC have been subject to verbal and physical abuse. Many politicians however only became seriously concerned about or interested in this issue after Walter Lübke, a CDU politician, was murdered.
A solution to this democracy problem is only possible if the experiences and the needs of migrants, Black and People of color are also heard.
Germany is a pluralistic society and that is the way it should be.
Not only white people, but also millions of Black and People of Color (BPoC) call this their home. Nevertheless, they still suffer from a lack of visibility and representation. When there is reference to a collective national “We”, we are not included. Even our right to exist is still being called into question. This is also our country. And we have made it what it is: a post-migrant society in a democratic republic.
We believe in the strength of universal human rights.
We don’t want to be told that diversity is an advantage or a chance for society. This is not about whether our presence is useful. Societal plurality is an unshakeable fundament of our democracy. Migrants, Black and People of Color do not have to achieve or contribute more, be satisfied with less or be grateful. We have the right to live here. Period.
- A strategy against racism: We need a comprehensive, legal framework for combatting racism, anti-semitism, and the entire spectrum of inhuman and discriminatory attitudes. We need social policies and clear regulations for implementing respective measures. And Germany must revise and improve its principles and procedures for prosecuting racism, as was demanded by the UN-Committee for the Elimination of Discrimination (CERD) in 2013.
- A concentrated approach to combatting right-wing extremism and other inhumane ideologies and conspiracy theories: The current approach to preventing the spread of right-wing and national-chauvinistic ideologies is inadequate. We demand a radical increase of the resources available for the protection of people in Germany against hate on the internet. The problem cannot be addressed solely through security policy. We need, above all, investments in prevention and a comprehensive social policy that is more effective at prohibiting racism and anti-semitism.
- A legal right to participation: Political parties, public authorities, welfare organizations and many other institutions are, in the year 2020, still over-proportionately white. Equal treatment for everyone in this country must have greater priority and set on a more solid legal foundation (Participation Law). We also need a quota for Black and People of Color, as voluntary measures have failed to achieve this goal.
- Voting rights for all: Millions of people have lived in Germany for many years and are still excluded from political participation. In a country of immigration that considers itself to be a democracy, this practice is unacceptable and outdated. Anyone who has resided in Germany for longer than 3 years should have the right to vote in local elections. We demand furthermore that full voting rights are granted after 5 years, particularly at the national level.A modern naturalization law: German citizenship paves the way for the legal equality of migrants and improves the educational opportunities of their children. In a democracy, as many residents as possible should therefore have access to citizenship. To achieve this, we need birthright citizenship: people who are born in Germany should, regardless of the status of their parents, be entitled to become German citizens (this right is currently conditional). The process of naturalization should be simplified and free of charge.
- Radical reform of the educational system: Around 40% of children who enter the schools have a so-called immigrant background – in some cities it is more than half. This means that the history of immigration must be given more attention. We need an independent entity in the schools that registers complaints and actively addresses discrimination in schools. Education must not be allowed to take place in a segregated setting. The curriculum must explicitly address colonialism, racism, anti-semitism, and discrimination.