Anti-Black racism in Switzerland: Three women tell of - view

It began with the violent death of the African-American George Floyd. And spread within days across the world: the protests against racism. Also in Switzerland

Anti-Black racism in Switzerland: Three women tell of - view

It began with the violent death of the African-American George Floyd. And spread within days across the world: the protests against racism. Also in Switzerland the people can go on the road, about ten thousand were on Tuesday alone in Geneva. "Silence kills," or "I'm black, I exist" could be read on the posters at the Black Lives Matter rally. Show: racism is everywhere in Switzerland. Black people are stopped by the police because they are suspected of Dealerei or Prostitution. You have trouble to find a job. And you need to listen to constantly remarks about her appearance. In Particular, Women.

We want to know more and ask: What is it in Switzerland, to be a black woman? Olga Madjinodji (xx), Mandy Abou Shoak (30) and Brandy Butler (40) talking about their experiences. This requires, unfortunately, still courage. A lot of the asked women said. Are you afraid of hostility and violence.

About this feeling, not to be themselves. To behave overloaded fits, because you know that your behavior all the Black to be measured.

In Switzerland there is little research on Black – to racism. Statistics one searches in vain. Skin color is not collected, where and how Black people are discriminated against, you can't prove. It is known that since the 1980s, with the Migration from the former colonial countries, the presence of Blacks has increased. Biel is one of those cities with the largest African Diaspora in Switzerland, with a share of 17 percent of the total population. However, not all Black people come from Africa. Many have no experience of migration, they are born here. And those who came to Switzerland were made here to Black. As Olga Madjinodji, who fled with her family from Chad in the Switzerland. "I've done that before, never thought about the color of my skin."

A study by the Federal government to live together in Switzerland (ZidS) shows that Three-quarters of the people in Switzerland believe that Blacks and apartment search experience discrimination. At the same time it results but also: A majority finds that racism is against Blacks in Switzerland, not a big Problem. A Paradox.

racism against Blacks comes from the colonial time

The colonialism researcher Jovita Dos Santos Pinto (36) explains it this way: "racism against Blacks is not so anchored in the Swiss culture that most perceive." Many see black women as beauties or as a sex object, or on the road a wide berth to a black man, because they are afraid. Because stereo of sound types, which originate from the colonial period. "Many believe that Switzerland had nothing to do with slavery, that is wrong," says Dos Santos Pinto.

documents there is enough. Now you know that the Swiss founding fathers earned in the slave trade. The SBB, the ETH Zurich, the Credit Suisse and Swiss Life – this is the heritage of the Zurich national hero, Alfred Escher is based on income from a Slave plantation. 1822 - African coffee plantation in the Escher family 82 field and 5 house slaves were on a Cuba busy. A comparable property in Brazil in the middle of the 19th century. Century was between 300'000 and 500'000 Swiss francs value – between four and six million francs, this would be today.

In Basel were involved in the 18. Century rides to three generations of the company Burckhardt to a total of 21 Slave.

In new castle, the banker David de Pury (1709-1786) of his native town, bequeathed a fortune – that he earned, among other things, by the slave trade in the Portuguese court. And the famous new Burger zoologist Louis Agassiz (1807-1873) - spread of their own racial theories. Still a mountain peak bears his name.

about 100 people to come look. Until 1939, the people of Switzerland found people from the colonial countries as a Wild for all to see. A merciless business: As of 1822, the "fire country" of Chile died, went to the exhibition with the Survivors of the group – at a reduced price. The "human zoo" belonged to the circus knee to the mid-1960s to the program.

Black as a wild idiots

All this is reflected in our advertising, in children's books, in the school. Puppet visited by Black people in Africa were not so smart. In the stories of Globi Black also appear only as a wild idiots. And the national fairy tale aunt Trudi Gerster told by the young Africans Wumbo-Wumbo under the title "The stupid N****". Later, she was brought to the sentence add: "that you may believe that all N****kids are stupid. Some of them are even a Professor." And who knows the "Who's afraid of the black man?" from children, not days?

How it felt to run as a Black, the Swiss Idyll of fifty years, the famous Afro-American writer James Baldwin (1924-1987). He worked in Leukerbad, VS a book. Some villagers feared that he would steal the wood or the village beauties. The children afterwards called him the N-word, as soon as he left the Chalet, as he writes in the Essay "Stranger in the Village": These children "have no idea what echoes of that Sound in it evokes".

Today, the N has disappeared-word almost completely. Black people need to explain as long as the First, where are you from "originally". And constantly White to grab on your body. "A white Professor would be in the canteen is never easy in the hair, a black teacher like me," says Dos Santos Pinto.

Many have precarious Jobs

how different the history and background of black people in Switzerland, there is a structural problem. Many of the overqualified Black have precarious Jobs: in retail, in care, in the cleaning industry or in construction. The Corona-crisis have shown, says Dos Santos Pinto. "Blacks have the same opportunities."

Maybe the Black Lives Matters movement, changes slowly. Now the Dubler chocolate kisses disappear from the Migros shelves. A Petition calls for a new Burger Statue is removed of David de Pury, a colonialism of researchers represents those of Alfred Escher in Zurich main station in question. And on the current rallies only Black take in many of the cities of the microphone. "It was never," says Dos Santos Pinto. "In the past, White spoke in the name of Black."

Updated Date: 12 June 2020, 12:47

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