Message of solidarity by Laurence Nodder
Clearly and unambiguously, I wish to state solidarity with all RBC graduates currently studying and living in the USA, and with all the members within our community who are or have been affected by oppression or discrimination. I cannot fully know your pain and anger and the range of emotions that people experience in these times, but in the current US context I understand that the murder of George Floyd by a policeman brings to an explosion a history and current reality of de facto oppression of people based on their race.
All my adult life I have understood that one cannot stand neutral in the face of oppression, that my moral duty is to be inclined to the oppressed.
The most meaningful existence of UWC Robert Bosch College is as a community of people, an imperfect community of people. RBC “acts” when people act. A member of staff has written to the current students and staff, inviting us to watch a documentary – 13th – about the history of anti-black racism and systemic racism within the criminal justice system in the US. This will be followed by a discussion of the film and the issues it raises. They comment: “I feel angry and sad and helpless and a half-dozen other things. Amid all that, I also feel a duty to say something, to do something, to inform myself and others — even if I do not know quite what to say or what to do. At the very least, I want to speak up within our community. Racism and racialized violence are obviously not limited to the US, and they obviously affect people of many/all ethnicities and so-called races. Still, given the immediate context, I want to acknowledge what is happening in the US right now. I want to create an opportunity for students and colleagues to learn a little bit more about the specific history of anti-black racism in the US. And I want to see if people in our community have suggestions of productive actions we can take to keep fighting against racism and to promote tolerance and respect for all people, on campus, in Freiburg, and in communities around the world.”
Any further ideas to raise awareness within the current students or the wider alumni community are of course welcome.
Again, I express solidarity with and appreciation for RBC students, staff, graduates, parents, the wider UWC community and especially NC members and all who work against oppression and for a peaceful, just world.