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Privilegien in Zeiten von Krisen – und was die viel zu lange Geschichte des Rassismus damit zu tun hat

Susan Arndt

Pages 373 - 396

Abstract: Every crisis is at the crossroads between what could be taken for granted so far and a possible catastrophe that is able to destroy human societies and their foundations, habits and certainties in a more profound, lasting and unconditional way than the crisis itself. Both crises and catastrophes are also human-made and always also a question of power, privileges and perspectives. Who perceives what and why as a crisis or disaster, or not? Who creates a crisis or manages survival in the midst thereof better than others – and at whose expense? This objective will be pursued while focusing on racism as one of the worst, most global and protracted catastrophes in human history. Starting off from narrating racism as ‚white‘ supremacy that guarantees privileges, the essay examines the question of what the longevity of racism has to do with the so-called “refugee crisis” and the “corona crisis”, while holding that both of them feature and uproot ‚white‘ privileges. While the so-called “refugee crisis” is all about an “identity crisis”, the Corona crisis features an “OMG-it-can-also-meet-the-white Happy Land”-narrative. The argument will be pillared on a comparative reading of Walter Benjamin’s paralysed and pessimistic “Angel of History” and the Akan-model of the future as an agency-based continuation of the past. In doing so, futureS are narrated as human-made, competitive and polyphonic societal encounters as shaped from power- coded agencies, interests and competitions.


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