Refugees in Bremen fighting for protection
Vulnerability, power relation, and the double-standards of structural racism in Corona times
Since the beginning of the pandemic COVID-19, the German media have been full of calls for solidarity, with demands to stand together in times of crisis and to take care of others. A wide range of diverse practices and domains, ranging from neighborhood aid (Vetter 2020, TAZ 2020a) and large national “rescue parachutes” for the economy (Heuser 2020) to international cooperation between the pharmaceutical industry and research, are all framed as solidarity (WHO 2020). These expanding solidarities can also be read as calls for communitization, defined by the boundaries of the said and the sayable in the Foucauldian sense. In the public discourses, the imagined community of the “we” is mostly defined as a national one. The closing of national borders to protect one’s population thus seems not only logical but equally natural, as does the restriction to German citizens of the fetch-back action declared as “airlift” with historical references to the Cold War (Tagesschau 17 March 2020). Those who have lived in Germany with another nationality for a long time, sometimes decades, are excluded by this media-effective “rescue mission” (Finke 2020). The exclusions currently observed are not accidental. Instead, they are both the effect and continuation of socio-spatial and discursive exclusions, of which the mass accommodation of refugees in Germany is a central example.