I have a new Heroine and her name is Tess Asplund!
Every once in a while when someone does something so utterly morally right simply because their whole being knows it’s should be done is when I find myself shouting my approval from the sidelines.
What Tess did to show her defiance of hate was a spontaneous act of unmitigated bravery.
“We live in a Europe where far-right ideas are becoming more popular, and there is also a reaction against them. It is a time when people are longing for something to channel their urge to resist the Europe that builds borders against refugees, the Europe that cannot cooperate anymore. Tess has captured one of the conflicts of our time,” -Daniel Poohl of Expo, the anti-racist foundation in Stockholm, Sweden.
Last Friday I had a crazy-looking woman shout at me “to get out of the way of a person who is a jobholder” as I wrote my bike down the street of a very multicultural neighborhood where she looked to be out-of-place actually. Riding by, I took in her appearance, her instability and her words and thought “Oh, Pegida are on the street.” I laughed and kept on riding because talking to her would have been a waste of my time and energy. She crossed the street and started screaming at someone else who yelled back.
I’ve lived in Germany for close to 20 years now and I have witnessed its transition from a closed Society in my early days in Cottbus to a more open one in during my time in Berlin.
I’ve been yelled at by Skinheads in Cottbus and coughed on in the Supermarket by an old woman wanting to show her disdain. From my early Berlin days where I gathered my bravery before travelling to Warschauerstr when I needed to take the S-Bahn knowing full well that the Skinheads would be hanging out at the bridge to shout their ideologies at people passing by.
I once gathered news stories on race relations and read articles on the experiences of those growing up Afro-German and of The African Diaspora in Europe.
My experiences have been at times lovely, curious, funny, hate filled, joyful and strengthening.
Each has played its role in assisting me into becoming the person that I am.
I have friends who are open-minded and not nationalistic.
Their experience of life has led them into becoming open to those from other cultures while still maintaining a healthy sense of self and pride in the good of the Country where they come from.
At the same time their eyes are not blind to the bad in the world. In one way or another they are trying to make it better for us all in the way that they choose to behave.
We live in a World where dispersion occurs for many reasons.
The “Diaspora” is a reality of our collective lives.
We have one Earth which is the home of all living beings.
Collectively we can work towards making “Our Home” more beautifully bountiful for us all.
Otherwise, those who are afraid of losing out will continue to make this Blue Sphere a place of misery for all time to come.
Through it all, my experiences have taught me that Good will triumph over evil always again and again.
Whether with raised Fist, a silent laugh or closed mouth, evil will bow down to Justice because We Are a People Who Overcome.