Reality Check: What I Am Doing To Understand This Situation Better #BLM

7:40 PM I wake up every day and hope the news won't share any more terrible happenings... what a beautiful dream that is not happening right now. The protests are making waves, which is great, but there are still killings and shootings happening which makes me sad, mad, frustrated and whatever emotion you can imagine. You know it, because you feel the same.

They say feelings are the best medicine. 
Okay, then let's feel together and heal. Together. 

Easier said than done. 

I am really glad that everyone is busy right now gathering info, facts, and educational things (it was about time... also we should have done it earlier without the current happenings happen), but at the same time, I am hoping that those words are not empty words. 
We see some influencers sharing the weirdest content right now and I want people to wake up and realize that this is not a situation for anyone to make weird ads and share fake sympathy.... this isn't art, this is simple bullshit, so please get your shit together and just share the things that are essential and useful! 

What can I do?
No, really.

I shared some book tips already, organizations to donate to, helpful links, activists to follow, important videos and documentaries, and a lot more. This is of course a small step and only the beginning, but I believe it is more important that I am sharing with you what I am really doing. I can tell you about 100 things, but how real does that sound to you if I don't do one of those things or show you what little things one can do to contribute.

I am not the richest, nor the most followed here, but I am using my voice, my creative power, and especially my privilege to fight and spread awareness, speaking up for those who can't. How my actions look like right now can be read in the following. I will surely do plenty of more. 

First of all I chose to donate to a special organization which I believe needs a lot of attention! I chose campaign zero, because they fight for ending police violence - which is the reason we are all fighting and protesting around the globe. The donated funds will support the analysis of policing practices across the country, research to identify effective solutions to end police violence, technical assistance to organizers leading police accountability campaigns and the development of model legislation and advocacy to end police violence nationwide.
This is major and we need more people who can donate whatever they got! 

Check yourself. Reality check. I checked myself. All my life, I have been walking around with the best intentions always, but I guess that there have been a couple of things that I said unconsciously wrong or with the wrong intentions. Being not aware of my privilege or being too comfortable with my privilege. With geographical boundaries I simply thought that I am too far away from scenarios and so it was easier to exlude myself from happenings. Other times, I am so busy with my own bullshit that I feel that any more heavy ballast is not good for me. I am an empath and I am way too emotional and weak when it comes to energies - I don't like disruptions. But then, you think about the magical word: perspective. This helped me so much in the past and I need to involve it in this scenario as well. This is not about me. This is about us. Why do human beings value people simply by their color? Who taught those values, thoughts, and ideas? How do we interact in a fair and human way with each other? There are many questions. But one answer is for sure: it begins at home. Our families teach us about ideas, experiences, and behavior. This continues in schools and social circles. You know this, because you experienced the same circle of life. And here we are. All the same, but also different. This is shit. 
My duty now is to talk to my parents, my sister, the people I care about. Even though they said things they didn't mean... education, awareness - there's a huge exchange that is definitely needed. Also when I am having kids one day, it's important to teach them the same things. Ughhhh....the world needs to understand how important education is. 

That's my next point. Education. I am a book worm and nerd, and so I ordered plenty of books which will hopefully give me moooore insight and understanding! I started with Ralph Ellison's "Invisible Man" and will continue with Nelson Mandela's "Conversations With Myself - a book I wanted to read since I've been in Cape Town two years ago...
In my shopping cart I have already put some new books in, even though my to-read pile over here is huge. Day by day, there's a new book I fall in love with or I just think of a topic I want to analyze further. I love this energy. Let's keep this vibe! 

But it also makes me question so much. I am a creative, but I am also a historian. I studied history and American studies. It didn't happen naturally, I just ended up with this, because I was curious after several majors simply disappointed me. 
Being always connect to USA and its culture, I was intrigued studying American studies — combined with history I will leave the campus as a smart ass I thought. 
Well, my university loved to focus on medieval times and super old history. I studied the weirdest things visiting the most absurd classes. I wanted to focus on newer history, especially American history. What do I know about American history? I know some historical facts from reading and also the movie industry. In high school we got to know MLK and the civil rights movement with Rosa Park and then we moved on. I wanted to dig in deeper, but my university didn't offer the things  I wanted to learn. Most of the offer was white related and unimportant manner. I ended up learning a lot privately with my favorite books, all by myself.
University education was very one-sided and not diverse at all. I always complained, but never changed it.

I took a trip down to memory lane. Hold up, the same actually happened in high school. White history 24/7. Everything white. I clench my fist and get angry. I never realized this move.
How many times did we talk about the French revolution and industrialization? It's always "the white superpower who is amazing doing this and bla." – after this long and exhausting learning period, I should have known better. Again, I never complained anywhere. Thank god I am not scared to open my mouth today, so I decided to use my voice to fight for some changes in the education sector. This means more diversity classes at university and more  history that will make us feel uncomfortable. Think about the values you want to teach the next generation. All they learn is that exploiting, killing, and racism is the right way to succeed. This is the wrong approach.
And with learning only a limited window of our rich history, opinions and stereotypes will live on forever. I take this seriously and wrote a couple of mails to our educational ministers, schools, and universities.

How can we actually get active? Using our voice. Let me share another personal story how I might have found my calling for fighting for everything that seems wrong to me... 
Recently, I remembered one of my favorite Mos Def  (now Yasiin Bey) songs "Umi Says" — I will always keep this close, because it was one of the songs that taught me that this world is kind of fucked up and we have to fight. I listened to this music when I was a kid and my English skills were still in baby shoes. But I loved hip hop and I could easily vibe to it. Hearing Mos Def sing ’I want black people to be free' was something that touched and moved me - did I understand it fully? I don't recall. In 11th grade I held a presentation on civil rights and ended it with this song. I asked my fellow students to listen closely. I was the only one enjoying old school hip hop and conscious rap in my class, I could tell how bored they were throughout my presentation. When I played the song, the bell rang and everybody got up and left. I stood there with Mos Def playing in the back and my teacher smiling uncomfortably. I was really mad this day and couldn't believe how ignorant my class was. I couldn't teach them new things, but I wanted to open their eyes and see a new perspective. I guess they weren't ready. 

Even though most of the part of my class was dreaming during my presentation, I felt confident throughout my talk and I was proud to share my input and how we can change this situation. This was the moment where my Sagittarius fire was heavily sparked and I understood that if they don't want to fight that's their problem, no matter what, I'm not giving up and I will continue with my mission. 
So you see. You don't need to start with big things. It's the small things like having a conversation. Or share music with your friends and discuss the content! Help organizations - be a voice that simply never shuts up. 🙃 Speak your mind. Start a book club and discuss! 

picture by Dieter Leder

My sister and I went to the silent protest that happened in our city and I am so glad that 25 cities throughout Germany stood up to show that we are all in this together! What a great day it was! This energy was insane and I hope that many people who gathered here (this is in Mannheim) take this energy and turn it into a greater movement! I wanted to go to a march or silent protest to show up and don't be silent. I laced up my running shoes and ran my miles, dedicating my runs to Ahmaud Arbery. Any movement, any action is a sign of strength, not silence. 

Listening to all this music from my teenage years, I got back listening to my favorite jams and reconnected with the artists and songs. I was not sure if I really understood all of the lyrics right, so I wanted to study them again, seeing if I can learn something new today. I really recommend Yasiin Bey's (Mos Def) "Black On Both Sides". Listening to the album again, I think of Childish Gambino's "This Is America", and then Kendrick sings in my ear. I went through Spotify and gave everything a play. Mhmmm... those master pieces matter so much right now!! 

I need to add something here...this is my favorite video of all time!!!! Please watch "Alright" if you haven't so far...

With all the extra stress hitting our cells and brains, I am dedicated to learn more about mental health, especially when it comes to POC and mental health. I can tell you a thousand things about my mental health and how I deal with certain things, but unfortunately, everybody and every skin color experiences mental health and trauma on a different level. I will do my best research to help you and give you a bit of support to make you have a little comfort in this crazy world. More soon!

I spent a couple of hours on Netflix and I checked online what kind of films or documentaries I could watch. I just watched James Baldwin's "I Am Not Your Negro" - I wanted to see this forever. Next I will watch "Who Killed Malcolm X?" on Netflix! What are you watching?
I also watched Dave Chappelle's "8:46"  which is really worth a watch!!

What else am I doing right now? I'm practicing compassion. Taking it day by day and making sure to take care of the people around me. Even if it's just a quick text - know that I'm here to support, protect, and elevate! Showing love to companies and organizations who do the right work! Again: donate! The rest of my power and energy is being used for making art right now and this is the best way to show compassion, respect, and love. 

Before I finish this here, one question: how are you? 
Know that you matter and please make sure to rest when you feel like this is too much for you right now! Please take care of your mental health as well!! 

Love to all of you, K! 🤍