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Thursday, 16 February 2017

Why I don't agree with #BlackLivesMatter


'Malcom X!' he called out. 'Do you mind shaking hands with a white man?'
Just as the traffic light turned green, I told him - 'I don't mind shaking hands with human beings. Are you one?'
-The Autobiography of Malcolm X

Dear black people,
I get it. I understand why you’re angry. I used to feel exactly the same. Hundreds of years of slavery, followed by the Jim Crow Laws. Civil rights for black people having to be fought for in the 1960s and 1970s. The colonialism of Africa, with Africans still pandering to the whims of Europeans. Not to mention the only black history taught in schools is slavery with a bit of Ancient Egypt thrown in in primary school.

But let us also not forget the genocide of the millions of Native Americans when the Europeans entered America. The Holocaust of the Jews during the Second World War, and the enslavement of Jewish people in Ancient Egypt. The fact that millions of Palestinians have been forced out of their home country. The fact that colonialism also affected Asians, with many facing discrimination. The immigration of Italians to America and many of them being ostracised. The rise of the mafia in Italy under Spanish rule, when the poor Italian peasants had no one to look after them because the government ignored them. The fact that a white upper class woman was seen as more valuable than a white lower class man when the Titanic ship was sinking. The immense poverty of the people in the USSR under Stalin’s rule for fifty years. The suffering that people in North Korea are undergoing at the present moment  and have been since the 1950s under totalitarian communism. The fact that millions and millions of peasants and serfs across the world will have lived painstakingly difficult lives under feudal and free market capitalist rule. And the fact that in times of early humanity, Africans had great empires and ruled over other poor black people as Kings and Queens. And most wealthy people living in a feudal system have had servants or slaves.

The point is, yes, black people have suffered. But every dog has his day. Every ethnic group of human beings has suffered. One could say that women have always suffered more than men, but if we break it down that too is neither black nor white. Yes, men have historically had more power than women. But the average poor working man would not have had much power at all under centuries of feudal rule in Europe. Men have also been expected to do most of the work and fight in wars, whereas women have been given the gift of bearing and raising children. Not that this is all women are worth and no one thinks that raising a child is easy, but no woman will ever have been called to go and die for her country, or to work long and punishing hours to provide for her family, or to go out and fight the other tribal men.

But what of the subject of police brutality? As a British person, I am aware of the horrific violence that goes on in America due to the legislation of guns and the aggressive nature of the police. But police brutality does not only affect black people. It affects everyone. According to CNN, in 2014 233 African Americans were killed by cops, 414 White Americans were killed, 138 Hispanic Americans were killed, 15 Asian Americans were killed and 311 had an unreported ethnicity. Having said this, there are more white people in America than black people, and in light of the newly formed 'Native Lives Matter', Native Americans apparently have the highest reports of cop killings. But this isn't the point. The point is, HUMAN BEINGS ARE GETTING KILLED. The media sensationalizes the deaths of young black youths, leading us to believe that this is an issue only affecting young black youths. It isn't, it's due to the violent and aggressive nature of American police. And what about black-on-black crime? Much of the crimes and murders against black people happen within their own poor ghetto communities. In any poor community, crime increases. This is irregardless of ethnic background.

 And what of the black racists within the BLM movement? Whilst I am aware that not every single person in the BLM movement is a racist cop hater, many of the members are racist cop haters. One of the co-founders, Yusra Khogali, claimed that black people are superior to white people and that white people are 'sub-humans' with 'genetic defects.' Assata Shakur, one of the heroes of the movement, is a black supremacist and police murderer wanted by the FBI. Chants like 'fuck the pigs!' run through the rioting streets as the BLM movement boycotted the Toronto Gay Pride rally. This includes hatred of all cops, even the non-white ones; even the peaceful ones who just do their jobs and don't abuse their power. White people are not allowed to attend BLM rallies or protests. And no one can rule out the beating to death of an autistic white boy by four young black youths. No non-racist white person should have to feel guilty for something their ancestors did hundreds of years ago. Not to mention that not every single white family would have been able to afford to own slaves.

Violence cannot be fought with violence and Black Lives Matter is hindering progression and racial equality, not helping it. I respect both MLK and Malcolm X, but the current world needs the philosophy of MLK. Malcolm himself abandoned his radical black separatism in his later years. Towards the end of his life Malcolm stated that he was friends with people of all ethnic backgrounds and religions or lack thereof. Black Lives Matter should not exist in 2017. Nor should the Feminist Movement, the LGBT Movement, or any kind of movement. The only movement that we need is the Humanist Movement. Viewing each and every person as a human that deserves to be treated fairly regardless of superficial things like skin colour, being a man or a woman, or sexuality. I am a black person. So what? What does it matter what colour my skin is? I am of a mixed heritage – half Indian, half Tanzanian. What does this matter for anything other than pure description? My blood is made of minerals. What does it matter what country my parents came from? Countries are nothing but pieces of land and concrete and cultures are all intertwined nowadays. See post: Race is a social construct 

I relate to people on an emotional and/or intellectual level. I connect with people based on what they are like as a person. And someday I hope to see a world like this. A world where we put aside superficial nonsense like skin pigmentation and just look at the person inside. All lives do indeed matter, and no one should view one ‘type’ of people’s problems as more important than another’s. The problems I have faced in my life have had absolutely nothing to do with being black. In fact, what little discrimination I have faced in my life has been from black people; when I was about twelve/thirteen I was described as ‘black on the outside, white on the inside’ by black teenagers I went to school with. And isn’t that in itself a racist comment? It is assuming that just because we share the same skin tone we will act the same. I am an individual, and so are you. So look around, enjoy the world and your fellow humans, and be aware that if one day we are all attacked by an alien race, we shall need to unite together as one race of humans.

#AllLivesMatter

Sincerely,
A human being that happens to have brown skin.

Do you agree with black lives matter or are you more 'all lives matter'? Do you think racism is coming to and end or there's still work left to do? Leave a comment below saying what you think!

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