“Never, never be afraid to do what’s right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society’s punishments are small, compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.” ~ Martin Luther King Jnr.
To turn a blind eye to any act of injustice is complicity. The current mood of 2020 is poignant; we must take heed. Unlike the roaring nineties, we are struggling against the simultaneous mighty roars of a global pandemic and increased racial tension. The murder of George Floyd has rippled the world amid the plight of our struggle with COVID-19. How do I feel? Am I deflated and livid? Yes! How do I see? Through weary eyes looking for a solution to end such social injustice and pain? Correct.
George Floyd was a fellow human being. It saddens me to think that I learned of his existence and fate through police brutality, an ongoing institutional issue. Was I supposed to know of George Floyd in this way? Is it only through death that black power shall rise and change the world? Of course, members of the black community feel outraged by the unlawful killing of yet another black man. Why? Because black history is repeating itself in the 21st Century through systemic dehumanisation.
The wounds of our ancestors have not healed adequately; we are enduring further pain through continued blood, sweat and tears. Is racial oppression humane? Is it morally correct? No! Nobody has the right to take another man’s life—Period! We are all mere mortals, not GOD; thus, we owe it to ourselves to practise the fundamentals of civil rights. The collective voice of the black community, as it stands, is not an outcry but symbolic of a protracted struggle for equality. That is how we feel. Peaceful protests are taking place all over the world amongst people from all ethnic backgrounds as a declaration of solidarity. The overt message of the people is ‘enough is enough!’
Institutional racism is not unprecedented, unlike COVID-19; therefore, you would think the leaders of the world would have found a cure for racism. The reality of today is such that the very same persons who have the remedy in their hands hate change. They should be implementing the latter from the top-down. On the contrary, change is taking place from the bottom-up, at grassroots level amongst the actions and voices of the people.
Our God-given talents are a blessing, not a curse. The beauty of our skin is not like a lotus flower in dirty, muddy water. From dust to dust is the fate of all. No human being has the right to destroy the gift of life bestowed upon us by The Creator. A pivotal moment in history has finally come; during this time, the world unites in the Black Lives Matter movement.
To upload a black square on social media is not enough to implement complete change. The latter has enhanced the BLM movement, but the conversation and being actively anti-racist via signing petitions, peaceful protests, donations and campaigns will lead to long-term results.
Black digital creators, who I have been following for a while, consistently celebrate black history, culture and literature. To listen and to learn is an ongoing commitment rather than “things to do today.” Collectively, we must take the momentum we have created and move forward. Such annual initiatives as Black History Month and Africa Fashion Week serve to expand our cultural awareness and mindmap. In retrospect, how many of us have taken advantage of such platforms?
Additionally, we must use our channels or creative hubs to support black-owned businesses. Furthermore, knowledge is power. Why not combat lockdown boredom with insightful books? Here are my recommendations to get you started:
Black history should be a core subject as opposed to an extracurricular course of study. Improved legislation and institutional and corporate policies should further support inclusivity and diversity in practice, not just in theory. Moral teaching and core values start from home in the grand scheme of things. The younger generation follows the lead of their elders. Who will influence the trajectory of our children if we cannot act like responsible adults? Divine intervention is a powerful force. However, why wait for GOD to interject when He has given us influential power to use for the greater good.
It is a sad truth that many atop the ladder abuse their position. A police officer kneeled on George Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds for buying cigarettes with a counterfeit $20 bill. When was such animalistic brutality lawful? George Floyd cried, ‘I can’t breathe!’ and called for his ‘Momma!’ as a sacred invocation. Despite his cry for help, the oppression continued until his last breath. As the president of the United States of America, Trump has a legal, moral and ethical duty of care to his people and, as such, should nationally address systemic racism for a minimum of 8 minutes and 46 seconds. The fight goes on.
Written by @StyleIconNat