Above the Pandemic: Black lives Matter

The phrase “Black lives matter” in the recent years had been opposed by various people; mostly assumed to be a slogan that is just limited to black people, thus, saying that only black lives matter.

However, no one really tried to grasp the underlying issue, its not that only black lives matter, its just that black lives are under threat. In the recent ongoing protest regarding the homicide of George Floyd by one of the police officers of Minneapolis Police, protesters rephrased the slogan and said “black lives matter too”, or “all lives matter”, consequently minor concerns were erased and the meaning conveyed by each protester became very clear, that is, the end of racism, a weed that must be plucked out of the society.

If we look at the world around us, a lot many people are being oppressed because of their beliefs, their religion, or even their skin color. In previous time, people refused to stand up regarding such issues, “Black lives matter” was only chanted by black people. But now, history has witnessed a rare unity, one that warms the heart of each distant viewer and arouses in them feeling of oneness. As Toni Morris had once said, “There is no such thing as a race, its just the human race, scientifically, anthropologically. Racism is a construct, a social construct.” Indeed it is very clear, that peoples attitudes towards other people of color, or even people of different religions and beliefs is in itself a form of oppression or promotion of racism. Racism in itself is nothing.

Its 2020 and the world has been struck by a horrific pandemic, we are told to maintain our distance and stay home. However, the death of George Floyd has erased the distance between so many people, those that are privileged and those that are oppressed have become one in this cause. The anger, the sense of humanity and the courage of the peaceful protesters is admirable. Though in such tough times people are advised to remain apart, they stand together, regardless of what may happen to them. Such an act of selflessness may not be logically appreciated but it is still applaudable.

“Make America great again” a slogan of the Trump government carries an agenda, an ideology which speaks for itself. A nation can only become great if it thrives on the principles of justice, even for the minorities without discrimination. Ever since President Donald Trump has taken over the office, we can clearly see how “great” America has become. Racism, white supremacy and unnecessary killings by the police, increase in hate crimes and aggression towards minorities had started to become a norm, until people had enough.

We are aware of several violations of human rights within the US. even before President Donald Trump was elected. Such a case can be reported where a 31 year old woman Erika Menendez pushed a young man named Sunando Sen in front of a train because she assumed he was Muslim. On being detained she explained why she had committed the crime, saying:

“I pushed a Muslim off the train tracks because I hate Hindus and Muslims… Ever since 2001 when they put down the Twin Towers, I’ve been beating them up.”

Such thoughts and hate crimes were common until in 2016 President Trump appeared before America promising to make it Great once again. What he actually meant was to wipe out the ethnic minorities, devoid them of their rights, act causal on police officers targeting black people and promote white supremacy. Thus, America was still the same, except it became more brutal, more racist, more violent. There is no authority that has deemed it likely to settle these issue in a fair manner, which often points towards the validity of the institutions, or if there are any left.

The drastic change from winning towards failing miserable, we certainly doubt the credibility of President Trumps words. It definitely depends on what President Trump considers winning and who he genuinely considers to be Americans.

“When the looting starts, the shooting starts” – Donald Trump

As the protests are taking an ugly turn, President Trump believes that certain groups are behind the violence and looting, which he calls the “antifa” he believes the organization should be labeled as terrorists, but antifa isn’t a proper organization by definition, thus, the probability of labeling a group as “terrorist”seems unlikely. It is to be noted that people considered violence as a means to gain their rights, or to be heard, such a measure is only adopted when there is zero response from the authorities. When they chose to remain ignorant, such a response can be expected. The Minneapolis Police station was burned recently by the protesters in response to the murder of George Floyd. People have lost faith in the system, in the police, in the justice.

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It’s the year 2020 and justice is a luxury, a blessing. One can not achieve it easily in times like these where the oppressors have taken shape of rulers and have guarded their intentions with a veil of concern for the state. Humanity is slowly dying, but as long as we carry within ourselves the ability to stand up against what’s wrong we may let the spark of hope thrive despite the harsh storms. Racism, George Floyd, the Minneapolis police isn’t just a black people problem, rather it is a problem of each and every American citizen, especially the privileged, it is a duty upon each white person to use the power they have and stand up for what’s right. So that we all may not suffocate under the burdening existence of cruelty, so that we all can breathe in a world were everyone is equal and no one holds superiority over another human being on the basis of their skin color.

People of power, privilege, and moral conscience must stand up and say “no more” to a racially discriminatory police and justice system, immoral economic disparities between whites and blacks, and government actions that undermine our unified democracy. We are responsible for creating a world of peace and equality for ourselves and future generations. We need a government as good as its people, and we are better than this.

– Jim Carter, former President of U.S.

Black lives do matter, white lives do matter, no one must die because of their color or religious beliefs, no one has the right to end someones life because of their own prejudice. In a world were everyone is equal, there will be peace, and even if there may be injustice, as long as there exist even a single person to stand against it the world will thrive.

Join the movement and support the hashtag #BlacklivesMatter and #AlllivesMatter through social media, do it for all the George Floyd’s that were killed, raise your voice so that one day you too may not suffocate under the foot of cruelty.

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Laiba Shafiq

Writer, Poet & Storyteller. I believe the right words when put together can change the world, one person at a time.

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