The above CC0 image comes courtesy of Pixabay.com
If you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh? If you poison us do we not die? And if you wrong us shall we not revenge?
(The Merchant of Venice 3.1 – William Shakespeare)
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What must it feel like to live in the US under the constant threat that you may be picked up for a crime you did not commit, may be arrested, ostensibly for some misdemeanour when in reality it’s because your skin colour is the wrong shade, in a police authority’s estimation?
What must it be like to live in fear, wondering whether your child will come home safely from school, or the shops, or from playing with his friends?
What must it feel like to live with the reality that one day the murder statistics could include your partner, or loved one, simply because of the colour of their skin?
What must it be like?
What must it feel like to turn on the TV again, and again, and again, see footage and hear media reports, which clearly indicate: Black lives do not matter?
What must it feel like to hear on the grapevine, or be told point blank “Black lives don’t matter”?
I sympathise with Shylock in the Merchant of Venice (see quote above). I can just imagine how he must have felt!
When did race, or skin colour become a passport for living, for staying alive, for being able to go about your day-to-day business, for being afforded the civil liberty of innocence, until proven guilty?
When did skin colour (and not the blood that runs through one’s veins), become the thing that determines whether or not you are a human being? I refer to the recent, merciless killing of George Floyd.
It is sad, in fact, reprehensible, when those who are given the authority to uphold the law thinks it is in order to flout it, to take that law into their own hands, to even outright break the law! And not only break the laws of the land, break the law they are paid to uphold, but also break the unspoken laws of compassion, decency and moral rectitude.
Well “they” are certainly not getting away with it this time. The people have spoken. Uproar reigns, not just in the US but also in the UK.
Black lives don’t matter? Think again. Black lives do matter!
Black lives may not matter to the police community. Black lives may not matter to the political echelons. Black lives may not matter to the likes of Donald Trump. Black lives may not matter to the likes of his redneck supporters. Black lives may not matter to those who feel not one iota of compassion because I’m white and I’m alright Jack!
But Black lives do matter to the hundreds, even thousands of people whose skin colour matches those of the men and woman who have lost their lives at the hands of racist police.
Black lives do matter to the hearts of those who recognise that it is the blood that runs through our veins, not the colour of our skins, which make us human. Black lives do matter to the hundreds and thousands of protestors that are making their voice and outrage heard in loud, unmistakeable tones.
Black lives do matter to the God above who sees and hears and knows all. To the One who created those individuals and sustained their Black lives until it was deliberately and prematurely taken. May they rest in peace!
And one day, those who lynched, or shot or kneeled upon, or used unnecessary violence to enforce their authority and demonstrate their power, and used it with the sole intention of expressing their hatred and snuffing out those Black lives, will have to give an account to their Maker.
What excuse or justification will you give, oh mighty white one, oh despicable racist? What excuse will you give?
And how will you feel when the measure of mercy you showed to those Black lives, will be the measure of mercy you receive when you are pronounced “guilty” and tossed into the fiery realms of hell along with your infernal conspirator, Satan?—or perhaps you refer to him as “Old Nick”!
Will you realise then, when it’s too late that every life matters, including Black lives?
Black lives matter!
A Disgusted Citizen of this World & Joint-Owner of a Black Life
For further reading:
One article from an expert’s viewpoint
Three suggestions on how you may help:
1. Increase your awareness
2. Offer practical support
3. Spread the word!
Were you touched by this post? Are you concerned about racial oppression and injustice?
Share your thoughts in a comment box below. Please don’t just read this post. Kindly share it with all your social media contacts and consider what small thing you can do to spread awareness and change this pernicious feature of our society.