The right to bear existence



Black Lives Matter! Let’s try to understand it before we make any assumptions, conclusions, or queries regarding this movement. The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement is built upon the foundation of human rights. The movement campaigns against violence and systematic racism towards Black people. They are an institution inclusive of Black lives all along the gender spectrum. Black liberation movements have long been marginalised by society. The BLM movement asserts humanity, viable contributions to society, and resilience in the face of ongoing oppression. They stand with the help of people around them who support the basic notions of humanity and unchallenged existence. It is hard to conceive that all of this is happening in a country that claims America as the “melting pot of nationalities, cultures, and ethnicities.” Due to events that have undeniably contradicted basic humanity, the BLM movement has been forced to prove their point and in general, justify their very existence. This is the twenty-first century. Movements such as this should not have to exist. Oppressed individuals should not have to worry that their welfare is determined by the colour of their skin or their social status. Nevertheless, they do exist and must be heard. We must listen.

            Bring out the national guard, folks, because the pitchforks and kerosene-soaked torches that define mob mentality have just been revived. Peaceful protests, and other acts attempting to induce societal change are the essence of a human rights movement like BLM. What have we done to turn this into an unnerving fight between unjustified violence and justified protest? We have seen headlines reading, “14 days of protest, 19 dead” (Jemima McEvoy, Forbes), “Riot Deaths Ignored by Major Networks” (Douglas Ernst, Washington Times), “Amid Unrest, America Is Unrecognizable To Its Allies” (Kevin Drew, U.S. News and World Reports). These drastically outweigh “the vast majority of Black Lives Matter protests – more than 93% – [which] have been peaceful” (Sanya Mansoor, Time Magazine). They involve no serious harm to people or damage to property. So the real question is, why does the media only give credibility and coverage to the violent acts committed by people who provoke civil unrest? That includes external influencers of society, such as political parties, and groups looking for an outlet to loot, riot, and harm innocent people. Apart from the civil war and, possibly the Rodney King protests in 1992, there have never been deeper divisions within this country. At the center lies the toxic polarity of partisan politics. Us versus them. The preconceived notion is that, if you are either strictly left or right, you are hated. No matter what our political views are, it is not productive to be dismissive of the other faction. The ability to have a civil conversation simply does not exist, and that is an existential threat to the human race. Look at where we are now because of this mindset. Listen to and look at the civil unrest at our doorsteps. How much louder do the screams need to be and how red the blood before we realise the danger of our state of being.

            The frustration is that the chaos and destruction is directly associated with BLM. Let us be very clear. It is not BLM organising the destruction of property, the killing of innocent people, or looting of small businesses. The blame for this situation falls on all of us who align ourselves with political parties who place their re-election prospects ahead of basic morality. Gratuitous violence is even more reprehensible when leveraged off the backs of those trying to defeat what is possibly the most heinous poison in society, racism.

            We have acknowledged the wretched truth and alerted ourselves of its deafening presence, what next? The status quo says to find a scapegoat. It seems that as of recent, our go to host for the blame has been the “Bad Seed Policy”. By definition, designating a bad seed amongst a community is blaming a seemingly small but highly influential ‘bad seed’. That individual or group is used to generalise an entire community whether it be political, race, religion, sex, etc. Wait just a minute, we have to set the record straight; The issue is not the bad seed, it is the flawed status quo and corrupted policy. Yes, there is good and bad on both sides of an injustice/argument, but we can no longer use it as a means of masking what has to be undone. The status quo is that the highest groups in society possess the right and power to define and establish the way things are. In return, our flawed policies and systems of resources instill in us, from a very young age, that this is the way of life and there is nothing that we can do about it. Fighting the system doesn’t mean us against them. Combating this status quo means attacking the root of the problem which lies within our way of life as a whole population. Contrary to popular belief, we exist together and for each other. Let us not decide other’s futures because of a detestable policy that stands over their capability. We all have humanity in us. It really is not hard to understand that this is a world progressing. We have to loosen the grip on our ability to show compassion, understanding, and cooperation. While this is not something that can happen over night, we have to start somewhere and what better than a time like our current situation of dangerous civil unrest.

            Yes, history cannot be changed, but it can certainly be rewritten and used for the betterment and empowerment of a community involving human beings of all sorts of backgrounds. Stereotyping and categorising does not mean protection or ‘better safe than sorry.’ It means, dismissing the right that an individual has to be alive and exist without the challenges of categorisation and restriction due to skin colour, religion, sexual identity, ethnicity, race, etc. Accepting a progressive nature and socially identifying differences amongst people does not necessarily mean bad; it means the enhancement and enrichment of a world that has the potential to be a most beautiful site. However, that cannot happen by itself, we have to be the doers and the hosts for an imaginable future.


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