A week of black protest
This has been a heavy week for black people. Many have questioned the global response to the racist murders in the USA but the reality is that when one black person hurts we all hurt. There is a racial empathy that triggers us into a depth of feelings, some anger, some sadness. Because we all know that it so easily could be any of us from getting murdered whilst jogging or sleeping in bed to police murders thankfully caught on video to highlight the ease with which black lives are erased.
My ‘favourite’ story this week was the battle of Bird Watching Cooper with Dog Abuser Amy Cooper. He called for forgiveness of her demonstration of white privilege which essentially threatened his life whilst claiming hers was threatened. This high road approach is tiresome and not helpful. Forgiving your oppressors as a means of finding inner peace is a fallacy. Let us be clear. Miss Amy wasn’t in any danger from Bird Watcher. The worst thing that could have happened in their exchange is that her dog would have been fed some unauthorised treats. But calling the police on a black man and knowing that lying about your vulnerability could lead to his death? That’s fucked up.
Black Lives Matter
The Black Lives Matter cause is a worthy one but one that is focused on getting justice on human rights grounds. That’s’ how far we have to come before anything else can be recognised. That it’s not ok to be murdered for being black. We’ve got a long way to go and in the interim we have generations of black people who have to battle through each day dealing with the burden of being black.
Black people and particularly those in the diaspora live with this level of uncertainty ALL THE TIME. We cover a lot of it with humour but from institutional racism in the workplace and government policies to access to healthcare to what we consume in the media etc, it’s a lot.
Black Love Matters
And that takes us onto the personal. You don’t want dating and sex to be the same struggle as work and just going out on a weekday. Everyone needs reprieve from the heaviness of it all and this is what love should give you. You want the safety and security of knowing that the person you are with gets your experience without explanation. You want to be able to breathe easy in their presence. Feel safe in their space. It’s the sort of privilege others take for granted. The privilege of feeling safe and secure in your identity. Be it friends or family this is not a Hallmark movie for most as the demons spill into the personal.