I wrote a post responding to some of the objections I had seen the Black Lives Matter demands at the Pride Protest, specifically those relating to Police presence. I wanted to continue addressing further objections that I have seen raised. Specifically those dealing with a misunderstanding of racism.
It is not surprising that the majority of people, and white people in particular, don’t fully understand the concept of racism, especially those people who are white. Like many subjects at school, what we were taught wasn’t actually the truth, but a simplification that was meant to act as a primer to make the truth easier to understand as we developed our understanding of difficult concepts. As we grow in specific subjects and develop our interest in them, we begin to piece away at the earlier lies to reveal more complicated truths – the end goal of evolution is not a human being but rather survival and procreation – the solar system is not simply made up of 8 planets and the sun – actually you can find the square root of a negative number but the answer is an imaginary number, also imaginary numbers are a thing – we teach half-truths because we need to build a foundation on which our eventual understanding can be based as a launching off point.
The trouble with this when it comes to matters of social importance, like racism, is that the majority of people, and especially those in positions of power, never move past an elementary introduction into concepts that have a daily impact on countless lives.
In school we are taught that racism is the discrimination or prejudice against a person based on their race. We are taught about triangles who make fun of a circle for being different, or use the examples of grizzly bears encountering panda bears for the first time. We try to explain this difficult concept to children by appealing to their internal sense of fairness and empathy by making them think about how much their own feelings would be hurt if someone were to make a decision about them based on something like how they look.
Continue reading “Rant: Fellow White People – We Need to Talk About Racism”
This past weekend, July 3rd, was the Toronto Pride Parade, one of the biggest if not the biggest pride events in Canada. This year’s parade was a historic one for a variety of reasons. The weekend included the largest trans march in the world and the first time that a sitting Prime Minister joined the parade. Another major historic event was the protest staged by Black Lives Matter.
For those who haven’t heard, during the pride parade, after a moment of silence for the victims of the Orlando Shooting at Pulse Club, Black Lives Matter Toronto staged a sit in halting the parade. Their protest had the following list of demands:
Continue reading “Rant: Let’s Talk About the BLACKLIVESMATTER Protest at PRIDE (Part 1)”
TW: For Racism
During the Ferguson protests, during the Baltimore uprisings, during countless demonstrations that took place because black children, black men, and black women, are being murdered, there were countless and endless condemnations by white people of the protestors as being too violent, too angry.
Last night, white people came to a Black Lives Matter demonstration for no other purpose then to commit violence. Their purpose wasn’t to raise awareness, to express anger and hurt over government sanctioned murders. No. They were there to kill people who had the nerve to protest being murdered. They were there because they don’t see PoC as being human beings, as being people. They shot five people.
When the police responded, their response included macing protestors after they had just been shot at.
Continue reading “Where is Your Condemnation Now?”
Imagine going to Facebook and the first image to greet you is that of a child, no more than two, laying dead on a beach’s shore. Imagine seeing video of young children being thrown to the ground by police.
What those children have in common is that they’re Black and Brown. White journalists and soldiers are killed on tape and the video gets shared a few times. But usually their families ask for privacy and we stop sharing the videos. Instead we share photos of their time alive. A smiling face looks back at us. Do we afford the same consideration to Black children who have been killed by police? We humanize white victims, while continuing to dehumanize Brown and Black victims. A young white woman is remembered by her boyfriend and we grieve along with him. A black mother grieves for her son while images of his dead body are shown constantly. To add insult to injury, we say he committed a crime, we try to discredit him. As if that somehow justifies his death. As if that somehow justifies him laying dead on the street for five hours.
I’ve read some comments about how Emmett Till’s mother chose an open casket for her son. The operative word here is “chose”. She had every right to decide how her son’s image was displayed. The families of those refugee children haven’t made that choice. I’ve read comments saying that showing those shocking images will make people who would other wise not care, care. I call bullshit. Some of the reports from Turkey and Greece are so descriptive that pictures are not necessary. This really just comes off as horror porn. I have to wonder, what is wrong with an individual that the only way they will care about someone’s suffering is if they see it first hand? Do they really need to see pictures of dead babies washed ashore to grasp that the current refugee crisis is serious and deadly? These families are grieving. They’re escaping their war-torn country, risking life and limb to get to some safety only to end up losing their children.
Black and brown bodies received no respect while alive. I guess in death they don’t even get that. Aylan Kurdi’s aunt has asked for people to share a picture of little Aylan smiling and not of him dead on that shore. Can we respect that?