"I can't breathe..." were George Floyd's last words in a time where a worldwide killer pandemic, Covid_19, is taking every nation's breath away.
As I am sitting down to write this, my heart is so full I don't even know where to start.
I am sure most of you reading this can relate to what I'm feeling right now. A global pandemic, erasing the lives of hundreds of thousands and infecting millions to date, has run rampant; affecting economies worldwide and therefore increasing the already difficult financial circumstances of many. Then our mental and emotional states are also in a leaky boat on stormy waters because we have had to shelter-in-place to keep Sars-Cov-2 from spreading. My family and myself, had to say farewell from a distance yesterday to my aunt who was on her deathbed in hospital, where no one could visit her because of fear of spreading the virus, and thus she left us without having been comforted in her last days. If you had to go through the same, my heart is with you, and if you feel the need to scream, scream and don't hold back.
As if this isn't enough, the emotions of the past couple of weeks surrounding the public murder of George Floyd at the hands of racist police agents has become a global tide of protests in support of anti-racism and putting a spotlight on an age old issue that rarely if ever gets media attention, or isn't considered important enough to deal with or even speak about. And with it, people's feelings, experiences, hurts and humiliations have also been ignored and swept under the carpet, in turn leading to racist authorities thinking it's fine and dandy to kill an innocent human being in broad daylight.
There are many comments on social media and in passing where I hear people saying: "But what do you mean Black Lives Matter?! All lives matter!" And I agree that ALL lives do matter, yes. But let's take some time out to look at the issue from another angle for a sec. I'll start by saying this:
I acknowledge that there are many many negative, even horrifying issues we as a global community have to deal with on a daily, like rape, child molestation, human trafficking, inequality and discrimination of all kinds in all areas of life, injustices of all kinds, gender issues, genocide, homicide, depression, suicide, poverty, homelessness, illness, environment, violence you name it. Yes. There are countless negative things demanding our attention to be fixed in this world that affect all life. But I challenge you to keep in mind, that it's human beings who are responsible for these issues.
But we have to start with one of the root causes.. A quick analogy: if you chop off the branches and leaves of a tree, there's a great chance it will start growing again and flourish better than before because the roots have been left in the ground.
So it is with any negative societal issue, including racism and prejudice against non-whites. So let's put the focus on this topic specifically in this time of white on black racial violence and explore the root of some of the problems in our world in layman's terms. If we are going to tackle the root, we have to go right back to the beginning.
About 500 years ago, Europe had a great plan to increase their economic gain and power by going out to other nations in the world, and accumulating resources from them that Europe had very little of. We are talking about agriculture, precious minerals, forms of energy, work force etc.
But instead of peacefully negotiating with these peoples to work in tandem with them to see how the resources could be shared between them with mutual benefit, they decided to take by force what did not belong to them, and so enslaved these peoples, raping, pillaging, killing many in the process. As an example, in South Africa, many non-white communities were forced to be paid in alcohol as their salary on the wine farms, and as time passed, guns and drugs were also pumped into the urban areas so they can slowly destroy each other, or become so inert from drug abuse, they cannot help themselves.This is where the modern gang culture originated. And the police force were used as enforcers of this rule to keep the masses wanting to revolt in check. I grew up in one of these neighborhoods.
Then followed the setting up of an economic global system to dis-empower them psychologically and financially even further in order to keep having control over them so they are not able to fight back for what is theirs. If you look closely, this happened in every country, under a different name.
It is a war tactic called 'divide and conquer' which is still in use to this very day. Today, the media play a very important role in disseminating negative information about certain groups in society, whereby a demonization of a whole group of people is created, perpetuating the divide.
I will leave getting to know the details on our global economic history and the media's role up to you as I feel it is every human being's responsibility to educate themselves as we are all part of this same world and all affected by what we do to each other on this planet.
I think in this global time of crisis with Covid_19, that speaks loud and clear in testament to this. An injury to ONE, is an injury to ALL.
Now I hear some say: "But we put an end to the slave trade and eradicated colonialism." Hallelujah! Yes, we did. But only on paper.
What I still see and experience as a black person today, along with many others, I cannot honestly say that we did effectively put an end to racial discrimination. Because racial discrimination is economic. After 500 years, tell me, how can we still be dealing with the effects of it which governments and financial institutions are doing very little to alleviate? This problem needs an ALL IN strategy. Not "Oh, we'll break off some chump change for your NGO to deal with this issue." Half of a country's economy needs to go to poverty alleviation and education goes hand in hand. Eradicating corruption is another, because let's face it, corruption in governments adds coals to the fire.
And if you are a country who colonized the country in economic difficulty 500 or so years ago, then half of your wealth needs to go back to where it came from. By this I mean the setting up of systems to stimulate that country's economy, to free up finances for education and job creation, without any conditions attached such as "We'll lend you the capital over a certain rate of interest." No, we want Restitution.
This, in my personal opinion is what working in tandem means to fix a problem. 50/50 nothing less. Restitution, nothing less. Equality, nothing less!
Now, it is no secret that poverty breeds all kinds of social issues. Poverty = Desperation, and Desperation = Societal breakdown. Especially if the Desperate see that there are others who can help them, but ignore their struggle in life.
Now my question is, why do the Have's ignore the Have-nots? It is a colonial supremacist mentality that is at work here, that has been handed down from generation to generation and is still alive and well today. Thankfully some have seen the light, but the majority of colonial supremacist's descendants needs a wake up call. Sad to say, it is so ingrained in them, that they do not even realize when they utter a racist comment. Now, you ask why is this mentality still alive today? Because Racism is a divide and conquer war tactic that divide's the masses and ensure the Have's will always have and be in control, and the Have-not's will lose even more. Even their dignity, if not their lives like George Floyd has.
So, as we can see, the root cause of all our global problems including Racism, is Greed. Let's use Trump as an example: He uses racism as a way to keep all Mexican people out of America, because he doesn't want to share the wealth of America with them. Because then they will need to be employed, have social security etc etc etc. And in the same breath, let me mention that this has been going on for decades upon decades against the very people upon who's backs America's economy was built. The black slaves brought in to work the fields and lay the railroads, and their descendants who are now finally standing up and saying: "We had enough!"
Now having said all this, let's bring our current global crisis under Covid_19 into focus. When a global threat such as this hits all of us at the same time, it should be clear to all of us that we are One Race. This virus doesn't care if you're a Have or Have-not. It doesn't recognize the colour of your skin. No amount of money can pay for medical care once you've contracted the virus and you fall in the vulnerable category. Your societal status is of no use to you then, because you cannot pay for a first class flight out to a safe place somewhere. Everyone's businesses are suffocating. Every one of us are at risk of being infected and if so will end up in ICU, struggling to breathe.
But let me end my rant by saying this. Let's get some perspective on our individual actions. If you feel you are better than someone else because of your skin colour, possessions or status, you can be classified as a racist. Stop looking at someone else and pointing a finger, let's start with numéro uno.
Look inward and see where we can be the change the world so desperately needs right now, and live it.