Prior to the enforced quarantine rules made necessary by the global pandemic of Covid-19, I was not exactly known as a social butterfly. In fact, quite the opposite. More an antisocial moth, according to my Daughters. However, since this very necessary safety measure has come into affect, I find myself growing increasingly frustrated with the 4 walls of my own home.
Frustrated that I suddenly have to share that space with people who are not usually here during the day. Frustrated by the fact that I can’t just pop up to my local shopping centre for a single item, and have a browse at everything else while I happen to be there. Frustrated that previously underused public spaces like parks and woodlands are now populated by people seeking out places in which to take their government approved daily exercise, at the correct socially distanced pace.
In short, what I’m actually frustrated with is my sudden lack of freedom. The sudden curtailment of those things that I have always taken for granted.
It has come as no great surprise to me, therefore, that the #blacklivesmatter campaign has skyrocketed into public consciousness in the way that it has since the cruel, brutal & entirely unlawful murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25th.
Yes. The BLM movement has been an ongoing call to arms for many, many years. And quite rightly so.
Yes. People have stood in solidarity with its core essence in the past. And again, quite rightly so.
Yes. A lot of the peaceful protests and social media engagements we are now seeing are due – in part – to the fact that quarantine rules mean most if us now have more time in our hands to actively investigate the history behind this campaign, and the proper ways in which to legally turn the tide.
However, it’s my own personal belief that the sudden prohibition in our own circumstances has forced the realisation that people of colour live with this reality Every. Single. Day.
And in realizing that, we must also see that, while circumstances can & will change for us when quarantine measures are lifted, POC – for whom these issues are actually a matter of life and death – have no such assurances.
Imagine being afraid to venture into certain areas of the town where you live.
Imagine knowing that, no matter how hard you study, your longed for place at a university may be given to someone else, purely because of racial bias.
Imagine being told that the position you hold within a company is only yours because of a legal requirement to employ POC.
Imagine being stopped by the Police while driving your own car, not because you where speeding, or there us a problem with the vehicle, but because of the colour of your skin.
Now imagine that all of these social injustices, be they conscious or so deeply ingrained they are entirely subconscious, and many others like them, are being perpetrated against Caucasians.
If you can imagine that, and your reaction is ‘ that’s so unfair. I can’t help the colour of my skin. It doesn’t change who I am as a person!’, then your response to the #BLM campaign should NOT be ‘but ALL lives matter!’ It should be ‘ but NO ONE should ever have to campaign for the same rights and freedoms as those afforded to their neighbours!’
If you have the imagination to see that, then you certainly have the imagination to envisage a world where ANY kind of human rights campaign should NOT be necessary.
This is the 21st Century after all, and we should be past all of that.
But maybe this very necessary movement is designed to bring us all that level of understanding. That 20/20 clarity of vision.
For further information, please see