It’s 9:08am here in Oddity-land. I have spent the last hour and eight minutes biting my tongue and inwardly seething at every word spoken by my racist; privileged; idiotic and entirely infuriating co-workers since I walked in the door this morning.
The topics of “discussion” this morning so far have included:
- George Floyd (and his funeral)
- BLM Protests
- Racism from non-Whites
- Schools re-opening post-COVID19
- Children with “needs” and “normal” siblings
I would hope that I have been raised to know my own mind, to have an opinion based on the facts and information available to me and to be able to voice my opinion where it is appropriate or requested. I have always struggled with giving my opinion for fear of negative judgement and the current “Protests in a Pandemic” situation we find ourselves see opinions of all strengths and sizes flying everywhere! I would be lying to say I’m struggling to keep a level head about it all.
As much as Facebook is a wonderful platform for maintaining friendships and creating events it has become poisonous for peoples informed and (predominantly) uninformed opinions on everything from miniscule to mind-blowing matters and the focus has never been so out of balance as it is right now. I am therefore coming to my safe space; to you, my readers to let out some of my thoughts and feelings on recent events, hopefully in a relatively calm environment.
Before I go any further, I appreciate all the Global topics causing concern have many angles and interpretations. The views I put forward are mine and come from a place of love and concern for all peoples. Ok… here we go.
George Floyd and Black Lives Matter
The loss of any human life on this planet is a cause for grief. We are all someone’s child; partner; family member or friend. The murder of George Floyd at the hands of the US Police was a crime and a tragedy. My condolences and heartfelt wishes are with the family he left behind. I was appalled and disgusted when I watched the footage of his detainment and abuse. For anyone to have to suffer that at the hands of the institution that has sworn to protect its citizens… I have no words that can accurately describe my distress and pain.
Some opinions (especially from my aforementioned a**-hat colleagues) have been to say that he was a “thug” and a “dangerous man,” based on some media coverage focusing on some previous crime committed by him years ago. What is being entirely ignored is his story of reform and change through his faith and belief in the Christian God. A charitable, patient and kind man wanting the best for his children and the betterment of his fellow men. He did not deserve this.
The movement that has grown in volume since his death is shouting its message that this should never have happened and when change is made that it will never happen again! Some say that he has become a “martyr” for the cause and he shouldn’t be looked at that way. My view is that he has become a figurehead around which people are rallying; and for that I am pleased! A martyr dies for their cause; George Floyd was murdered whilst being detained for an alleged forgery crime. He wanted to live; and I sort of feel that connecting him with martyrdom is an insult to his memory and correctly remembering the circumstances of his murder.
His funeral, following such heavily-publicised media coverage and so much unrest/protests across the US and further afield; was expected to be broadcast and to attract a lot of attention from people of many different walks of life. The objections to celebrities/politicians attending his funeral has similarly caused me a lot of distress. If they wish to pay their final respects then please allow them to do so without judgement or insult. I have mentioned in a previous post about my thoughts on respect for the deceased and funeral attendance with regards to respect, this fully falls within my previous line of thinking that if they have respects to pay to George then they should be able to do so. I appreciate the COVID-19 situation makes it more difficult to accept the idea of large gatherings but if people (especially POC who are seemingly more susceptible) wish to gather in his memory then that surely is all the more testimony that the BLM movement is more important to those individuals than the potential risk to their health? I could go on in more detail regarding this but to prevent this section turning into a novel I’ll pause my brain here and move on.
The area in which I live and have grown up is very heavily White, I can recall only 3 PoC in my year at Secondary School, for example. My university years were spent in a very multi-cultural and diverse area and I loved it! Having been back home for a number of years now and having spent the last handful in an entirely White workforce I can truly appreciate the “White privilege” that so many take for granted and abuse without care or thought for what the BLM movement is trying to say. My rather racist colleagues have sprouted various non-PC terms for PoC (of many different nationalities with various outdated and usually avoided stereotypes) during my years of service and I am sorry to say that I have not had the courage to speak out against them… until now.
To still be suffering from the adverse affects of Slavery generations later is simply unimaginable. Being considered a lesser citizen, or potentially more dangerous purely down to the amount of Melanin in your skin is crazy! There are so many of these stereotypes being learned by people sometimes without conscious thought, it is so frightening. Being refused credit; not being able to live in a more prosperous area; having to send your children to poorly-funded schools are just some of the examples that have been playing on my mind lately. It has to stop. Across the World people are fighting to be free. Free from poverty; free from war; free from systemic racism; to just be free! Freedom is an absolute; not a moderate, for example a person cannot be moderately dead or partially alive. Either one is free or not is not free.
“All Lives Matter” is another phrase I have heard casually thrown around the workroom…
I could go on writing for more time than I have left to live but I feel somewhat better than I have been able to release my mind here to you all. I am very interested to hear people’s thoughts and view points on this set of ideas… I will be continuing this set of posts moving down the list at the top… as my head is still baffled by the insensitivity and cruel words that are thrown like confetti in the wind.
To be continued dear readers…
Luna, an Oddity.