The one consolation for this government mandated physical distancing and self isolation of the last three months has been the opportunity to explore and reach out to other bloggers during this quarantine period. One such blogger I follow, janetawel.com ,has recently written a passionate post stating her views on the current Black Lives Matter discussion, which you can access here, https://janetawel.com/2020/06/10/i-will-defend-your-rights-with-my-last-blogged-breath . In replying to her post I found I was writing too long a comment and so decided to respond here instead. The following are three brief sections of her blog post I have randomly chosen to give a sense of the whole and encourage you to read the blog in its entirety to gain a full perspective of her views on racism.
If you are white or “Christian” or a “good person” or an educator or a parent or a voter and you haven’t been saying anything about this until now …………………………
To want to say whatever you want with the caveat that none of your friends or followers or anyone can debate or question you is a perfect example of white / “Christian” / American ……………….
Freedom of Speech and the ability to question authority — It is one of the things our founding forefathers tried to get right in the name of God and nation. It is one of the things our Creator tried to get right when She created human beings a little higher than the beasts and a little lower than the angels.
The current round of Black Lives Matter protests and marches began with the horrendous murder of George Floyd, a black man killed by a white police officer. I think it can be safely said that any sane, reasonable person when viewing the video of this violent act would be horrified at the malice and lack of remorse displayed by the police officer. My own view is that the police officer should be charged with first degree murder. I have read a number of articles and comments that suggest these two individuals knew each other and there was a suggestion of personal animosity between them. If this is the case then it seems that the police officer used his position of power to settle an old score, which makes it premeditated murder.
Jane’s referencing the responsibility of white/christian people’s involvement in combating racial injustice is reminiscent of the ” white man’s burden ” as espoused in a poem by English author and poet Rudyard Kipling. Here is a description I have copied from the internet:
white man’s burden. A phrase used to justify European imperialism in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries; it is the title of a poem by Rudyard Kipling. The phrase implies that imperialism was motivated by a high-minded desire of whites to uplift people of color.
My view is that all people should take responsibility for their own lives and not use past oppression’s to justify their lack of opportunity today. The vast majority of white/christian people are more interested in getting on with their own lives, trying to follow to the best of their ability, the moral code set in the ten commandments, love God and love your neighbor. Neighbor being all people irrespective of the colour of their skin. I was involved in various roles at one particular Roman Catholic parish, with 2,500 members, for 30 years, including volunteering my time on the parish council as well as a number of organizations. My experience was that of the 2,500 members you would get about 1% of the same faces turning up all the time when volunteers were needed for fund raising, family picnics, ushers etc.
Using the above 1% guideline it is no surprise to me that people aren’t fanatical about jumping on any current band wagon. perpetuated by the media and other organizations with self interest in pushing certain agendas. Especially in these uncertain economic times when most people are just trying to raise their families and earn a living the best way they can. Despite what governments and media would have you believe their is racial harmony in the majority of communities. People of different ethnic background living side by side. The main street media is selective in which narratives they decide to push to enhance their readership and prolong their corporate existence.
In the interest of brevity I won’t add my views on The Black Lives Matter movement as that would add another 1,000 words. The one good fact to emerge from all this chaos started by one obnoxious police officer is the scrutiny of policing. This is long overdue. Just as some child sex abusers were attracted to the priesthood holding positions of power to prey on innocent children, subsequently covered up by the Catholic hierarchy; so violent minded predatory men are attracted to the police to exercise their position of power, their abusive incidents covered up by unions and the police hierarchy. I’m not for the crazy notion of defunding the police but there has to be scrutiny of best practices, use of tasers and firearms, cover up of excessive force etc.
In regard to free of speech. I completely agree with Jane’s comments……….however.
Complete freedom of speech does not exist in today’s mainstream discourse. I’m sure you have all read the many instances of so called cancel culture, where unacceptable views to the main street audience results in someone losing their livelihood. The following are my views on the recent Canadian experience.
The Prime Minister of Canada announced to great fanfare by the media that Canada was riddled with systemic racism, including the various policing organizations. The Premier of Ontario announced that he didn’t believe this narrative, conceding that of course their was individual cases of racism, it’s human nature were talking about, but it was not systemic. The next day he apologized contritely stating that he erred and would try to do better. The RCMP (Federal Police) commissioner said she did not believe that the RCMP practiced systemic racism. the next day she recanted and said she would do her best to root out systemic racism in the RCMP. One would presume that pressure was put on these two individuals by the federal government to tow the line. That’s politics.
There have been a number of cases in the media regarding race and cancel culture but I will highlight two cases. An ex politician Stockwell Day, now a pundit for the state broadcaster CBC was involved in a panel discussion on systemic racism in Canada. He stated his view that he did not believe in systemic racism in Canada, but there were individual acts of racism. He was fired from the program and forced to apologize for his views. A well known media columnist Rex Murphy espoused these same views in a column in the National Post. The editors were brought before the board of directors to explain how this column passed their scrutiny and was published. The editors offered their excuses, apologized, had a disclaimer placed on the original article and promised to have a counter argument published by a person of colour. The counter argument basically said that no white person should be allowed to write on racism as it was not their lived experience. This follows the modern school of journalistic thought which teaches that objective journalism is old fashioned and a thing of the past. The modern day journalist should bring their own lived experiences to their writing instead of objectivity. I could go on but this post is much, much longer than I intended.
I’ll leave you with the quote by MLK ‘ People should not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character’. Thank you to Reena and Jane for your inspiration.