Why Black Lives Matter’s Resistance Affects Everyone

Why Black Lives Matter's Resistance Affects Everyone l Paperbeau.nl

His name was George Floyd, he was 46 years old. On Monday, May 25, 2020, he attempted to pay with a forged $ 20 bill in a Minneapolis store. The police were called. White agent Derek Chauvin, to whom eighteen complaints (!)  had previously been filed, responded to the call. He violently knocked the unarmed Floyd to the ground and knelt on Floyd’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds. Chauvin’s colleagues watched. Floyd passed away.

Since that day I said enough! I am done with inequality and racism towards black people. I am not going to stay quiet any more. It is starting to become unbearable. Especially now; I have a little nephew who is just ten months old – the thought that he grows up in a country (or maybe I should say world) where there is no equality and where people can’t be civil. A world where he will be hated because of the colour of his skin is like I said unbearable. So I will peacefully protest for a better life. I will come back to “peacefully protesting” in another blog post. 

If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. – Maya Angelou

The sum that led to racial inequality that is being reinvented over and over again and not only in America. This also happens in the country that I am born in The Netherlands. Let’s not forget Mitch Henriques who got choked by police. Or the Tax Authorities in The Hague, which for years has checked Dutch citizens with dual nationality more strictly for fraud than other Dutch people. These are just two “small” examples. The media in The Netherlands makes it sound like it only happening in America. Do not be fooled! This is happing in The Netherlands too, unfortunately. In MY experience I found that racism in Europe can be hypodermic and so it becomes hard to prove. And wherever you mention it is will be dismissed and you will be seen as someone who is over-sensitive, or you are whining, or they will say things like: “I didn’t mean it like that.” But then why the F say it?!

Over the past seven years, Black Lives Matter has grown into a global intersectional resistance movement against anti-black violence and other inequalities. “Black lives matter. Not: black lives matter more than yours. Just matter. Black lives … exist? Can we say that? Is that controversial? “

Personally, it’s crazy to me when people find ‘Black Lives Matter’ a controversial statement or answer with: ‘No, all lives matter.’ Of course, in an ideal world, everyone would support the latter, but purely the necessity of founding the movement proves that our world is not yet there. Or the fact we have to keep protesting. Read here a perfect explanation of why “All lives matter” is a bad objection. The common response that summarizes everything: “All lives matter. But all lives won’t matter until black lives matter.” Or for the ones that find it hard to comprehend; Can we get CIVIL? Just Civil. Can we get Civil first? 

And because of what happened with George Floyd and so many others all the world. The world is protesting. Because we are tired! we are just tired. We protest in peace always in peace. We talk or explain what it means to us, or we kneel but it never seems enough. Tuesday the 1st of June there was a protest in Amsterdam and blessed as we were so many people showed up (thousands). There were so many people that felt the need to be there and show support that they couldn’t stay 1,5 meters away from each other (Corona rule in The Netherlands). And now that and only that is the topic in the Dutch Media – Corona – protestors couldn’t keep 1,5 meters distance. Yesterday the protest for Black Lives Matter was in my own home town The Hague and I will write a blog post later today about the protest and how it was. But yet again the Dutch media know how to turn the tables and stops the conversation that really matters which is racism. And protecting against it. Super sad because a couple of weeks ago, even though our government urged everyone to stay home. Most people went to the beaches like the one in my home town Scheveningen and Ikea was packed I mean PACKED.  

Become aware of your privilege. Inequality only disappears when we all become activists

Patrisse Cullors who is the owner of the Black Lives Matter organization in the USA once said in an interview; on how to conduct the conversation about inequality: become aware of your own position in the whole, see where your power does lie and try to actively involve others in the battle. “But ultimately racism isn’t going to be solved by people of colour, just as misogyny isn’t going to be solved by women. The main point is: white people should make it a priority to talk to other white people about racism. Only they have the power to break down the system. So we can rebuild it together. “

It is irresponsible not to engage in the fight for equality. “Just when you are right, you have to check with yourself: what can I do from this position for similar people who were not allowed to make it this far? Even if you are a queer, black or otherwise a minority, it is important to research what you can do. We have a collective responsibility to understand how society treats us. ” – Patrisse Cullors. 

And for those who still want to answer with “All lives matter”, comedian Michael Che has a message. “All lives matter. That’s like your wife comes up to you and asks, “Do you love me?” And you reply, “Honey, I love everyone, you know that, don’t you?”

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