The life we have and live matters. Black people shouldn’t have to wait until white cops kill young black men before they know that black lives matter. Lives and living in our communities must matter so much to us to make us desire to put a stop to all and every senseless murder and killing in our neighborhoods.
But when we say Black Lives Matter, we need everyone to understand where that is coming from. We are yet to record the enslavement of white peoples for nearly or over 400 years; white people have not had their lands confiscated and owned by black or other race of people. White people did not lose millions of their ancestors, who, while plucked from their roots, were made into eternal slaves and chattel owned by domineering conquistadors; nor had white people dominate American prison systems. All lives matter should not just be an attempt to ring up a counter-cliche to compete with the movement still coalescing as Black Lives Matter, because the latter is more than a cliche. Anger, strong and negative emotions, psychosis of a wounded race of people is gradually assuming a dangerous dimension, whereby urgent interventions are needed, not anymore as preventive measure, but this time as panaceas to injuries acquired nearly half a millennium ago, perduring into the present.
Black Lives Matter is the attempt at giving voice to a reality denied for so long, a reality which otherwise should have been made more poignant by sheer statistic and facts that steer us all in the face. Unfortunately, as Nigeria’s President reminds us, facts are for the archives, today’s powerful tyrants must occupy themselves with their own idiosyncratic agendas. Facts alone do not speak for themselves. People enforce human facts and social statistics. People have to make facts mean something–or nothing. To continue to pretend that we treat all lives equally is simply going to be an unending round of unacceptable pattern of foolish reasoning. And that is the meaning of disrespect! Well, malign people for so long and you may not narrate how it ends! That is what history teaches everywhere.
After all is said and done, what black people, especially leaders in African countries and black communities, must do is sincerely ASK themselves one question: Do black lives really matter?
Apart from the fact that people of the darker hues contend with racism, how do black people see family? Do we still value the cherished ideals which our ancestors bequeathed on us? Ideals of fathers being fathers and mothers being mothers need to be revived in our daily practices.
How well do we support each other in “legitimate” businesses that profit our communities–and not the few center-inclined oligarchs in our midst? Well, it is fact that Asians, Jews, and other tribes support businesses in their communities. That will only be true of blacks tomorrow (as for today’s reality?)–how blacks do business–shows just that!
The Us-Against-Them–white versus black–mentality is worse than anything else. Who says all white people are racist? And who says there are no racist black people? If you do, then you are not familiar with Africa. Or, did you imagine that Africans would have continued to throng and populate Europe and America were African countries the paradise where ambrosiac dinners are served–as you probably may have mis-read?
And how does the global history of black peoples, from past to present, from black Africa to nations all roundabout, from enslavement to post-race America, support the assertion that our lives indeed matter. Where else on earth, besides the United States, does a minority people have this amount of freedom and power to challenge a dominant power? For example, in Africa where black people are in overwhelming dominance, black leaders have shackled their own peoples in eternal enslaving bondage–from cultural to superstitious down to cutthroat economics–while they live life larger than is feasible in El Dorado.
Black lives matter indeed. And that is why Africans in their millions are escaping from their ancestral homelands, away from the unnatural human sufferings created by atmosphere of cursed leadership, to join even their once-enslaved siblings, who are yet to find the meaning of freedom hundreds of years after. It is to show that black lives, like every other human life, is not a chance product. Black lives matter, which is why one day, the notorious tyrants across Africa will hear a different drum beat of painless dance. Black lives will matter once again, if today it is being made to not matter. But it is not black lives alone that must matter. The life of every, and other human beings MUST matter to us all.
We cannot give freedom because we are not God. The legend once sang that “Animals want to give us human rights.” If it is human rights why does another person have to give it to us, if we are all humans. Aren’t we humans enough in the 21st century? The faulty and preposterous logic is the assumption that we can be given human rights. We are given, will be given, human rights, if we already are not yet humans. First, let’s learn to treat each other as human beings and all other things will fall into place (perhaps?).
If human lives matter to us, human rights will not be difficult to respect. If blacks are seen as human beings, black lives might matter more. What strikes me most, which is not even being talked about, is that racist cops and the black lives matter people might as well be readers of scriptures of some sort, which makes me wonder, in the words of a friend, John Shaw, exactly “What Would Jesus Do (WWJD)” in a racist or gut-wrenching hatred-teaching society as America when the major players are part of the team of peoples he was said to have called his church, which is supposed to be the exemplar of love.