Sunday, 7 June 2020
It doesn’t matter. Not one bit. Black lives matter no more than any other life and no lives matter very much at all in the greater scheme of things. Everybody knew it was going to kick off last night, once the more peaceful (if misguided) protesters had packed up and gone home. Any sympathy you may have harboured for this largely confected affair should have evaporated days ago with the defiling of national monuments and blatant ignoring of safeguarding laws.
If this orchestrated violence, stirred up by domestic terrorists like Dawn Butler, flag-wavers for anarchists and Marxists like Antifa and the whole BLM movement hasn’t shifted your position then your position was set in stone long ago. Hatred of the police was a proxy; a thin veil for the hatred of white people, which was never far beneath the surface. Interestingly, in a not so curious parallel with emotions in the left versus right debate, white people, with very few exceptions, don’t hate black people.
Rather, we fear them, because we are hard-wired for fight or flight and even Hollywood, arguably the flakiest place on the planet, invariably uses black actors whenever they want to portray sheer, menacing power. And somebody has to say this: George Floyd was one scary-looking motherfucker. He also looked pretty dumb; a dangerous combination. Tell me you wouldn’t have shit yourself had you encountered this massive, drugged up, bovine, ugly giant in a confrontational situation.
You can pretend to yourself all you like that it isn’t so but it is; we white folk are scared of black people in the same way we are scared of muslims. We might put on a brave face, but the sight of chanting blacks or praying browns is alien to our core values and our first impulse is caution. We are already terrified of offending certain groups by the use of those deadliest of weapons, words, but we have also to fear what they might do to us, as unlikely as the real risk may be. Yet if you cross the road in the interest of self preservation you’re a racist.
We’re all racist now, of course. From a position just a couple of decades ago, where colour mattered hardly at all as long as you got on and behaved yourself and fitted in. An old friend of mine likes to joke that when his family moved into their all-white street 30 years ago, they were the novel black people, but now that all the other houses in the street are occupied by muslim families (possibly all connected to the same family) he describes himself and his wife (from Guyana and Jamaica respectively) as the only white people left.
Anthony Joshua, that famous and gifted orator, addressed protesters yesterday and told them to only buy from black-owned businesses from now on. I would be interested to learn where he thinks they are going to get all their clothes, cars, furniture and tech from in the future. What next, separate seating in cinemas and theatres? Where on the bus does he think black people should sit, or should there be separate buses?
We just want to open up a dialogue...
None of this makes any sense. In one of the least racist countries on the planet, what is it all about? And I do know how this sounds but what do these people want; what do they hope to achieve? Because as far as I can see, this civil unrest, this flouting of the social distancing rules is only going to serve to increase the social distance between black and white. And I believe they already tried that in South Africa. Black lives matter? I really don’t give a fuck.