Black Lives Matter: To deny the phrase is to deny a backdrop of racism
- Credit: Archant
As if 2020 hadn’t done enough to secure its place in the history books, the death of a man under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer has propelled Black Lives Matter into the mainstream.
Tens of thousands of people took part in protests over the weekend, from online gatherings to confrontations with the police in Parliament Square. People are joining in solidarity, yes, but they are also voicing frustration at continued inequalities in the UK.
For example, whether or not stop-and-search works, it is disproportionately used against Black people. Furthermore, an analysis by Liberty Investigates and the Guardian found Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) people were being fined more than White people during lockdown. That fact is compounded by the government’s weak-at-best response to the evidence that BAME people are disproportionately vulnerable to coronavirus.
A disappointingly common response to Black Lives Matter on social media has been: “Ah, but surely ‘All Lives Matter’?”
They do but saying black lives matter is not to preclude other lives mattering.
If I say it’s wrong to hit your spouse, I’m not saying it’s right to hit other people’s spouses. I’m probably saying it’s wrong to hit your spouse in the context of a discussion about the horror that is domestic violence.
By arguing against the phrase ‘Black Lives Matter’ you are denying the context for its use - racism and structural inequalities. If you deny that those exist, well, there are millions of voices out there to which you could listen.
Across the pond is a president who will be looked back on as a mind-boggling aberration.
- 1 CCTV footage released as family pay tribute to 'loving son' Olsi
- 2 Highgate woman pledges £1million for children's autism charity
- 3 Man arrested following stabbing on Royal College Street
- 4 First Muslim lord mayor of Westminster announced
- 5 Five bedrooms, utterly charming and in Muswell Hill
- 6 Former Camden Council leader chooses women's safety charity for second mayoral year
- 7 Floating park between Camden Town and King's Cross
- 8 Barnet: Two men charged following fatal High Road stabbing
- 9 'I'm sorry people had to wait 30 years,' former minister tells Infected Blood Inquiry
- 10 'James Blake returns to childhood stomping ground with euphoric set'
To respond by naming a disparate collection of people under the banner ‘Antifa’ as the enemy and tear gassing a crowd to get a photo opp holding a Bible outside a church is beyond comprehension.
For the avoidance of doubt, this newspaper is anti-fascist.
Black Lives Matter.