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Opinion / Columnist

Do Black lives really matter or we are just opportunists?

07 Jun 2020 at 06:01hrs | Views
Racism has been a hotly debated subject of late, particularly in the light of the profoundly unsettling brutalization and ensuing death of George Floyd, an African American, at the hands of a law serviceman who happens to be of Caucasian race. While global solidarity is being shown in this matter, chiding police brutality and what seems to be a racially motivated episode, the true test of humanity for all races is living with a sensitivity to life, condemning the manifestations of discrimination and addressing the underlying attitudes of racial-ills to build cohesion in social life and a truly colour-blind world. It however will take us a great deal of time and effort to get that right.

I applaud and appreciate the well-intentioned who have used the George Floyd incident to call on for justice and address the intricacies of the relationship between races in the interest of humanity as a whole. Black lives matter and, of course, not more than any other lives. All lives matter and any life or soul most at risk of violence and discrimination should be protected. It is unfortunate that the George Floyd saga has expanded into alleged racism; however, it is the uncomfortable truth that Black lives have always lived gross injustice and dehumanizing wrong at the hands of White folks as far back as the discovery of America itself. The White race has a legacy of disgracing and not dignifying anything that is non-white. Pardon me if I sound unkind or if I awaken hurt from past sins.

In our day, white superiority and privilege still persist. Up until the ideology and attitudes of white superiority are openly confessed, a waving of placards wishing for its disappearance will not change the narrative of mistreatment given to non-white races in America or in any other part of the globe.

I am most bothered by opportunists, with a ploy in purpose shaped by resentment and revenge, who have undertaken to push a political agenda using the George Floyd incident. I refer to statements pronounced on the political front here at home and on African soil at large by politicians who lack integrity and discernment, and have been far too quick to finger the iniquity of the American administration over that of their own. It surely spells political hypocrisy and a contemptuous attitude to be a "voice of the world" overnight and yet remain blind and deaf to your own affairs and the faults wrought by your own regimes. In the most honourable manner, I call upon our politicians to remove the beams from their eyes first other than focus on the speck from the eye of the other.

Of course, the easy to fool will not remember so well that it was just yesterday that Zimbabweans felt loss at the hands of its own administration in a state-sanctioned army shooting and violent crush of protest. What is certainly upsetting is that the lips that proclaimed praise of a government that massacred defenceless civilians on August 01, 2018 are the same lips being used to condemn Trump's government over the George Floyd event. If our politicians are willing to take wrong as wrong and condemn it as fits the occasion, does not the August 01, 2018 event deserve the same words of reproach from their lips? The superficiality involved in critiquing America and calling for justice for George Floyd while selectively omitting the evils in our backyard reflects straightforward betrayal and exposes an attitude that holds Zimbabwean lives to be worthless. Moreover, it discloses an exclusionary application of justice by leadership, a very sad narrative in the politics of the country.

Of a very lamentable picture, is to see Africans undertake to chastise America, veiled under the Black-lives-matter rhetoric as if it were the common conversation in our backyards. With all that happens on African soil; the horrific and bitter wars, the political persecutions, the violence on women, the genocides, the xenophobia, the inequalities, the man-made suffering and starvation, the failure by our self-serving and corrupt regimes to provide basic sanitation, safe drinking water and basic healthcare which has amounted to countless deaths and untold suffering of innocent Black lives, I really wonder what guides our George Floyd intervention and stand for justice. Are lives in Africa not black enough to protest and demand justice for? Or could it be that we are just crashing the George Floyd funeral with the sole intention to scold the biggest bully in the world. I know half the world will stop at nothing to give to "Big Brother America" a taste of his own medicine.

If at all Africans wish to make a commitment to justice, how about cultivating that here back home as a start other than find the perfect stranger somewhere to exaggerate our cares and announce a sudden moralism about the value of Black lives. We at least owe it to ourselves as a people to prove it amongst ourselves that our lives matter. Otherwise, it eludes logic to take to the streets in chant and fly placards with a cry for the recognition of our own humanity only to betray the cry in a show of our true colours by being hostile to each other and not self-respecting. As a people we have already shown that we are not exactly immune to the barbarity and wickedness displayed in America in the George Floyd phenomenon.

If Black lives matter, why do we politically prejudice, economically marginalize and impoverish each other?

If Black lives matter, why are we deaf to the cry of refugees, blind to political violence and mum to corruption and supressed liberties?

Why do we brutalize and undermine each other?

What is our excuse for not being in the forefront, waving placards and calling for justice in the given situation where Black lives are lost each day due to political greed, misconduct and the inefficiency of our leaders?

Dear Africa, do Black lives matter in all sincerity or we are just manipulating the George Floyd incident, putting up a false humanitarian show only to seize the opportunity to settle a score with America?

Writing in personal capacity.

Gift Tawanda, M


Source - Gift Tawanda, M
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