After witnessing the death of George Floyd, to say that the world is a volatile place right now would be an understatement. Not only is it fighting one of the worst pandemics in the recent history of the human race, but there also seems to be no end to other un-wanted issues around us.
Let’s count a few, shall we?
The trade war between the US and China, the border clash between China-India, suppression of Muslims in Chinese camps, suicide by actors hard hit by depression (Sushant Singh Rajput), religious conflicts, unaddressed poverty, corruption in governments worldwide and destruction of nature to name a few.
Amid all this, there is one country that is fighting an issue which is not of today, yesterday or yesteryears… it’s an issue that has been there for centuries. And that country is the United States of America, fighting the same old fight – black people and their lives, their rights, ever since, George Floyd was killed by white cops.
On May 25th, George Floyd, a black man in his 40s was killed by white cops during an arrest for allegedly using a counterfeit bill for buying some stuff. Derek Chauvin a white cop knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes after handcuffing Floyd who was begging for his life and kept saying “I can’t breathe”,
This led to outrage not only in the USA but across the globe with many people taking it to the streets in protest of this unwanted death which resulted in the existence of a new hashtag #BLM a.k.a. #BlackLivesMatter.
Now, I have nothing against this hashtag, but what it did make me think was – why only say Black Lives Matter, why not other lives too? Why restrict a slogan to a race or community instead of going after the subject as a whole. This thought in itself sounded subjective to me, so I decided to talk to some knowns faces and take their view on that.
This is what they had to say:
Hemant Sagar, Fashion Designer, on Black Lives Matter
I am personally very hurt by what happened with George Floyd, as I have faced racism myself when I was living in Germany, which resulted in me moving to France which has a more accepting society. There is this general perception, white is good black is evil, that never seems to go away.
If you have a look at what Hasan Minaj has to say about our ‘brown’ silent racism it’s an eye-opener. Check with brown people in the US who will consume Beyoncé and Michael Jordan without any problem… and when their daughters turn up with a black man and their fathers will have a fit!!!
In India racism is more silent and much more pronounced than any place I know in the world because of caste-racism on top of the race- racism (“all white females are w—es” etc ) so please note the subtle difference of shout out or ‘ignoring’ the topic entirely which is the desi version.
I made it a point at the very early age of my life, to be never judgemental as that is the only real solution here. Having said that, I do believe that your surroundings matter a lot and you should make sure that you are not influenced by others in making your decisions or creating your opinion.
Karmik Varma, Group Head, Times of India
What happened to George Floyd is unfortunate and condemnable, but if one decides to break bad, consequences are bound to be unfavorable. While what the cops did is certainly outside of lawful action, let’s not forget that Mr. Floyd was no saint.
Yet, the global protests emanating from his wrongful death are important to curb misuse of power, whether racial or not.
Secondly, #BlackLivesMatter is the most ironic anti-racism slogan to have ever surfaced. Perhaps it stems from the immediate cause wherein the casualty was a Black American man, but the phrase itself is as racist as it can get.
I’m sure if you question protestors, most will immediately concede that they indeed believe in #AllLivesMatter, but then why be technically incorrect?
Especially in a day and age where all kinds of extremists exploit social media to wreak havoc, one should take every precaution to ensure the movement is not misconstrued. I do support their cause, but I don’t support their slogan.
Avantica Chaudhry, Founder, Curated By Me
When something dastardly happens it shakes you to the core, it touches the consciousness of your human belief.
The world witnessed the chilling George Floyd Video and him repeating “I can’t breathe” sent chills down everyone’s spine.
The subjugation of anyone on the basis of their caste, color, or creed is absolutely inhuman.
Such incidents bring to life our own society’s bigoted stand of what we value, what we care for.
The protests that are happening across the world right now are nothing short of a Global Awakening. Mass protests are a very effective tool for enacting change in our society. These force people to engage in a dialogue, forcing you to pick one side.
It develops dialogue and that is what brings about real change.
Black Lives Matter is not asking for superiority but it is a mass movement asking for change from the centuries of persecution. It is asking for EQUALITY!
All Lives Matter is what I believe.
We are a country drenched in casteism and religious discrimination.
Even in our own country, we have been seeing the voices of many rise against the social and establishment inflicted divide.
It has even forced many brands and conglomerates to communicate their own stance on these social issues.
When collective voices rise only then we can expect drastic changes.
Periodically in history, such mass movements have shaped the world that we know.
1968 was known as the year that shook the world. Well in my view starting 2019 is our generations’ era to form educated opinions and voice them to force establishments to bring systematic change in how we function as a society.
All Lives Matter.
Mansi Gupta, Founder & CEO, Tjori
With 2020 being an iconic year for several reasons, be it physical calamities or this pandemic, now we also face the horrors of racism in the world, with the atrocious thing that happened with George Floyd.
The sheer nature of this heinous act is devastating for all. I truly believe in the idea, that all lives matter be it human, animal, or plant life. The global protest is the sign of how we see a certain color and god’s creation to be beneath the other.
All lives matter, my motto in life is ‘Live and let live’. The global protests across the world have just brought upon us the sad truths of racism that still exist to a level where an innocent was killed and other people had to come onto the streets to highlight the wrong done to him.
An issue that would be judicially treated if it was not about the color of the victim. The sadness I see when educated people have such low orthodox thoughts about the color of the skin.
The protest stirred a feeling of awareness about all the wrong that black lives have to face. The impact it has created is the urge for each family member to have a sit-down talk with the new generation about the privileges they have and how they should help bridge this gap between white supremacy and the idea that all lives matter.
Rishi Jaggi, Dietician, and sports nutritionist
Black lives do matter, in fact, every living being on earth matters a lot. There should not be any racism on the basis of caste, color, or sex.
I have gone through that video in which the police officer who killed George Floyd, was not showing any mercy, while he kept saying he wasn’t able to breathe.
The question is not about being black, it’s about being a human being, which sometimes people don’t behave like. If that arrest and behavior were on the basis of the color than how can a country like the USA claim to be a developed nation?
The basic requirement to be known as a developed nation is to have a thought process that matches the same vibe.
No matter what, every life counts, and everyone is here in this world to play a role and do incredible things. Every life should be respected no matter you are black, white, short or tall.
Being a human being, this incident was very shocking for me and I still can’t believe how these cops can do what can only be described as an inhuman act.
Do you have an opinion about this subject? Do share your views in the comment box below.
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One of my friends once said, I am in love with words and a zoned out poser... well, I will keep it the way it has been said! Besides that you can call me a compulsive poet, wanna-be painter and an amateur photographer