#BlackLivesMatter is an important social movement in the west. Aiming to progress the rights and treatment of black people who are often mistreated, and as I wrote about in my previous blog post – killed when they are innocent. It’s a powerful movement, and people are passionate about it. I love that, I love when people really, truly believe in something and they fight for it. Though I have also a few problems with the movement.
Most pressingly is the fact that anytime someone suggests #AllLivesMatter, BLM supporters get really, really, irritated and annoyed at you. I’ve seen it a lot on Twitter, and Facebook. People claiming that black lives and ONLY black lives have ever not mattered and thus are the only ones deserving of a ______ Lives Matter movement. This is super frustrating to me. I’m someone who reads and looks into the nuance of history and this whole idea that only black people have ever been treated badly is quite simply, ludicrous.
The first and foremost thing that people ever bring up, is slavery. How black people were enslaved in recent history and how this is reason enough for their parade. This excludes white people because, white people were never enslaved, right? Absolutely wrong. Right down to the bone.
Here’s a brief look at the enslavement of white people over the course of history. There’s the Arab Slave Trade, around 2 million white, christian slaves sold off and bought between the 16th and 18th centuries. There were also white slaves in the Ottoman Empire. The Vikings too had slaves, as did most of the world. America is one of the most recent countries to have abolished slavery, but it wasn’t the only country to have slaves, and the slaves in America weren’t even all black. A good number of slaves in America were white Irish people.
Next up in the BLM hate parade is the “black people are treated badly today!” card. They would be right, absolutely, black people are treated badly today. Yet so are whites. This idea that ONLY black people are struggling to get jobs, earn money, have families, and not fall into criminal behaviour to get by is plain retarded. Even in the west this is a big deal, but more notably and more starkly contrasting to our idea of “white people” is the way some white South Africans are living today.
Click the images to expand and have a look. It’s more akin to the kind of imagery we see out of charity adverts for poverty stricken areas of Africa. Except those images focus on black kids so that we feel sorry for the poor little African as we’re apparently less sympathetic towards white people – who also happen to be poor little Africans too, but whatever, its semantics right? Not according to the white people who actually live in those conditions, who claim they can’t get jobs, or government funding because they are white.
We can’t have this onesided #blacklivesmatter movement in the west without also taking into account what’s happening across the world to all people. People living in poverty is people living poverty. People being enslaved are people being enslaved, and people being treated badly for the colour of their skin are people being treated badly for the colour of their skin. We’re doing an injustice to ourselves and humanity by ignoring these problems and only focusing on one side of the story, and I know… I only focused on white people here, and I’d love to say its only white and black people in these situations, but its not. Most ethnic groups of people at some point have been enslaved by other ethnic groups at some point in history, pretty much.
Slavery still exists today, as does sexual slavery, racism and poverty. They do not care for your skin colour, they do not care for the country you were born in or the language that you speak, they do not care about any of this bullshit we’re spending our time fighting about in the West. Yet we still keep fighting about it from our ivory towers while people across the world are fighting to survive in their situations. People of all colours, creeds and nations. Lets stop fighting between ourselves and start helping some of these people instead, the first step is to be aware and mindful that these problems exist for all people, not just black people.