Kneeling on the neck, “Shit, who cares! I’m a police man and I can do what the fuck I like. Specially to black folks!”
That’s what woke up the world. Imagining the beginning of man’s inhumanity to man. Another expression of superiority of race, one man over another.
The world as we know it was built on a series of wondrous adventures and artistic achievements, from the glories of the Benin kingdoms, through the Aztecs, the glories of India, the wonders of Aboriginal civilisations. Then through Greek and Roman philosophies and systems of governments through to the adventurous Victorians of England and their European competitors. Not to mention the contribution of modern America.
I’m sure this is not a comprehensive list of civilisations, excluding as it does the mighty and inventive civilisations of China and Japan and other Far Eastern cultures.
The issue today is, not how we got here, but how do we go forward? Yes we need to be aware how nasty we have been to each other, from the horrors of the Holocaust, to the ghastliness of Srebrenica, and to the capture and sales of 4 million Africans in to slavery. Slavery was and is not the exclusive sin of the Europeans. For everyone has espoused the practice from China to South America from Ancient Greece to the teachings of the prophet Muhammed. It continues today in West Africa, the USA, Europe and UK.. In brothels, nail bars and car washes, in the services of ships and bars, in the forests and mines of Africa, and many palaces throughout the world.
All these examples of man’s inhumanity to man are wrong, unjust, unspeakably evil. The world abounds with murderous states like Saudi Arabia, the Republic of Iran, who both routinely execute their citizens often for the most frivolous and capricious reasons.
It is clear then that man has consistently treated his fellows with contempt and unkindness. The question that faces all of us is how we treat the future and how we manage our histories.
Not all our civilisations are similar. I assume, for example, that the Saudis think that chopping criminals’ heads off in public is OK! Most civilisations think killing human beings is wrong. This is here and now.
Workers (usually low caste Indians) in the gulf states work in appalling conditions, many die struggling in impossibly hot temperatures. There are thousand upon thousands of women trapped in slavery round the world. This is here and now.
There are millions of Muslim Uighur and Kazakhs Chinese locked in ‘Correction camps in northern China’. This is here and now.
So while the action of thousands rightly support “The Black Lives matter” demonstrations, they must recognise that they have not the monopoly on righteousness. There are so many evil drivers in our world, some born long ago, many still thriving today.
I agree there is no excuse for evil deeds past or present, and I support wholeheartedly the will to change existing racism. Especially in the United States of America the leader of the modern world. I am far from sure that tearing down statues of men and women wrongly seen as heroes in their time, is doing anything other than hiding the past.
Whist the Vicar’s wife thought it Ok to hold shares in a sugar plantation, she was ignorant rather than evil, because she knew not what she did. Ignorance and fear led mankind into all sorts of cruelty, conflict, and inhuman murderous acts. We know these acts today as wrong. Even when the Church supported many inquisitions, the barbarous cruelty of some was swept under the carpet.
There is little doubt that the white races have treated the black races as inferior. This is an untenable lie. Yet this belief is commonly held by white men and women. The recent and persistent police murders of black citizens, has at last raised the common consciousness of the veil of racism. We can only hope that the veil will stay raised and real change will come about.
Remember, The evil that men do, lives after them, the good is oft interred with their bones.