There is absolutely nothing wrong with being uneducated about a certain subject. In our everyday lives, information is being passed around the world at a spectacular rate that it is simply impossible to be informed about everything, all the time. What does anger me, when you share your strong-headed, uneducated opinion publicly, and leave no room to be convinced otherwise, especially on topics as important as #BlackLivesMatter. Search the hashtag on Twitter and let the bigotry begin. People have called BLM everything from terrorism to police bounty hunters to a ‘reverse-racism’ movement. That last one really makes me scratch my head.. Define reverse racism: Myth. Plain and simple.Let’s run through a real world scenario that seems to occur every month nowadays, and flag the point where reverse racism normally shows up.
- A (most-often) white police officer(s) assault, illegally arrest, or kill a person of colour.
- The police department holds a press conference stating something like: “Unfortunately, during the altercation, all of the body cams in the world were dislodged. We are currently undergoing investigations and we assure you that the truth will come to light. We send our deepest and sincerest condolences to the family of (insert name of person that they killed).”
- #BlackLivesMatter challenges the legal system to provide justice in the case and not allow ANOTHER death to go unpunished.
- #AllLivesMatter is used by people who like to read their own words, don’t know what’s going on and feel obliged to post on social media, or closet racists who believe the cops did nothing wrong. Also used by open racists, Donald Trump and his supporters, and people you forgot you were still Facebook friends with.
- The educated call out the uneducated. The uneducated panic realizing they have no knowledge of current events and resort to becoming victims of ‘reverse racism’.
Reverse racism is a phenomenon invented by the uneducated and inhumane. Yes, the inhumane. If anyone has a fragment of humanity or sanity, you can see the necessity of a movement such as BLM. Black Lives Matter is a dialogue from concerned global citizens, to the people who make important decisions in our world. It is a challenge on racial inequality and a call for transparency on how racially-sensitive cases are conducted. The movement is characterized by people of different backgrounds sharing their concern on social justice issues. The truth is, I wish BLM didn’t have to exist because that would mean that our world was being held in balance. It would mean that black kids such as Mike, Tamir, Trayvon were reaping the fruits of the harvest sowed by Malcolm, Rosa Parks, King Jr., Harriet Tubman. It would mean our world was fair, balanced, and equal.
I think, the biggest mistake any Canadian can make is point our fingers down south and act holy in comparison to what happens in America. We ain’t all that great. 3 weeks ago, a black man was beat to death by Ottawa police, the city where I reside. The dialogue that has gone on since then has been from the SIU performing their investigation and the senseless poem from the Bridgehead CEO. But then there’s BLM again, responsible for creating “Justice for Abdirahman” and asking for equity, transparency, solidarity, and justice. When over 500 people rally to fight for someone that they are only related to by the color of their pigment, that’s how I know BLM is necessary.
So if you do not care for the unjust killing of black people and have some closet racist b.s. to say, I simply urge you to keep it off the internet. But if you are someone, who has even a mustard seed-sized amount of humanity inside of you, read up on the Black Lives Matter movement; ask people who know about it, educated yourself, and stay woke. Those that use it don’t do so to be a trending topic on Twitter, we do it so that we can genuinely change how things are.
Because our world is still living in the 60s, and it’s 2016 people.
“If you have no interest in equal rights for Black people, then do not make suggestions to those who do. Sit down.” –Jesse Williams
*A contribution to the ‘When Will I Be Free?’ Collection*
About the writer
David Oladejo is a 3rd year student at Carleton University studying Mechanical Engineering and Business. Born in Lagos, Nigeria, he lived in several parts of the country for 8 years, before moving to Houston, Texas, and eventually Ottawa. He enjoys watching and playing sports, music, and video games. He just recently got into social justice issues and writing about his opinions on racial inequality.