“How a revolution erupts from a commonplace event – tidal wave from a ripple – is cause for endless astonishment…
First, a piece of news about something said or done travels quickly, more so than usual, because it is uniquely apt; it fits a half-conscious mood or caps a situation… On impulse, perhaps to snap the tension, somebody shouts in church, throws a stone through a window, which provokes a fight… As further news spread, various types of people become aroused for or against the thing now upsetting everybody’s daily life. But what is that thing? Concretely; ardent youths full of hope as they catch the drift of the idea, rowdies looking for fun, and characters with a grudge. Cranks and tolerated lunatics come out of houses, criminals out of hideouts and all assert themselves.
Manners are flouted and customs broken. Foul language and direct insult become normal, inkeeping with the rest of the excitement, buildings defaced, images destroyed, shops looted… Angry debates multiply about things long since settled: talk of free love, of priests marrying and monks breaking their vows, of property and wives in common, of sweeping out all evils, all corruption, all at once – all things new for a blissful life on earth…
Voices grow shrill, parties form and adopt names or are tagged with them in derision and contempt. Again and again comes the shock of broken friendships, broken families.”
(from “From Dawn to Decadence: 500 years of Western Cultural Life”
by Jacques Barzun )
Yes, black lives do matter, as white lives, Asian lives, Muslim lives, Christian lives – all HUMAN lives. Murderers and killers of innocent people should be held accountable for their brutal actions. Unfortunately however so often protests against brutality and injustice turn into a disastrous avalanche of the identity violence – by race, nationality, religion, occupation or other identity groupings.
In his book “Identity and Violence” Amartya Sentakes argues that viewing human beings as members of just one identity group is not just morally undesirable, but descriptively wrong. Instead, Sen invokes the myriad identities within each individual. The people of the world can be classified according to many other partitions, each of which has some—often far-reaching—relevance in our lives: nationalities, locations, occupations, social status, languages, politics, and many others, including identity common to all – HUMANS. Because all of us contain multitudes, we can choose among our identities, emphasizing those we share with others rather than those we do not.
Let’s focus on our shared identity as HUMANS while fighting against injustice, brutality and violence in this world.
All HUMAN lives matter!
- Image 1 from Musée du Louvre, Paris
- Image 2 from usadailyexpress.com
- Image 3 from Pinterest
Until black lives matter, all lives don’t matter. If a woman’s son is killed and she is next to you and shouts “my sons life matters” would you shout “my sons life matters too!” No. Stop doing that. Black lives matter.
Thanks for your comment, Traanrekk. I do firmly believe that all lives matter. Your sons’ lives matter, my sons’ lives matter – any innocent life lost from senseless brutality matters regardless person’s race, age, gender, nationality and other identities. And I’ve seen a lot of innocent lives lost from violence and brutality – they all matter…
I agree completely ✌️❤️
Excellent post! The ‘Salad Bowl’ meme … I have used that very example many times … it is such an apt analogy. Every culture brings something to the table … we are richer for those things: dress, food, music, ideas. It’s a damn shame so many people are so wrapped up in their cloak of superiority that they cannot see this.
I love this quote by Jane Elliott. We ARE all different, yet all equal.
I’ve always quoted the salad bowl analogy.
But its a sad truth that all lives don’t matter equally, yet, which is why these movements are happening.
So true… And in different parts of the world this discrimination will be based on different components of our identities: race, ethnicity, gender, social status…
When someone says, ‘black lives matter’ they’re not saying white lives don’t matter, they’re saying black lives matter too. This isn’t about Black vs. White or Black vs. Blue, this is about the Human Race vs. Racism. There are people of all colors, races, and religions protesting peacefully, as is their right as American citizens. Maybe you should take a closer look at the groups who are causing the riots. I may not be black, but I’m outraged by the way the black community is treated. And I’m so tired of people who are safe and comfortable at home, who have never experienced racism talk about the issue as if it’s just another passing fad. Enough is enough!
Very good point, Vishti! When we say all human lives matter, we also do not mean that black, native, female, male, Asian or other lives do not matter. Unfortunately in different parts of the world we still have discrimination and injustice based on different components of our identity: race, ethnicity, gender, social status… 😞 We should be fighting together for all innocent lives, against all injustice!
I agree. And there’s a time for everything. Right now, it’s about racial injustice. It’s about police brutality and the murder of black men and women. This has been happening for too long, and the reason it’s been happening for so long without any significant change is because everytime a group of people protest the injustices another group steps up talking about peace. What peace? How could there be peace when so many are being abused and killed by racists. We need to come together and solve one issue at a time. Right now, the police officer who mercilessly killed George Floyd and the others that stood by and did nothing need to be arrested for murder and go to jail. If it were you knocked to the ground and cuffed and if it was your neck being crushed under officer chauvin’s knee for almost 9 minutes until you die, how would your family and friends react? I would hope they’d be outraged by the injustice.
Very well said. Our grandchildren are Black. I have rewritten my own personal life narrative as if I’d been born Black. It was not nearly the same. With great respect to the writer of this blog, who I deeply believe is a good person, I believe the best response we can say to the phrase “black lives matter” is just “yes they do.” And stop there. I don’t think it is maybe our place to speak all the time. I don’t mean any disrespect….lots of the writing here is extremely helpful to me and others! Please keep it up!
Wonderful post. All lives matter!
I agree, All lives matter. When we divide into groups the energy is combative. Your cause gets lost in senseless violence. Unity is what MLK stood for, that message isn’t present anymore. What does rioting resolve? It’s more destruction and hatred.