“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.”
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!