So, an American black man gets killed in the streets of Minneapolis, in broad day light, by an evil cop with a twisted mind, and three spectator cops who watched as their colleague seeped life literally out of the windpipe of the helpless man. The man who was killed – George Floyd.
And it was only at that instance that people rose – rising from all corners of the world in protest at the killing.
The authorities first said the one officer who knelt on Floyd’s neck was to be charged. Charged with third degree murder. People rose in protest. And said one, he should have been charged with greater offences. Third degree was certainly not enough. And for goodness’ sake, what about the other three cops who stood there watching, nonchalantly; casually as their colleague was killing a fellow human being?
So protests got louder. And they got what they wanted. The other three were also charged and will be prosecuted.
But then it didn’t end there. The ‘Black Lives Matter’ syndrome took hold. Everyone adopted the slogan. Because they wanted to stop the brutality of the police on black people. They want to stop the lopsided treatment of the black race by the powers-that-be.
Protests went far and wide. From all major cities in America, it got to Europe. The crowds in London were impressive. Paris had its own fair share, as did Berlin. The images of what happened in Adelaide all the way down under in Australia were worth beholding.
Suddenly George Floyd became an enigma – a symbol against which we will see and test the extent to which the authorities and the powerful people will go to exercise this right to fair treatment that the ethnic minorities around the world actually want and ask for.
Some people and organisations came out immediately and made pronouncements. The ‘Black Lives Matter’ phrase became something they all felt they had to say or write, to show that they truly identify and can relate with the frustrations of the black race.
Big companies, big personalities all come forward and say ‘Black Lives Matter’. Governments are saying it. Allowing peaceful demonstrations. Naming streets after ‘Black Lives Matter’.
But can we end the hypocrisy here please? Because really we are not being fooled.
We need to assess and appraise ourselves – and check with the utterances. The black race has been maligned and fooled for so many years now. What they do not need to follow is patronising talk – political lingo that just feeds the ego and suits the occasion.
How many of those powerful organisations really accept that black lives do matter? To what extent do they want to preserve the lives of the black man?
While George Floyd’s death remains painful, as does the deaths of the many who have been maliciously and brutally killed by inhuman monsters in human clothing over the years, do they think that stopping such killings is what constitutes them acting the slogan ‘Black Lives Matter’?
Let the hypocrisy stop.
My life is football. In England where I live, only 5 of the 92 managers in the top four leagues here are black. Are we really that bad?
How many top jobs in football have gone to the black man in FIFA, in UEFA or anywhere else? Do we not apply for them?
The big managers in football are all white. And when they decide to give a fairly ok managerial role to a black person, it is only because they want him to go and oversee football in a black area – like in Africa!
Top companies; even medium sized ones…they put black people in charge of black areas because they feel the black manager will ‘relate better with the black customer base’.
Most media houses, when they have a feature to do in Africa or in black run-down parts of the world, they send a black correspondent because, ‘he’s one of them’.
But when it comes to nominating such a black face to positions of authority, they start to ask questions and say ‘he won’t quite fit in’.
In countries with a thriving cosmopolitan population, with a multiracial contribution to their economies, how many governments place black people in their cabinet? How many black ministers are in the UK government, in the US government, in France or in Belgium, for example?
How much respect do they accord the black race? They give jobs that would ensure the black professional will sweat blood and they get the credit.
There are some employers who are genuine. And we acknowledge them. But for goodness sake, not all. Not all at all. Many of them say the ‘right stuff’ but their ‘right stuff’ now sounds hollow and comes out all wrong!
Enough of the hypocrisy. And let us see some real action, some real resolve that black lives do indeed matter; not just for the stopping of the killings, but to treat all races equally.
When organisations that have a Human Resources or Recruitment director who looks at a thick wad of CVs in front of him, and his first process of elimination was to look at the names on each CV. If it is a black-sounding name on the CV, it goes in the bin. No chance for the youngster with a name that is not obviously white. Do black lives matter to that HR professional, recruiter or hirer? And such hirer being a representative of a wider organisation, would anyone say black lives matter to such an organisation?
Yet many of them have come out in the last week and said ‘Black Lives Matter’!
Enough of this hypocrisy please.
Black people have their own faults. As does every race. And we will address these very soon. But there are some darn good ones out there. Worthy of being respected. Worthy of being given a fair chance in society. Worthy of living and not scared of retribution, hate and disdain from fellow human beings just because of their colour.
But I will end by saying this. Each decision maker, each director, each football administrator, each club chairman…..please go buy a full-length mirror and put it somewhere in your office, and spend a good minute or two in front of the mirror. And ask who you see in that mirror, ‘am I really fair to all human beings under me? Have I been fair? Have I shown bias in my dealings as a top guy?’ And then speak to the mirror again and resolve ‘to give all man and woman a fair chance regardless of colour, creed or class going forward’, and mean it!
Now that resolve, if spoken from the heart, and actually enacted with stark and naked honesty, is more powerful than your paid advert that says ‘Black Lives Matter’ on the biggest tv network of the world.