‘PEOPLE! PEOPLE!’ The cries of a little boy, to his Dad, as he scootered towards us on the pavement ahead. You’d be forgiven for thinking that Michael McIntyre was going to appear from behind a bush! As though something from a comedy sketch – surely, for the future – one has to laugh; or cry. The world has gone stark raving mad and, it seems, the intelligent have little means of redressing the balance in the wake of mass brainwashing.
Where is the respite? Subjected to three years of Brexit – the repercussions of which are still lurking in the background, waiting to bite – Coronavirus followed, all-consuming. The world was down and out, anyway, drowning in the lack of consensus as to the best means of survival and further crippled by fear. Lockdown. Weeks and weeks of lockdown while governments floundered in their plight – and people grew impatient and angry. Monday, 25th May was merely the spark which lit the flames, now – almost three weeks later – out of control. Black lives matter. Lives matter. No preface.
The tsunami of anger, following the murder of George Floyd, has not been surprising. Police brutality, once more raising its ugly head but was it an act of racism or just pure evil – or both? Yes, Derek Chauvin – the policeman who pressed his knee to George Floyd’s neck ensuring asphyxiation – was white, as was Thomas Lane but J. Alexander Kueng is of black ethnicity and Tou Thao, an Asian American. Was it, then, wholly to do with the colour of the victim’s skin or was it just an opportunity for mindless brutality at the hands of depraved beings?
I have a problem with this. George Floyd was black and Derek Chauvin white but does that, automatically, mean the crime was one of racism? Of course, it may very well be but, first and foremost, it was an horrific act of savagery. Is there any chance that colour was incidental? Police brutality is insidious, heinous – and rife. I know of someone whose son bore witness to it in this country, a victim of class! Amazing what a blind eye can sanction. The guise of a uniform; a licence to …
It was claimed that Meghan Markle was an innocent victim of racism in this country but racism merely masked the truth. It was her actions which ensured her fall, nothing to do with her colour!
‘No longer shall we seek to place blame for our condition elsewhere or to look to others to take responsibility for our development. We are the masters of our own fate.’
The words of Nelson Mandela, Cape Town, July 2002. I used the same quote when touching on this subject in my post of 19th February, 2020. Take a look.
Black Lives Matter. The movement against racism proving an umbrella for mass protests and increasing acts of aggression and violence. The anger which has been unleashed lends itself to mob rule as statues are vandalised and defaced while innocent animals are the targets of missiles intended to injure. As strength in numbers grows, so, too, do the demands. History must be re-written so as not to offend and why not just give the entire English language an overhaul at the same time! Then there’s the subject of entertainment. Well, Little Britain must be removed because there were occasions when the characters wore black make-up on their faces and some of the sketches could, now, be construed as upsetting. Then, there’s Fawlty Towers and the infamous episode with Basil and the Germans, ‘Don’t mention the war!’. No. Not funny anymore. That has to go. Friends? That was an all-white cast. How offensive is that? Well-nigh unthinkable! Where is it going to end?
My mother wrote a book in her latter years. Autobiographical, she was definitely prone to embellishment and her preferred version of events, but it is anything but boring and a treasured heirloom for future years. As such, she had a copy printed for each of her grandchildren at no small cost. My brother, however, married for the second time, came under duress from his wife who took umbrage at the mention of her predecessor, seventeen times and counting! He insisted my mother remove said name – and all mention – or else. Well, she phoned me for advice and I, of course, insisted that she did not re-write history – or the book! Apart from anything else, there was the cost of re-printing … She succumbed, though, afraid to lose her blue-eyed boy, regardless. History was re-written and wife number one? Never heard of her!
Sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? That’s because it is. History cannot and should not be erased. It is there to be celebrated or to educate. Destroying, defacing and removing statues to our past is futile, changing nothing. The opportunity to learn from history, however? Invaluable.
Everyone and his dog has been jumping on the bandwagon. I have seen numerous interviews with celebrities in tears over their racist bullying and yet citing no specifics as they sit in their millionaire mansions. Leigh-Anne from the girl group, Little Mix, being one. She was emotional as she talked of her struggle in the face of discrimination but what of her bandmate, Jesy, who was the victim of online trolling because of her weight? Today’s world is a cruel one. Devoid of morals and manners, social media has proved insidious in terms of confidence and connection. Anger is a constant and bullying rife. Colour is only one of the many problems. Racism is a mask for so much more …
I wrote about J K Rowling on my ‘Seriously?!’ page on Wednesday. Her comment on Twitter re ‘people who menstruate’ was both factual and courageous. Freedom of speech ensures she has every right to voice her opinion and, yet, she has been subject to savage online bullying and received threats of violence from those who purport to have been offended!
On 23rd December, 2019, Carole Malone penned an article in the Express in support of J K Rowling who was subjected to similar abuse from the transgender community when she came out in support of Maya Forstater, ‘sacked from her job for daring to say that transgender people can’t change their biological sex.’ She went on to write:
‘There are fewer than 500,000 trans people in Britain in a population of 67.59 million, yet society’s norms, traditions and protections are being eroded, and in some cases abandoned, so as not to “offend” a minority accounting for less than one per cent of the population. How can one per cent dictate what the other 99 per cent do, think and are allowed to say?’
The Tyranny of Tolerance. Denial of the right to an opinion. Freedom of speech, no more. Mob rule. Online bullying. Threats of violence. Enforced erosion of tradition. Enforced erosion of anything which constitutes normality. The statue of Churchill, our celebrated wartime hero who led us to victory over the Nazis, ensuring our freedom, has been defaced amid claims of racism. Now boarded up for its protection from further violent attacks, one cannot help but surmise his thoughts had he been alive today. Did he lead our country to victory for this? Did millions sacrifice their lives for this? Ironically, it may be a case of so much lost by so many courtesy of so few …
‘If we win, nobody will care. If we lose, there will be nobody to care.’ Churchill (1941).
We did care, once. What happened?
This is Trish, signing off.