I wrote the below in June while sat down watching 12 Years a Slave and reflecting on the instances of police brutality that have been filling the news and my Facebook feed.I’m still not sure about sharing this publicly but maybe these things need to be said?
I am always saddened by the apparent and excessive cruelty of our being. To know that by our collective hand there has been such harm caused and I am at a loss to reconcile it with myself that we could ever be better.
What cruelty will we bestow upon this world, on our fellow men for decades, centuries or millenniums to come? By nature we put other beings beneath ourselves. We murder animals for our needs regardless of theirs. We have forced men, women and children to serve us with no rights, no dignity and no liberty. We have read from scripture and other sources to confirm our conviction. But what gives us this resolute belief that we are above any other creature, any other man, woman or child?
It is this question that I could not shake while watching the events Solomon Northup painstakingly wrote of his experience of being kidnapped and sold into slavery. That any other man could be less than another purely based upon the colour of his skin. Did these people ask for their ancestors to be ripped from their homeland? The white people of many nations treated these people as though they were unworthy to live in their country but they brought them their in the first place. Uneducated, poorly treated and without prospect; how could man do this to his fellow man? To not see they are the same as him; not inferior, not a lesser being, no different on the inside than they themselves.
I would pray for a better world but I’m not sure there is anyone up there to answer, let alone change the world.
A good piece to read is Know your history: Understanding racism in the US written by A’Lelia Bundles for Al Jazeera. This piece was written in August 2015 and I must have read it several times since.