OPINION: DO BLACK LIVES STILL MATTER?

I strongly consider myself a “non-violent” person, not because I am afraid of it, but whats the use for violence when life is just a short phase in our journey through existence. Black lives do matter, as a matter of fact, all lives SHOULD matter, it doesn’t matter if you are Black, Asian, Caucasian, Hispanic, Indian etc. As far as its a “life”, then it has to “matter”!

Yesterday, Philando Castile, 32, a black man has been shot dead by police in the US state of Minnesota and this was hours after two police officers shot Alton Sterling while he was seemingly pinned to the ground, unable to move. Black people are three times more likely to be killed by police in the United States than white people. More unarmed black people were killed by police than unarmed white people last year. And that’s taking into account the fact that black people are only 13.2% of the US population!

I strongly believe it is a question of how young black males are perceived. How do the White American majority, see the modern day young black man? With all our songs about violence, drugs and guns. Its rare to find a White American song portray violence, really name some. Most of the time, the officers involved usually state that they perceived the victim as a threat. Perhaps, they thought he was armed or probably was reaching for a gun.

So the African American population need to work extensively, on their image and perception to the outside world. This would take some time at this rate.

However, the real threat to black lives shouldn’t be mistaken for police brutality alone. Trust me, as a modern day Nigerian, police brutality out here is way up the charts and it gets to a point where you might just be compelled to conclude that “Police Brutality”, is probably part of every society. The real threat to black lives is acts of violence perpetrated against people of colour by white people who aren’t custodians of the Law and are under no obligation to enforce law! This is what I call “Racist brutality”. I am talking of violent crimes against people of colour because of their race or the colour of their skins.

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This morning alone, I have already posted about 2 completely different Nigerians (Yoruba and Ibo), who were murdered in the UK and Italy. Fola Orebiyi, 15, was stabbed in the neck in the UK and Emmanuel Chidi Nnamdi, beaten to death with a roadsign pole, by some racist Italian guy. Apparently, these are both black people, in another man’s land, murdered without “justification” (How do you really justify murder?) and trust me, I am probably one of the few people with the opportunity to have every heard of these guys!

Why is it everytime a black person gets shot in the US, this is only when we hear about #BlackLivesMatter. Does anyone know the degree of poverty in Africa at the moment? Or don’t the Black people starving to death, have lives that matter? If not for the level of poverty in Africa, many young black people who travel abroad in search of greener pastures but had their lives cut short would be back home now, contributing to society. Learn more here

The fact is, there might not be any #BlackLivesMatter protests for Fola and Emmanuel, but I do think whatever aim, #BlackLivesMatter movement has got going is greatly defeated, if their impacts cannot be felt by other black people around the globe.

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