Notably this isn’t the next blog post that I said I’d write. But the intended post is irrelevant and can occur whenever. What’s going on right now is infinitely more important.
Firstly I’m 100% in support of these protests. Change needs to occur. And the efforts to make this change happen in the past haven’t stopped Black People from being murdered by the police.
I’m very privileged; I know that. I’m white, cis, can pass for neurotypical, and have never lived in poverty.
I grew up surrounded by a fair bit of racism, from both peers and adults. I’d only met a few people that weren’t white before middle school. I say this because I’m sure this racism and lack of diversity in my childhood has negatively impacted my views subconsciously, even if only slightly. I think us white folks need to admit that a lot of us, even if we aren’t outwardly racist, can be somewhat racist internally. To change and be better, we need to admit this. And we need to think critically about why we think the way we do and whether there are racist undertones. We need to actually try to put ourselves in other people’s shoes. We need to realize the pain and fear that are inflicted by police on Black communities. We may not be able to understand fully, but at the very least we can make an effort. And even if we don’t really understand at all we still need to stand up for our fellow people and human rights.
The world needs to change and it needs to change now. It’s 2020, not 1920. Racism and police violence should be something we look back on and say, “That’s horrific, glad I’m alive now and it’s not at all like that in 2020.” But we can’t say that because we still have Black People being murdered by police, racist hate crimes, racists not getting called out, et cetera.
Let’s take a look through the list of human rights from the UN:
1. We Are All Born Free & Equal.
“We are all born free. We all have our own thoughts and ideas. We should all be treated in the same way.”
We’re definitely failing at this one. The police don’t treat people of different races the same, and many other folks don’t either.
2. Don’t Discriminate.
“These rights belong to everybody, whatever our differences.”
Once again we fail.
3. The Right to Life.
“We all have the right to life, and to live in freedom and safety.”
Another right that we aren’t seeing. This one is super applicable to the protests. People act like we’ve got all these human rights in Canada and the US but for these human rights to be in these contries they must apply to everyone and yet so many people aren’t granted these rights.
5. No Torture.
“Nobody has any right to hurt us or to torture us.”
Yet another one we fail at, considering all the police violence that has occurred and continues to occur.
7. We’re All Equal Before the Law.
“The law is the same for everyone. It must treat us all fairly.”
I’m beginning to wonder if we even have a majority of the human rights.
8. Your Human Rights Are Protected by Law.
“We can all ask for the law to help us when we are not treated fairly.”
9. No Unfair Detainment.
“Nobody has the right to put us in prison without good reason and keep us there, or to send us away from our country. “
I would classify police arresting people protesting police violence and racism peacefully as lacking a good reason.
Also when Canada sent the police earlier this year and the military last year to arrest Wet’suwet’en People for protesting there land being taken and used for a pipeline. Yeah, Canada is far from not racist.
11. We’re Always Innocent Till Proven Guilty.
“Nobody should be blamed for doing something until it is proven. When people say we did a bad thing we have the right to show it is not true.”
This doesn’t seem to be applied to Black People, considering police are murdering numerous innocents all the time. So, here’s another human right we fail at.
20. The Right to Public Assembly.
“We all have the right to meet our friends and to work together in peace to defend our rights. Nobody can make us join a group if we don’t want to.”
So, declaring protesting for rights illegal and responding with violence means our police and countries are failing at another human right.
“We have a duty to other people, and we should protect their rights and freedoms.”
And this is why we must stand together and defend each other. This is why we need to support these protests and support change.
I’m amazed by the bravery and determination that these people that are protesting have shown. What you’re doing is incredible.