Trevor Noah spoke out recently from his home where he is sitting out the Covid-19 pandemic. He had a lot to say about the horror of the Black experience in the United States as it exists in 2020. Even if he had not clearly tied it in, we the listener would have been remiss if we had not heard his words as the reflections of a man who grew up under the worst case of colonialism surviving into the 20th Century — that being his upbringing in the nation of South Africa where the original natives of the country were kept under the thumb of an occupying force of people not native to the area. The Europeans were known as Afrikaners, although they were definitely not of African descent.
The Afrikaners were likely one of the worst examples of colonialism gone mad. They managed to keep the native population, which considerable outnumbered them, in poverty and in exile in their own homes from 1914 when the odious party was founded until they were disbanded by the successful rebellion led by Mandela in 1997 which ended up with the party being disbanded. The European invaders were then extended kindness in a generous act on the part of Mandela that I hesitate to suggest I would have kind enough to preform. I would have likely agreed with those more hard liners who wanted them expelled or at least punished for their crimes.
I have never been a minority population, as a while male. I, however, do understand the pure evil that is colonialism. The arrogance is beyond measure. What the theory asserts is that the invading, occupying group is better than the native population and has the right of subduing it. We, the current inhabitant of the United States did exactly that to the native Americans, and transported and did that to the African-American population so we are doubly guilty of rank colonialism in this nation. Colonialism is a belief and action that should be seen as repugnant to all reasonable human beings who believe in the innate dignity of the human being.
In this rather lengthy but not the less, important commentary on the current crisis of racial tension in the United States, Trevor speaks out about the violence that has occurred in some cities as a result of the murder of George Floyd. He insists, rightly, that this murder is not to be seen as a separate, one time, event. It is part of a pattern that has been long standing. The death by cop syndrome has been going for quite some time and has gradually taken more and more time in the news.
Trevor, himself, ties it to the killing of Ahmaud Arbery, but i would go on back to Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin. Those and many more were cases of Black young men gunned down by the police or by someone taking upon himself the authority of a police man (Zimmerman) and then shooting dead someone that nobody has proved conclusively did anything to deserve that penalty. There is simply too long a line of these cases to take them one by one
He also ties it in with the Covid-19 crisis, which was a huge overburdening of the Black and People of Color’s way of life. As a rule, they got a disportionate share of the cases, and deaths. Whether this is to be laid to the fact that they live under threat more than the white population, both from police abuse and financial degradation, or because of working in low paid jobs on the front line of much of the industry that aided during the spread of the disease is hard to say. But in any case, there is two Covid-19 crisis, and the POC have the worst of the two. No more esteemed and learned a group than the CDC understands and acknowledges this fact.
So, we have some protestors in over 30 cities around the nation protesting against the murder of George Floyd, but not just because of George Floyd. It is also because cops seem to be coming for our nations young Black men on an almost daily basis. In addition, even viruses are more of a threat because of their second class citizenship and the stress that brings. This is a case of forced colonialism of part of our own citizenry. We drug their ancestors over here from Africa, and now are treating them like we used to citizens of third world nations right here in our own country.
Trevor asks the question, why wouldn’t they riot? He makes the distinct point that a social structure only has validity as an agreement signed on to by the people it represents. For Blacks and other minorities, obeying the agreement when the majority population still allows policemen to gun them down, or as this guy did George Floyd, literally hold his feet on the victim’s neck after Mr Floyd was subdued, did not honor the “protect and serve” part of the social contract. So, why, pray tell, is anyone surprised if some decide not to honor their side of the contract in return?
And it is not like we didn’t have warning. Back in early 2019, Colin Kaepernick tried the peaceful way. He simply started taking a knee to protest the unfair gunning down of Black men for things that a white person would get a ticket or an arrest at most for. What happened?? People too absorbed in sports and their own feelings of entitlement and apparently their right to remain ignorant went ballistic. Taking a knee was not the right way to make the point. What right did NFL players have to speak up about an issue important to them and their people? Weren’t they just there for entertainment, not as human beings worthy of respect.
Well, nobody is taking a knee now. People are marching in the streets. Some are rioting. The question is now, what method is “appropriate” according to those that don’t like the idea of resistance to racism that ends in Black men dying for things that me or you, as a White American would get our hands slapped and perhaps taken to jail and/or given a fine. Are they more or less likely to be happy when the man who gave rise to a lot of this angst and anger though his unwillingness to put the people first before his precious self-serving interest in the mighty dollar as shown by the “economy” might now be having to hide in his bunker under the White House as he ended up doing on this last Friday night? I suspect not.
Finally, the idea that rioting never accomplished anything must have missed the lesson of the Revolutionary War where the American colonies declared their independence from England. That was not a polite request. That was a riot that escalated into a war. Now try telling Blacks that “rioting never helped anything”. But only ask that if you want to be open to the question of whether the United States has any value. Because that question would be a valid retort. By the way, i have conservatives suggest that a revolution needs to be fought because of a supposed war on Christianity which doesn’t exist. And yet, this war on the young Black man DOES exist and even marching down the street is looked at almost as a crime.
All that the so-called christians who claim there is a war on Christianity are talking about is the fact that some of us don’t believe that our relationship with or without one particular religion should be the be all and end all of the entire society. That is NOT a war on Christians doing their own thing, it is a insistence that we don’t have to kowtow to a faith we either don’t hold or see differently.
Let’s just face it, we may be looking at an agreement of sorts right now that the conservative side of the house would like to ignore. Sometimes, as it happens, it might just be time for violence. And now might just be that time. One group of the population can not and will not be subjected to abuse indefinitely without fighting back.
Now, I hope and pray that this is not the time. I further pray that there will never come the necessity of such a time. In other words, I hope that policemen start being held to a higher standard and that no more will a policeman be allowed to hold a subdued Black man on the ground by putting his heel into the guys neck till he is dead, like happened with George Floyd.
But then that would require that we repent from our sins of pride manifested in the heinous action of colonization suppression and oppression of people that live beside us on a daily basis. Are we decent and brave enough to do that?? Time will be our judge. But then, we might also need to stop mistreating our land.