All lives matter? 

All lives matter; as a statement and a way of life, I stand by 110%. However, as I campaign I’m against it completely. Had the #alllivesmatter started as a vegan mantra, I too my have brought the t-shirt. The fact that this hashtag is a direct response to the #blacklivesmatter movement is antagonistic and insincere. Black people, particular in the US, are disproportionately discriminated against and targeted for police brutality which, on too many occasion has lead to careless fatalities. The justice system has legalised discrimination and prejudice; fear of caricatured blackness has evidently become a legitimate defence. 

The black lives matter campaign did not arise from a sense of superiority or a belief that black lives are far more sacred than others. It arose out of necessity and frustration; It arose as a form of protest against needless deaths. 

The all lives matter campaign sprung up as a direct result of the black lives matter movement, oddly contradicting the very notion it self-righteously assumes it’s propagating. It doesn’t recognise the institutional racism that Black people are subjected to; all lives are not facing the same daunting statistics of profiling, stop and searches and incarceration. 

#alllivesmatter isn’t a call for a change, it’s a stance for the maintenance of the status quo; it’s a stand for the continuation of inequality and racist policies 

If all lives matter is genuine in its claims, that all lives do indeed matter, it would have aligned with the black lives matter campaign, accepting that there is a racial problem and that Black people are overwhelmingly more like to suffer brutality and fatalities at the hands of law enforcement.

Black lives matter, unlike all lives matter, doesn’t contradict the latter notion. It accepts it and demands that Black people too are extended the same right to life. 

All lives do matter but some lives evidently, matter more than others. 

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Why I am not Charlie

a paper bird

imagesThere is no “but” about what happened at Charlie Hebdo yesterday. Some people published some cartoons, and some other people killed them for it.  Words and pictures can be beautiful or vile, pleasing or enraging, inspiring or offensive; but they exist on a different plane from physical violence, whether you want to call that plane spirit or imagination or culture, and to meet them with violence is an offense against the spirit and imagination and culture that distinguish humans. Nothing mitigates this monstrosity. There will be time to analyze why the killers did it, time to parse their backgrounds, their ideologies, their beliefs, time for sociologists and psychologists to add to understanding. There will be explanations, and the explanations will be important, but explanations aren’t the same as excuses. Words don’t kill, they must not be met by killing, and they will not make the killers’ culpability go away.

To abhor what was done to the victims, though, is not…

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Je ne suis pas Charlie!

In the wake of the Paris attacks, some very important questions have a risen. Many surrounding security and how nations can better protect themselves against such atrocities. However, there are many issues that have gone totally under the radar.  For me, questions on social and moral responsibilities have totally been ignored and the masses have been swept up by the emotional uproar to the point that Charlie Hebdo’s moral transgressions have been overlooked.

While I too, I’m tempted to defy those extremists elements in society, that attempt to hold the world hostage, I can not justify the manner in which Charlie Hebdo went about it. There are obvious differences between freedom of speech and freedom to offend. Charlie Hebdo perpetuates the latter rather then the former.

Freedom of speech is one of the most noble of human liberties, however Charlie Hebdo and others like them aren’t virtuous defenders or martyrs for the cause. They, in fact, are savage rapists of the right extended to them. They have taken a social obligation – to question and criticise governments and to speak out against injustices without fear of reprisal – and have reduced it to mocking and offending others. They’ve taken a noble right and trivialised it by using it as a tool for bulling. As someone who champions freedom of speech, I am offended by the misuse of this fundamental right and so should all the believers and defenders of freedom of speech. Aligning ourselves with Charlie Hebdo and their abhorrent views is not the only way to protest nor is it the only way to denounce murder.

As much as I detest their views, nevertheless, I support their right to voice/pen and publish those views freely and without fear. However, I do not believe that valuable and often limited public resources, such as police protection and escort, should be extended to those who simply want to offend. I would feel very differently if the criticism was constructive and/or challenged ideologies that are counterintuitive to social equalities, as this is pivotal to social progression, but that’s not the case. And, even if their publications were not offensive, they are pointless, to say the least, and to provide them with constant police protection while they sit on their intellectual high-ground and offend those they perceive to be intellectually and morally inferior, is not oly ridicules but a misspending of tax payers money.

These are only my humble opinions and they are not intended to offend. However, if you’re offended – offended enough to want to hurt me that is – you should know that, my opinions are negotiatible and are subject to change.

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