Tag: BLM

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Right, after the last few weeks on social media I’m really at the end of my tether when it comes to my own mental health, so I’ve taken the decision the ‘step back’ a little.
I’m not deleting any of my accounts but I’m just not going to be posting or responding to anything negative.

I have found the last few weeks quite worrying and upsetting.
I consider myself to be one of the most accepting and loving people on the planet, but anything I say on social media is receive with ‘hate’ and people disagreeing with my ‘opinion’ in a most unsavoury way. I have no concerns about people disagreeing with my opinions, but I do have a problem when they attack me for my opinions instead of trying to ‘discuss’ their opinions.

The last few days have given me food for thought and I thought I would leave you with this.
Always look a little deeper before you attack.

I have just finished 3 long days at work. A total of 37.5 hours. I’m tired. I’ve done chores and now I’ve had time to think, it is time for me to say something.

I had a really interesting discussion about current events with some colleagues at work yesterday, and I was reminded of a London stage show that I went to a few years, and also 2 of my favourite films as I was growing up.

The stage show was ‘The Jolsen Story’ and the films were ‘The Jolsen Story and Jolsen Sings Again’

Before I go any further, I can see the faces of everyone reading.
The wide eyes and the ‘OMG’ how could she even say that expressions.

Hear me out.

During that lunch hour, it occurred to me how wrong I may have been, enjoying these films as I grew up. After all ‘blackface’ is one of the worst forms of caricature and racism there is!

However, when I got home, as a complete coincidence, I read an article about Al Jolsen.

Al Jolson - publicity.JPG

At a time when black people were banned from starring on the Broadway stage, he promoted the play by black playwright Garland Anderson, which became the first production with an all-black cast ever produced on Broadway. He brought an all-black dance team from San Francisco that he tried to feature in his Broadway show. He demanded equal treatment for Cab Calloway, with whom he performed a number of duets in his movie ‘The Singing Kid’, and he was the only white man allowed into an all black nightclub in Harlem. He was so active in fighting Racism, but people today can’t see past the blackface.

So you see, don’t be swayed by everything you see going on in the news.
Do a little research. Dig a little deeper.

I can stand proud, saying I loved these films.
I completely understand why blackface is so racist, BUT, at the same time, this performer was using his ‘privilege’ to stand up for the black community at a time when it was EXTREMELY dangerous to do so!

I am now going to be a bit of a lurker. I will watch what is going on on the social media platforms I follow, but I will remain silent on current events.
I will,, however, be educating myself as I go and will not be so quick to judge things in the future.

MMMM JUST A THOUGHT

The last couple of weeks have been absolutely shocking!
And for good reason.

The Black Lives Matter campaign, spurred on by yet another black death in police custody and every day, a new video of white privilege being recorded and released onto the internet for the whole world to see.
It actually makes me sick to my stomach.

Anyway, with the BLM campaign at the forefront of the news, it has now highlighted other areas that have been campaigned for and ignored for years.
Statues that honor men and women for their achievements, are now having those achievements questioned, and rightly so.

It all started with the statue of Edward Colston in Bristol, being torn down by protestors and dumped in the harbor.
Edward Colston was honored as a ‘philanthropist’ because he donated money to charitable causes which supported those who shared his political and religious views.
What it doesn’t do, is tell you how he was a merchant and Tory member of parliament, involved in the slave trade.

There’s a whole list of statues that are in question.

Local authorities in London have already taken down a statue of Robert Milligan from West India Quay. Robert Milligan was a Scottish merchant, ship-owner and slave-factor, and was the driving force behind the construction of the West India Docks in London.

A statue of King Charles the II in Soho Square is on the list.
The monarch “founded the Royal African Company which transported approximately 212,000 slaves, of whom 44,000 died en route between the years 1662 and 1773”.

Christopher Columbus in Belgrave Square.
Columbus’s voyages are considered some of the most important events in world history, kickstarting modern globalism. This is why we have statues of him, however, what is not commonly known or taught in schools was that he was a colonizer and slave trader. He may have found the Americas but he became an abuser and exterminator of Native American indigenous communites.

These are just a handful of examples. There are statues, monuments and place names all over the country that need to be seriously looked at.

As the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan stated “It’s a sad truth that much of our wealth was derived from the slave trade – but this does not have to be celebrated in our public spaces.”

Very true, but I have to ask…… AND PLEASE HEAR ME OUT

What is going to happen to all of these statues?
Yes, after educating myself, I know exactly why these statues and monuments need to be removed or re-named, BUT, they are inexorably part of history.

Are we not doing a disservice to ourselves and our youth by eliminating them from history. I’ve always been taught that if we forget our past, we are destined to make the same mistakes in the future and history is always written by the ‘winner’.

Personally, I think that these statues should be collated into one place. A hall of shame, so to speak.
They should be surrounded by a full historically correct telling of each person’s life and exactly why the statue was removed from it’s pedestal.
School history books should be changed to reflect a more accurate telling of an individuals mark on history.

There are going to be a lot of changes in the coming weeks or months and the news is going to continue to be hard to watch.
I just hope that we find balance at some point and the need for these protests subsides.