Earlier this week, in the midst of B-town’s selective activism over Black Lives Matter, a succinct post by Abhay Deol called them out for their brazen hypocrisy.
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Maybe it’s time for these now? Now that “woke” indian celebrities and the middle class stand in solidarity with fighting systemic racism in America, perhaps they’d see how it manifests in their own backyard? America has exported violence to the world, they have made it a more dangerous place, it was but inevitable that it would come back karmically. I’m not saying they deserve it, I’m saying look at the picture in it’s totality. I’m saying support them by calling out the systemic problems in your own country, because they turn out to be one and the same thing. I’m saying follow their lead but not their actions. Create your own actions, your own movement, relevant to your own country. That is what the black lives matter movement is all about! In the larger picture, there is no “us” and “them”. There is not a country that’s real. But a planet in peril. #migrantlivesmatter #minoritylivesmatter #poorlivesmatter Black Lives Matter (find out why not to use the hashtag and still support the movement).
Not that supporting the cause was a bad thing, but their radio silence over their own country’s burning issues spoke louder than words, when they chose a stance.
Echoing his words – “#MigrantLivesMatter, #MinorityLivesMatter, #PoorLivesMatter”, I published his post as my story. While quite a few were in support, my inbox was soon flooded with messages saying “but all lives matter” or “you should say all lives matter instead”.
Ofcourse she crossed out Black and then reduced it down to animal rights…that political science degree looking real good Sara Ali Khan pic.twitter.com/scdhLfA38y— Priley (@prileykwest) June 4, 2020
To all of you, I’d like to say, you are not wrong. But let me tell you why saying this is inappropriate and completely derails the issue.
Here’s a simple analogy.
Assume you went to the doctor with a broken arm. Your arm is compromised and you need to address the urgent concern. You tell your doctor please plaster the arm so my whole body can function somewhat normally. But the doctor says no your whole body matters, why should I specifically look at your arm.
Now imagine you saying “my arm matters”, but the doctor is continuously undercutting you saying “all of your body matters”. How do you react considering the matter of utmost seriousness is being brushed off? How frustrating would it be that what is most at risk is not being given the required importance when it is needed the most?
Similarly, when one raises slogans like #BlackLivesMatter, #MigrantLivesMatter, #MinorityLivesMatter, #PoorLivesMatter, or even #AnimalLivesMatter, you are addressing a group at risk.
A community which has faced years of atrocities just because of the colour of their skin, their financial condition, the job they do, the religion they follow, or just because they couldn’t speak out.
By speaking out for the marginalized group, by naming them out loud, you are bringing their problems to the table of discussion. You are addressing it & raising awareness that this is a group that is compromised & their issues need your urgent attention.
Saying ‘all lives matter’ is brushing off all the centuries of oppression faced by those who didn’t have the privilege to be in equal participation with the group that makes up the ‘all’ in ‘all lives matter’.
When we say a particular group’s lives matter, nowhere is one saying that others’ lives don’t. It is merely saying that their life matters as well, and in several instances ‘mattered’ because their life was never considered valuable enough to preserve to begin with.
As they could lose their life simply on a police officer’s whim or on a long & treacherous journey home.