I DIDN’T watch the video. I didn’t need to.

The image of George Floyd being ‘restrained’ was enough. Social media has fulfilled Marshal McLuhan’s prophecy of a Global Village and in recent months.

The Internet has been full of videos and photos of black men being killed – for jogging, for reaching for their wallets – for a myriad of reasons.

So I knew at once how the video would end.

But the agonising nine-minute death of Floyd was the spark that blew the lid off a pressure cooker scenario that had been building in the US for weeks.

A countrywide lockdown, the resultant economic hardship, the failure to address the issue of racism and a President that – to put it mildly – lacks empathy.

The streets and social media erupted and the hashtag ‘Black Lives Matter’ was everywhere.

Along with millions of others, on ‘Black Out Tuesday’ I put up a black square across my platforms.

Let me make one thing perfectly clear. I am not virtue signalling. I have no political agenda to pursue.

But my parents brought me up to treat everyone as an equal, and my grandfather RSM Robert Hendrie Wilson, Royal Engineers, landed on the Normandy beaches 75 years ago to defeat Nazis.

Before the global fallout of George Floyd’s death, people were saying that the reaction to the coronavirus pandemic was that we would have more of a feeling of community, that things would never be the same after the quarantine and the Black Lives Matter protests.

Alas, the keyboard warriors blew that utopian ideal out of the water. I’ve seen everything from ‘All Lives Matter’, to claims that reverse racism exists (When I dated a mixed race girl in Balham in the 90s, I had an idiot come up to ask her what she was doing with me. But it went no further than assumptions on my lack of virility. Which is hardly the same as a sustained campaign of race hate), to a Brexiteer Boomer boasting that his son had beaten up Antifa members, who he casually compared to Hitler’s Brownshirts.

Just for once, I practised restraint of tongue and pen and consoled myself in the wise words of the Fun Lovin’ Criminals: “We all bleed red, even racist motherf**kers.”

I hope that George Floyd’s death marks a turning point. I hope that my African-American, Afro-Caribbean, Native and Latino friends in the States won’t have to worry about their beautiful and brilliant children – many of them now graduating from the virtual class of 2020 – coming home safely every time they leave the house.

But most of all I hope that these tumultuous times will make us all pause, take stock and rethink how we treat each other.

And in case you were in any doubt – Black Lives Matter.

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16 COMMENTS

  1. Pretty good article and sentiment expressed. However, if you were better informed, there is so much more to this story regarding the protests and certainly the well coordinated emergence of violence, destruction, assaults and even the murders that resulted from the riots – which have overtaken any reasonable calls for improved justice. As for your comment that you are not virtue signalling or have no political agenda? Pretty ridiculous statement indeed. That’s like saying rain is not wet.

    Location : Marbella
  2. The police, Trump and A.G. Barr are responsible for “the well coordinated emergence of violence, destruction, assaults and even murders”- certainly not citizens legally protesting the murder of George Floyd and other victims of brown shirt police behaviour. Two bad groups disrupted the peaceful protests: the nationally organized Boogaloo Boys, white supremacists gathering from many states, and very small gangs of criminal looters working while police were assaulting protestors..

    Location : Chicago and Asturias
  3. The number of UNarmed Black Citizens killed by the police in the US in 2019 were: 9
    The number of UNarmed Blach Citizens killed by the police in Obama’s last year in office were: 39
    Source Tucker Carlson.

    Location : Torrox
    • So, the implication is one; the dedicated fascists in the police were determined to show they didn’t give a flying f*** about Obama and went on a killing spree.
      Or two; Barack Obama went out in uniform and shot those black people himself to prove the police were racist.
      The agent provocateurs have been extremely busy in the George Floyd protests. As in any strong street backlash against the establishment, the classic response, is to plant window-breakers and arsonists among the peaceful protesters, in order to discredit and criminalise those taking part. With the complicity of a weak and/or emasculated media, the end result is a foregone conclusion…. We cleave to the status quo and racism, inequality and injustice prevail, as always.
      Just watch how chucking a crappy, statue of a monstrous slaver into Bristol Harbour, will completely overshadow the heartfelt outpouring of solidarity with the global grief and anger, provoked by the latest barbarity of a State-sponsored actor, who gloried in the privileged position of a policeman.

  4. Number of black citizens shot and killed in one city yesterday (Chicago) was 18!!!! According to witnesses an police all shootings were believed to be committed by people of their own community.
    Black lives matter

    Location : Cordoba
  5. Four points:
    1. Shocking to learn, but homicides by police are not recorded in any national data base. Researchers from university researchers and National Institute of Health and the National Center for Biotechnology Information studies have evidence that while there are more police homicides of whites than blacks, the percentage is nearly 3 times higher for blacks than whites. There is pending Congressional legislation requiring a national data base to track police homicide and violence, but the Republican held Senate is opposing it. Anyd any data ‘available’ is skewed by local police agencies or ‘misplaced.’.
    2. Tucker Carlson is not a news source; he is a racist carnival barker.
    3. ‘Just Mercy’ starring Jamie Foxx is a true documentary drama about prosecutorial police corruption and racism in the 1980s and 1990s. Amazon Prime has waived rental costs so that the public can see how bad things are in the conservative southern Republican states, and elsewhere.
    4. Nations collapse when corrupt authoritarian leaders use violence to prop up their regimes.

    Location : Chicago and Asturias
  6. Los Angeles: Homocides Soared 250%, Shootings 56%, During las week.
    Maybe not count that stuff as given numbers in an extraordinary situations with unrest.
    Tucker is a News Anchor. Cheap point calling him a racist..same as if people dosnt support the Riots: They are pro Trump… Maybe not just sling these terms around.
    If a White man does something stupid – He´s stupid. If a Black man does something stupid – he’s stupid. If an Eskimo does something stupid – he’s stupid or are there special rules for special people, that would be some kind of deranged entitlement. Or not?
    Antifa is funded by Soros.
    All Life Matters.

    Location : Torox
    • You would probably dismiss this as irrelevant llama, but the term “Eskimo” is regarded as a racial slur. Source: Wikipedia among others.
      Racism is often buried deep in the psyche and is betrayed by such careless branding..

  7. Stefano, you amaze me. Do you really believe the looting, shottings, arson and stabbings are being carried out by undercover agitators? Wow! Whatever you’re on you should maybe reduce the dosage
    If you want a really good insight to the underlying problems and causes of them in black communities there is an excellent article by a black school headmistress in uk on the BBC news website

    Location : Cordoba
    • Two can play the patronising game Pr82. In case you are unaware, the epithet “agent provocateur” refers to someone planted to set a bad example for the weaker-minded and those blinded by rage, to follow. But, also, as Chas points out, the Boogaloo Boys and white supremacist agitators are many and much mayhem can be caused by few actors.
      B.L.M.

  8. Tucker the racist carnival barker is on his way out for racist remarks. T-Mobile and Disney have pulled advertising support for his sideshow. And, yes, when a white racist writes or supports something stupid, he is, well, stupid, or in this case, a stupid racist.

    Location : Asturias and Chicago
  9. and when a black person does the same…?
    Tucker got attacked by the far left activist group Sleeping Giants, which resulted in Disney, Poshmark, T-Mobile and Papa Johns to pull their advertising.
    As long as you stick to your boxes, we like in the greater society, will never agree.
    And we dont have to.
    And we don’t have to be bullied into.
    Which is sad, since the truth often is multi facetted.

    Location : Earth
  10. Venal self ignorance is why the racist carnival barker lost his sponsorship. It’s all on him.
    Thankfully, good people have no intentions of agreeing with racist murderers.
    And we don’t bully either; we just try to educate, though that is a task indeed.
    That’s the box we stick to. No facets in the Floyd case I’m afraid.

    Location : Asturias and Chicago

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