Black lives really do matter

No doubt I will face a backlash for this like I did on Twitter earlier, but I’m not ever going to stop asking questions that are relevant to the society we live in. I asked earlier if supporters of the ‘black lives matter‘ movement was going too far by rioting, vandalism and looting, and I had mixed responses, but the majority suggested that for any movement to succeed there needs action, which I do agree with to an extent, but African Americans have been oppressed for centuries, and despite the civil rights movement in the sixties, violence and protests happened, ‘Martin Luther King‘, and ‘Malcolm X‘ were assassinated, and what really changed? America currently has a President that’s got a huge following of evangelical, right wing, white supremacists, that hold positions in office, government, the police force and the judicial system. Is rioting, looting and vandalism the answer? No, it isn’t.

The issue of racism is deeply rooted in society, especially in certain parts of America, where society has little to no tolerance for the black, and Hispanic culture. Support for them has gained momentum world wide, which is great, but is the destruction of public property, or the tearing down of statues acceptable? The world is listening, but I’m starting to think that it’s seeing the actions of many as being unacceptable, and destructive to the cause against injustice. Do the black lives matter human rights movement approve of the way that this is being carried out, as I would imagine they’d want to fight against the oppression, and systematic racism imposed on the black community peacefully. The black lives matter movement has thirteen guiding principles, and not one of them focuses on rioting, looting, violence or vandalism, and despite several people claiming that you have to fight fire with fear, and spill blood for blood, that isn’t the answer. Education is the answer, and reform. The police force involved need to be made an example of, and punished severely, and police chiefs need to accept responsibility for the actions of their officers or nothing will change.

Thirteen guiding principles

Restorative Justice is the commitment to build a beloved and loving community that is sustainable and growing.

Empathy is one’s ability to connect with others by building relationships built on mutual trust and understanding.

Loving Engagement is the commitment to practice justice, liberation and peace.

Diversity is the celebration and acknowledgment of differences and commonalities across cultures.

Globalism is our ability to see how we are impacted or privileged within the Black global family that exists across the world in different regions.

Transgender Affirming is the commitment to continue to make space for our trans siblings by encouraging leadership and recognizing trans-antagonistic violence, while doing the work required to dismantle cisgender privilege and uplift Black trans folk.

Queer Affirming is working towards a queer-affirming network where heteronormative thinking no longer exists.

Collective Value means that all Black lives, regardless of actual or perceived sexual identity, gender identity, gender expression, economic status, ability, disability, religious beliefs or disbeliefs, immigration status or location, matter.

Intergenerational is a space free from ageism where we can learn from each other.

Black Families creates a space that is family friendly and free from patriarchal practices.

Black Villages is the disruption of Western nuclear family dynamics and a return to the “collective village” that takes care of each other.

Black Women is the building of women-centered spaces free from sexism, misogyny, and male-centeredness.

Unapologetically Black is the affirmation that Black Lives Matter and that our love, and desire for justice and freedom are prerequisites for wanting that for others. These principles are the blueprint for healing and do not include nor do they support ignoring or sanitizing the ugliness and discomfort that comes with dealing with race and anti-race issues.

I am extremely sympathetic to each one of their guiding principles, and it’s sad that the world we live in has to have a movement like this because racism is still a large worldwide concern. The question that I asked on Twitter was not only is the looting, rioting, and vandalism going too far, but do actors need to apologise for comedy about black people, or shows being pulled from TV? I wasn’t trying to make a point that I agreed with the shows in question being allowed to make jokes about black people, or blackening up for roles, I genuinely asked because will it go too far? Will anyone that plays an LBGTQ character have to apologise for incorrect portrayal? I know we want equality, and fairness, but a white person blacking up is racist, but a black person whitening up isn’t. You can’t have double standards if you want equality for all. People seem to forget that racism can be a two way street, and because black people have been oppressed doesn’t mean that some aren’t racially against white people, or other creeds. But as soon as you dare say something like that, that’s considering a little controversial, I’m accused of being ignorant, or racist, or someone who doesn’t understand because I’m a white privileged man. Despite that, I’d have dragged that police officer off ‘George Floyd‘ even if there was a risk of being shot. Preservation of life, and dignity is paramount.

Stoicism: is virtue the only good?

‪’Stoicism‘ is a philosophy that began in the Hellenistic Age in Ancient Greece, which became an extremely strong influence on the understanding of ethics. As ‘Socrates‘ said, ‘to know is to know oneself‘, and reason was the source of discovering value. Stoics believed that many things were out of our control, but our thoughts aren’t, and the way to reach an ideal state of mentality was to apply logic, reason and virtue, and it’s futile to become unhappy about things beyond our control. ‬

‪”Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be. Be One.” – Marcus Aurelius‬

‪Stoics contemplated a lot about actions they’d made during the day, and if they feel they were unjust, irritated or made angry over something irrelevant or trivial, they’d reconsider their actions for the following day, and when the next day arrives they’d remind themselves that life can be hard, and that they will face challenges that are often out of their control. They will encounter people that will be frustrated, rude, ignorant, and by reflecting in advance, they’d aim to rise above them and refrain from being provoked. ‬

‪”Just keep in mind: the more we value things outside our control, the less control we have. Epictetus‬

So what are the principles of stoicism? ‬

‪’Zeno of Citium‘ invented stoicism around 300 years BCE, and was originally called Zenonism before its name change. It became extremely popular as people wanted to pursuit a good and happy life, and became an extension of cynicism. The stoic fourfold scheme is as follows:‬

‪* Love the truth and seek wisdom‬

‪* Act with justice, fairness, and kindness toward others‬

‪* Master your fears and be courageous‬

‪* Master your desires and live with self-discipline‬

Stoicism is about learning to control your emotions, by learning self discipline, by applying reason to reach clear, concise, unbiased judgements. It resembles Buddhism in its four noble truths, and is a great philosophy, it’s just hard to master, as whilst I was writing this I got angry with two people on social media.

Anarchy: a political ideal?

‪What sort of world would we live in if we didn’t elect leaders, and there was no official form of governments? Could it potentially succeed as a method to run society, or do we need to be controlled by corrupt, self absorbed politicians? The Oxford dictionary defines anarchy as absence of government and absolute freedom of the individual, regarded as a political ideal. Anarchists are of the opinion that society has never given consent to ruling bodies, they’ve just been forced upon us, and are dangerous, and unnecessary. The word anarchy is derived from the Greek word ‘αναρχία‘ which literally means without rulers. People often associate anarchy with chaos, confusion and disorder, but like many words, it’s been twisted until the true meaning has been lost to most people’s understanding. Anarchists believe that humans can be self-governing and society will continue naturally without political influence. In other words they are confident that people’s liberty should be paramount and be allowed the right to self-govern.‬

‪”The roots of the word ‘anarchy’ are ‘an archos,’ ‘no leaders,’ which is not really about the kind of chaos that most people imagine when the word ‘anarchy’ is mentioned. I think that anarchy is, to the contrary, about taking personal responsibility for yourself.” – Alan Moore‬

‪Unfortunately, like most political philosophies, some anarchists have taken the spotlight for the wrong reasons, and have taken down governments to replace them with single party authoritarian governments like the Bolsheviks in the 1917 October revolution. Sometimes anarchists get confused with communists as they wish to share the power, wealth and production equally upon everyone, but that’s not communism, as communism is about providing people according to their needs, and are often ruled under a dictatorship. True social anarchists just wish to remove hierarchies, and focus on individual freedom, equality and tightly knit communities where everyone watches over their neighbours and collectively cooperate. . Put like that, it seems to me, at least on paper, an ideal place to live. ‬

‪”Yes, I am 100% anarchist. Anarchy, to me, is a belief that all transactions, all activity, should be voluntary. It is a peaceful philosophy of not forcing anyone to do anything and not allowing anyone else to force you to do anything.” – Jeff Berwick‬

‪Anarchy can work, and has worked in the past, but we are living in troubled times, where there are civil wars happening as I type, acts of terrorism, organised crime gangs and many other factors that would prevent society operating as an equilibrium. Put it this way, and consider this as a case for anarchism. Are you more capable of ruling your life, and going about your business as you see fit, or do you need someone like ‘Donald Trump‘, or ‘Boris Johnson‘ telling you what you should, and shouldn’t do? ‬