“It is our duty to fight for our freedom.It is our duty to win.We must love each other and support each other.We have nothing to lose but our chains.”Assata Shakur
The date is the 2nd of June 2020. Protests are breaking our all over the world with the aim of challenging Racism that faces Black individuals, COVID-19 has the world in lockdown and Anonoymous has reared his head.
In times of chaos love can be sidelined. With righteous anger we can cloud our perceptions of individual humanity. From treating the average wage working police officer as a henious monster, to posting memes diminishing efforts of advocacy in disputes over praxis, it is easy to forget the love that underpins this mobilisation. Black individuals and allies ( baisically any human who believes racism shouldn’t exist), have banded together to show that black lives matter. That the colour of one’s skin shouldn’t lead them to a premature, inhumane death at the hands of the authorities. There is an essential love for humanity at the centre of this historical moment.
When love is lost from a revolution, there is nowhere left for the mobilized people to go. The planting of hatred and dissent in movements is an age old method of control used to bring them down. It is perhaps the most revolutionary act to love humans for their flaws, whilst remembering we are railing against a corrupt system. It is a corrupt system which produces white supremacists .I have no intention of making such individuals blameless (far from it) but I think it is in the interest of revolutionary sustainability to ground our actions with the intentions of love for the black community and their allies- manifest this however you may in the form of protest. Anger is needed to propel action, however the root of this action must be founded in a love for humanity because when the time comes for a substantial societal change in the form of legislation and personal relationships we must move forward towards a better world.
Dragging forms of advocacy down which you disagree with from a place of anger and hate will turn people away from the cause and make them feel that being silent is better than being wrong. Activism comes with mistake making, and educating your comrades shouldn’t come from a place of condescention rather from that of mutual respect which acknowledges the plurality of experiance than produces an individual. Also it is important to realise that to construct a new social order different people need to take on different roles. Activism is not one size fits all.
Love plays its most important role in healing: healing black individuals who witness their people on the day to day being victims of racism, healing those who have viewed horrific videos of murder occuring in cold blood. We need to care for each other now more than ever. Studies show the negative affect racially aggravated stress can have on individuals’ mental and physical health. We must respect that different people have different boundaries, when sharing media and the words we utter. We need to love each other body and soul, to heal from within communities.
I wrote this post in reaction to the what I was seeing online. If you diagree with anything I’ve said please start the conversation in the comments, I would love to get your perspective on it 🙂