Mon | Oct 23, 2017

Don't dilute 'Black Lives Matter' agenda

Published:Saturday | July 16, 2016 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

Rickey Singh, noted Caribbean journalist, has watered down the essential message of black Americans - 'Black Lives Matter' - to read 'All Lives Matter'.

In a recent article headlined 'All Lives Matter', Mr Singh writes that US Republicans and Democrats "need to remind themselves that all lives matter, irrespective of race and gender". Isn't it an indisputable fact that all lives do matter, or should matter?

On March 26, 2015, a not-for-profit publication reported as follows: "In their joint report - Body Count: Casualty Figures after 10 Years of the War on Terror - Physicians for Social Responsibility, Physicians for Global Survival, and the Nobel Prize-winning International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War concluded that this number is staggering, with at least 1.3 million lives lost in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan alone since the onset of the war following September 11, 2001."

Can this loss of life be justified? Being a noted journalist, shouldn't Mr Singh have sought to convince his readers, more vehemently, that according to him, all lives matter?

The mantra 'Black Lives Matter', associated with the day-to-day plight of black Americans, has found solidarity worldwide.

Times have changed, but Malcolm X's words (November 1963) aptly describe the manner in which the urgency associated with the mantra is being diluted: "It's just like when you've got some coffee that's too black, which means it's too strong. What do you do? You integrate it with cream; you make it weak. If you pour too much cream in, you won't even know you ever had coffee. It used to be hot; it becomes cool. It used to be strong; it becomes weak. It used to wake you up, now it'll put you to sleep. This is what they did with the march on Washington."

Had Martin Luther King's 'I Have a Dream' been fulfilled, the world would not have to be reminded of his exhortation, i.e., "A nation or civilisation that continues to produce soft-minded men purchases its own spiritual death on an instalment plan."

The urgent message embodied in the mantra 'Black Lives Matter' must be understood by Republicans and Democrats alike if there is to be an embracing of the fact that all lives matter.

JOHN HENRY

jhenriviii@hotmail.com