Sat | Jul 4, 2020

Conquer evil with the good

Published:Wednesday | June 3, 2020 | 12:22 AM

THE EDITOR, Madam:

The unfortunate police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, USA, may be a major dent for any hope of peaceful interracial coexistence among us, and may understandably give traction to the violent impromptu response of many on the global scale.

This reaction to George Floyd’s killing supersedes mere murder, and aggravates the very core of racial scar tissues that dates back to the civil rights movements and prior. A killing that questions one’s social status in a predominantly white society or community will no doubt excite this collective uprising of black supporters even on an international level, since it is a revolt against a tense and tentative integration of blacks within white societies – those who are generally suspicious of blacks anyway.

Emotionally burdensome, as such incidents may be, it could become the opportunity of fortifying in the minds of the already twisted, that blacks are just a violent, coarse and destructive group of people. This pigeonhole view of us was recently expressed by a girl saying to me recently here in New York that, “You know, I always thought all Jamaicans were bad and aggressive people?”

SELF WORTH

Hardly is there any positive results in debating the peripheral non-use or utter nonsense of colour value. It’s like praising a Rolls Royce or completely scorning or deriding it, not on the basis of engineering or performance quality but because the colour is either black or white. It’s an ingrained benighted fixture that has gained access through several generations and into the present crop of abusers, and may in a twisted way gain fuel to keep on burning, the more buildings we burn in reaction to George Floyd’s killing and racism. But just as you are unable to force someone to love you, you cannot force a racial bond of brotherhood, however good and enlightening that may be.

So agitating for racial equality doesn’t have to mean seeking someone else’s approval of my colour – only an acknowledgement and allowance of equal rights and justice among us. But if a society chooses to demean me on the basis of being dark-skinned, I will lose no sleep trying to disabuse their minds of such stupidity – as long as I give it no reinforcement by my unwarranted violent responses. Therefore, the way to counter racism is not to fight fire with fire, but let good and an elevated self-worth be the answer.

HOMER SYLVESTER