Close your eyes
Imagine a young boy playing with his toy gun
Imagine a young beauty in bed peacefully sleeping
imagine a young girl utilizing the quiet of a church to study
imagine a middle aged man going to get stuff at the store
Imagine a man going for a jog in the morning
Open your eyes…it’s time to wake up because these are only crimes when you’re black.
Hello fellow humans! I write this from my quarantine quarters, and before proceeding I’d like to appreciate all the essential workers (YOU’RE THE REAL HEROES). I would also like to acknowledge and mourn the many lives lost during this period. I can’t begin to imagine what their families are going through right now, but I pray for everlasting peace for their souls and strength for their families and friends to mourn and heal. Also, for those who are stuck with abusive parents or family and their only escape pre-Covid was school or work, I know it’s hard but you’re doing amazing hanging in there. Please don’t hesitate to ask for help when you feel it’s due. Importantly, for those who lost their jobs due to this pandemic, and for those who are getting pay-cuts, truly you deserve better and I hope life opens more better opportunities for you.
So, let’s take a look at this. Asides from the locusts plague, the much contemplated World War III, the crashing oil prices, the alleged UFO sightings and the much speculated confirmation of a multiverse, we have ourselves the ‘queen’ of all enforced holidays: Covid-19. It’s amazing how this pandemic has unraveled three other bigger pandemics grappling the world right now: racism, police brutality and rape.
A wise black person once said, “Before we had to fight for our equality, we had to fight for our humanity.” I find it quite infuriating and sad that, in this age and time, racism is very much alive. It’s interwoven in the very web that unites us as human beings. The idea that a person is seen as inferior due to the color of their skin is quite obtuse. Blacks all over the world have been treated like animals. They have been denied equal rights and opportunities for years. Their work have been denied relevance in history, hidden and disguised to make white supremacy more prominent and to foster false black stereotypes. The irony is that white people have and are still benefiting off black culture, but the sad truth is they don’t maintain the same energy when it comes to the people the culture is derived from. In history class, we are taught about Hitler and the genocide of the Jews but not about the genocide of thousands of Africans in concentration camps. We’re taught about colonialism and it’s benefits, but not about the slave trade and its exploits. Will smith once said that racism isn’t getting worse; it’s getting filmed. During this same Covid-19 pandemic, one group of Americans led a protest to open salons and another similar group protested to seek justice for the murder of innocent black people by the cops. One of them was granted their request almost immediately and you can be sure it wasn’t the latter. Black people are denied the common decency to live. They’re being called racist slurs and gunned down by the police and this has gone on for too long. Black lives should always matter.
Police brutality is another major human-made pandemic. It’s a glaring abuse of power by those whose core responsibility is to protect us. I see the police as one of the biggest and most global gang in the world, everywhere you go. In America, currently, they are known for the senseless killings and maltreatment of black people. Over here, in Nigeria, they are known for harassing youths (God help you if you tell them you know your rights), collecting bribes, beating up innocent victims, arriving late at crime scenes and even raping defenseless women. The historical basis for the setup of the police system in America can be traced to “slave patrols” in the southern parts of America. These patrols were created for solely maintaining control over slave populations and were ruthless in carrying out their “responsibilities”. This is what the American police system is built on today. It’s the tree that emerged from the hateful seeds of racism.
Rape and sexual molestation have been in existence since the beginning of time. I haven’t met a girl who hasn’t experienced any of it, in my lifetime, and that is not only sad but is also infuriating. Growing up as a girl, I was taught to see every man as a potential rapist until he proves otherwise. Walking down a lonely street or passing a crowded place in the market without being groped or catcalled, could be a real sport. Although, it is imperative to note that both males and females can be rape victims. The bitter bit is sexual abuse could also be by a close relative, like a father, brother, friend, or boyfriend. It could be someone you trust. Honestly, I’m glad that people are using their voices now to challenge these outdated doctrines. I’m happy that victims are speaking up and laws are being passed in order to try and curb this, but I feel we could do better. I feel we should educate ourselves where it’s due. Let’s normalize teaching ourselves and our children about consent and over-entitlement. Stop blaming girls for being raped! Stop making excuses for their predators! We can do better and we should.
Many people have in one way or another have canceled 2020, but I don’t think that we should cancel the year that woke us up. I think we should make a memorabilia out of it. This year has been rugged I agree, but in less than six months we’ve been able to talk about and tackle racism, rape and police brutality. Change might be a bit slow, but it wouldn’t exist if we don’t make it happen. So, continue to speak up when you can. Use your voice and your actions, keep posting and signing petitions because they’re listening. Everyone is listening. Always remember that little raindrops makes a river overflow, and don’t forget to take care of yourself and your mental health because that’s important too. Oh and let’s not overlook the fact that Aunty Rona is still lurking around!
Someone once said that before something great happens, everything falls apart. Maybe there is an iota of truth in that.