Activism is supposed to lead to great things from a long series of revolutionary agendas, motivated by the suppression of a collective of similar thought processes. For example, the best of Black Lives Matter push the government into reforming how law enforcement works against coloured minorities in the United States. It also pushes to put more investment into mental health care, training for the new generation of law enforcers, as well as the education of diversity and acceptance. The worst of Black Lives Matter is that in the process of that revolution, a lot of lives are destroyed and this isn’t just about Black lives. This is about the livelihood of other people caught in those riots. This of course includes people killed off by White Supremacists in the chaos of the riots, then having the BLM blamed for those masked looting. It’s true, some black people will take advantage of the chaos, and so will White Supremacists. This doesn’t discount the fact that the Black Lives Matter movement is needed to push for reform.
Now, speaking specifically about losing a business to a riot during BLM, I am a Chinese ethnic person. If I took over the business of my parents which was passed down through the generations, then a mob comes along and loots it, burns it to the ground, I lose more than just the business itself. I lose generations of hard work. Included in that hard work, the prestige, the photos our generations of family that have been posted up to show our pride, the trinkets and gifts given to us by loyal customers come and gone, etc. People brush these things aside as unimportant, in the face of mass racism from law enforcement. Their argument is that because their people die on a daily basis, then everything else isn’t significant enough.
By that same logic, the US genocide of the Philippines, the Holocaust of Hitler’s SS against Jews and other minorities, as well as the mass rape, torture and murder of Asians in the hands of Imperial Japan, overshadow the Black Lives Matter movement one-thousand fold. By that same logic, until everyone in the Philippines, all of the Jewish people, and Asians who were affected by these atrocities have seen justice, the BLM should take a few thousand steps back before it matters. Yet, obviously it shouldn’t be this way.
Just because you have something to protect, doesn’t mean everything else is worth less protecting. I too have faced racism. I face less of it because I live in a city where Chinese people are the predominant ethnicity. However, it wasn’t always so. Even then, I am privileged to live in a place where we don’t get an evil load of racism. This is not discounting that the worst of racism doesn’t exist. This is saying, just because you have it worst, doesn’t mean I am not allowed to protect what is important to me.
Another thing about BLM is that initially, I agreed and stood by its core ideals against police brutality. However, over the last short months, something has morphed in parts of the movement I have wavered from. Some people in the Black community has said it’s not enough to just post up #BlackOutTuesday, it’s not enough to like and share inspirational quotes, newsworthy stories about BLM, it’s not enough to defend each other from racists. What is further needed is the activism itself, to donate as much as you can, AND to put your energy into speaking out against the government out on the streets, AND to loudly shout at police as a collective because they’re evil, AND to call out non-doers – all at the same time. If we don’t, then we’re not allowed to use the #BlackOutTuesday hashtag, nor are we allowed to use less aggressive means to stand with BLM.
Indeed, not everyone in BLM believes this, but a loud obnoxious few do.
I thought Colin Kaepernick’s kneeling stance was certainly agreeable and brave, he did so silently in the sense he was not being an obnoxious prick about it. He knelt down during the national anthem, dignified in his approach. Indeed, he was also able to do a lot more than that, but that’s Colin and his incredible wealth in business, sport and personal will power. I have none of those things. As I aged over the years, and as I have told Patrick some months ago, I have to set aside my time and energy into things I can do. Those that I can do, will have to be prioritized based on my ambitions. I also have to consolidate all of my hobbies, instead of dividing up my attention into many different things.
Yes, I need to be selfish first, before I empathetically dilute my time into other people’s ideals and fantasies. You can argue that while other people fight for the collective rights to be treated equally, I am here sitting on my ass doing my own thing is wrong, I can also reverse this on you and say, “Where were you, when I needed help, in all of the times I needed help?” Right, no one was there for me.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not saying I am using this as the currency to bargain on what I should fight for. I think equality is a good thing, in context of having a baseline of opportunity. I also think what the BLM and many other forms of activism ultimately wishes to achieve are also good things on a general sense. What I don’t agree with is that I have to give myself up to cater to your needs fully to be considered supportive.
What I can do and what I am willing to do, is for me to know and only for me to know. I will do what I want, how I want it and it will matter. I am not Colin Kaepernick and I don’t want to be. If I was born and achieve success that he did, then sure, why not. Until then, and certainly not in this lifetime, I will do me and you will do you. However I contribute to the BLM movement is mine alone. If you think I should do more, then perhaps you should ask yourself first, why you didn’t do more for me and others like me. Why is it now, that all of this matter? Right, because it’s affecting you. That’s why.
I am no fan of the right-wingers and ignoramuses who riot for hair cuts, so don’t put me in the same boat as those idiots. However, at the same time, you’re not entitled to my property, my life, my energy, my resources. You should be happy and glad that anyone is supporting your cause at all, even if ‘small’ from your point of view.
Another thing that bothers me are people calling out millionaires and celebrities to donate more because of their wealth. They don’t owe you shit. If they give you $50, that’s $50 more you have in your donation box. It doesn’t matter how much they make. It only matters if they give. What further bothers me about this, is that a lot of people in the BLM movement make major comparisons of donations versus the income of the person. For example, Jeff Bezos is donating 10 million US dollars to the charities of BLM. Sure, he pocketed a few billion in the last few months, but that has nothing to do with any of you. Let’s say no one who makes over $100,000 donated anything. How many of you people need to donate, before BLM surpasses 1 million? I’m certain, you will hardly get any donations to reach the million dollar mark. So instead of hammering down on the wealthy for not donating more, perhaps you should be thankful that anyone is donating at all. NO ONE OWES YOU ANYTHING.
Anyway, now for all of the AllLivesMatter club of people making such a stupid statement, the reason Black Lives Matter exists is because if you truly believe AllLivesMatter, then why doesn’t the lives of Black people and other coloured minorities matter at all? Truly, if AllLivesMatter, you would be wearing masks during the Covid-19 pandemic? If AllLivesMatter, then you should be supporting all forms of activism from feminism to racial equality right? If AllLivesMatters, then you would stand up against racists and bigotry right? If AllLivesMatter, then you would put more emphasize on mental health care and universal health care right? If not, then obviously your rhetoric that AllLivesMatter is simply bullshit.