Let’s be clear: Black Lives do Matter.
Witness the contribution Black people the world over have made to the prosperity we all enjoy today. But we as people of colour have real reasons to grumble. We are facing challenges. We want to participate fully in the life of our country, Canada.
Think about the economic and social impact we would have in this country if we are allowed to fully participate. But, sadly, there are obstacles.
The recent revelation that a co-founder of the Toronto chapter of Black Lives Matter sent out a tweet earlier this year asking Allah to give her the strength not to want to kill white people certainly has to be looked at. On the face of it, it no doubt could make a lot of people uncomfortable.
But look deeper into the tweet and, if you are honest with yourself, it will become abundantly clear this is not the work of a racist fighting racism but indeed a young Black woman of our community venting her spleen about the frustrations suffered by the Black community.
Talk Radio in Toronto is in overdrive commenting on the tweet. The general sentiment is that the young woman is racist. Not at all. First of all, this is not anywhere near what can be classified as hate speech. But, we in the Black community understand where this kind of comment originated.
This is for white people: We have a lot of people in the majority population who understand our plight. For this, we are grateful. But the truth is you have to live our lives to get a clear picture of our day-to-day experiences.
How would you like to be followed in a department store by security all the time? How would you like to be a Black young man driving a decent car and be stopped by police for doing exactly that – being Black in a decent car? How would you like to be stopped on the street by the police for being exactly that – Black on the street? I can go on. But it is our hope you get the picture.
Look! We in the Black community are law abiding, god fearing, tax-paying, church going and overall decent people. Yes, we have our internal challenges. This, my friends, is not peculiar to the Black community. Every group, every organization, every community, every country has their own internal dynamics.
So please understand where the tweet I wrote about earlier originated. It comes from the heart. Not to say: We hate you. Quite the opposite.
One famous Black activist in the U.S. once said: “Judge us not by the colour of our skin but by the content of their character.”
That is all we ask. Is it really that hard? We think not.