#BlackLivesMatter

9th June 2020 By Sarah P Off

OK, another blog post. I’m not good at writing these, but it was pointed out to me that as a small business owner, I should be clear about my ethical policies and opinions.

I’ve been quiet up to now as I’ve been doing my reading, mulling over what exactly it is that I think and how to put it into words.

Let’s get the most important thing out of the way first. #BlackLivesMatter.  Of COURSE they do. It *should* be self evident. But it’s apparently not. I’d say #AllLivesMatter (because I believe that) but that phrase has been very badly used, and I don’t think it actually describes what I believe properly.

Firstly, let me be very clear. My opinion isn’t important. I’m white, privileged, live in a primarily white area, and at no time has my skin colour ever been an issue (outside of a fictional environment but my previous blog entry is quite relevant to that!). So although I’m entitled to have my opinion (and you’re entitled to have yours), they aren’t that important.

What IS important is to read about the people who ARE directly affected, and why, and how. The only reasons I decided to write this blog are 1) I own a small business, and for me, ethics are important, and 2) if someone who is in the same situation as me reads it, and it raises their awareness, I hope that’s a good thing. And it might all help, right?

The phrase #AllLivesMatter is bandied about as if it contradicts #BlackLivesMatter. It shouldn’t. But it does. In my opinion, mind, and mindset – the way I deal with people – is that it should be #AllLivesShouldBeEqual. But they aren’t. Not in this world, and not yet. We can work towards it, but we’re not there yet. We aren’t that enlightened. Our “Equal” is currently more like George Orwell’s version – he wrote in ‘Animal Farm’ that “All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others”. That’s NOT what equal should be. And it’s not (yet) how we are as a people. Some of us maybe. Perhaps even the majority of people want, or try to be like that, but there are a lot that don’t. Until we treat *everyone* the same, regardless of skin colour, gender, sexual orientation, abled (or disabled) in mind or body, then we do have to make it clear that we support those people who are not privileged in the way that we are. So yes, #AllLivesShouldBeEqual. Until they are, #BlackLivesMatter.

When our eye is drawn to one area of the world in plight, we concentrate on it. They’re tearing down the rainforests in the Amazon? #SaveTheRainforest. You don’t get people complaining about why the Amazonian rainforests are getting more attention than their local rainforests – they are the ones that need help right now – it doesn’t demean all rainforests to save that one. It’s the one that’s in peril. The others don’t need our help *right now*.

On more personal level – say one of your kitchen cupboards is on fire. You put the fire out there, you don’t fireproof all the other cupboards and ignore the one that’s on fire. You deal with that one first, as it’s the highest priority. The awful murder of George Floyd has brought the current status of the police in America, and how they deal with POC to everyone’s attention. That’s the highest priority, so that has ignited the people behind it. #BlackLivesMatter.