> In an attempt to get this thread off football
> thugs and a potential brexit tangent (there's more
> than enough threads to argue over brexit).....
> I started this thread talking about the BLM
> language, and problems associated with
> language/narrative, which I find divisive and
> counter productive. In the time since...I've seen
> very well meaning friends on social media
> constantly argue with people about semantics of
> language, and feeling a constant need to 'educate
> people' on what simple phrases 'really' imply. If
> you have to constantly 'educate' people that the
> phrase all lives matter doesn't actually just mean
> all lives matter, and constantly defend the term
> 'privilege'...even though the concepts may be very
> sound...your messaging obviously needs a lot of
> My starting position is that the overwhelming
> majority of people are NOT rascist. So if you're
> an anti-racist campaign group...most people
> already agree with you...should be an easy win. So
> to get many people's back up about your message
> seems to be a spectacular own goal.
> Some may ask why I'm banging on about language
> when there are bigger issues at play. Well...If
> the language was more 'inclusive' (ah the irony)
> then perhaps we wouldn't be constantly debating
> semantics about phrases, and we could all just
> agree that we all dont like the idea of a black
> man being stopped and searched just because he is
> black....then maybe, just maybe we could engage a
> larger section of society around pragmatic
> positive steps....
This is my first post on this forum, and it will be my only one. I'm making it because I feel the need to address the points that you've made, TheCat.
I am a middle-aged white man. So are you, I'm assuming. The language involved is annoying you, you find it 'divisive and counter productive'.
Hmmm, ok. Well, I see your point. A lot of people agree with you, and what I say to that is the problem with "All Lives Matter" is that it makes a falsa assumption.
It treats all lives equally - and of course that's what any reasonable human wants - but it makes the mistake of believing that we are at that point now.
We are not.
By any measurable standard, black people are not treated equally in society. That is a simple fact, and as white people we have to accept it and work to change it.
To say that All Lives Matter is to say that all lives are currently given equal weight and value. You say that your starting position is that an overwhelming majority of people are not racist. Leaving aside the point that I feel you are giving society too much credit, what you refer to there (and I accept I'm making an assumption about your meaning here) is 'overt racism' - the stuff that's easy to spot and challenge.
But there's a lot more to it than that, isn't there? Unconscious bias is very dangerous, and it's everywhere. Moreover, the worst thing, in my view, that happens these days is the reaction of white people when a black person stands their ground on a issue. We've all seem it, I'm sure; in a situation where a white person would be seen as standing up for themselves, a black person is too often painted as "angry". Go and ask any black person you know, they'll tell you I'm right. It's an incredibly pejorative and frankly abusive response that essentially, on a subconscious level, tells a black person not to make a fuss, to accept what they've been allowed to have.
I'm trying to get to my point, which is basically that white people, whether we like it or not, are going to have to listen to a lot to really uncomfortable things about race in order for this conversation to get to a productive point. You don't like the term white privilege? Well, I'm sorry about that but it exists, and black people are entitled to be unhappy about that. I think (and this is just my opinion) that the best thing white people can do right now is LISTEN. Listen and accept that we may be wrong about some things.
Look, the black community is not a hive mind, nor is any community. What one person tells you may be contradicted by what someone else tells you, but the important point is to give everyone the space to describe their experiences and feelings, and don't tell them what language they can and can't use. If we do this then we will begin to have an actual conversation and debate, because we will understand that everyone involved is listening.
As I say, Black Lives Matter is an important phrase because it is NOT, NOT, NOT about saying only black lives are important - of course it isn't - but it's about saying that, thus far, black lives have not been seen as being as important as white lives. We all know it's true, no point pretending it isn't.
I don't feel I've made my point very well, but I've gone on long enough. I think you want the same things everyone else does, and I think you mean well in how you're trying to analyse the language involved, but as one middle-aged white man to another, I'd ask you to consider the idea, as I said earlier, that "All Lives Matter" or any other phrase that seeks to undermine Black Lives Matter, works from the false principle that all lives are considered equal in our world.
They are not.
There an awful lot of racists out there still; I'm reminded of the phrase Gerry Adams used about the IRA - "they haven't gone away, you know". There's a huge amount of unpleasant folk who simply don't like black people.
I have just one other thing to say, and I promised myself I'd only do one post on here then log out.
Uncle Glen - you say that yobs and former service personnel couldn't be the same thing. I don't know if you're naďve, stupid or lying, but you obviously have no experience of the forces. Well, I do. You're wrong. Very, very wrong. I'm not going to go into detail, but you are basically making it up, I reckon. I won't be wasting any more breath on you, except to say that you live in some kind of fantasy world.