The world needs to hit the reset button right now and leaders in that aspect are needed now more than ever. We can do better as a people and take a stand against racism, tribalism, prejudice and chauvinism. Right now, regardless of who you are, the race you represent, class, or association, you have the opportunity to speak up and take meaningful action. The same tools people have used to propagate negative energy, hate, division and cynicism, we must use to fight back. Whether it is the social media, close circle of friends or family or culture and belief systems.
If you are asking what one man or woman can do, you are missing the point already. Everyone has their own sphere of influence including you so let us start from that point. There is so much happening at the same time right now and it may feel overwhelming but humanity cannot fold right now; not at least people that have decided to lead the change. We need to take a step back and observe the chaos from the balcony and have a better view to reflect. No one wins when the world is full of hate, rage, racism, tribalism, prejudice, chauvinism to mention just a few. The world needs your kindness right now. This is not the time for self-seeking interest and other self-preservation ambitions.
Racism, prejudice, tribalism and chauvinism (and these are just a few of them) are not just other people’s problems. If all you have done the past one week is just go about your business like nothing is happening around you, then you are indirectly endorsing the current events around your community and the world at large. You should not see Uwa’s gruesome rape and murder and just move on. You should not just see George Floyd’s murder in the hands of police officers and just scroll on to the next thing. Take meaningful action.
You can start with your social media handle, or your circle of friends. For example, someone may share a distasteful joke about rape. Speak up against it even if it means looking odd among your close knit circle. If that “joker” feels uncomfortable after the joke, your job is done that moment. Parents, now is the time to educate the young men. A good place to start is respect for women like most respect their mothers.
You may not have experienced or been a victim of the aforementioned negative actions, but that does not call for being dismissive or making general statements about the situation. And the last thing you want to do is depend solely on close associates you grew up with, from the same community, class or culture who may take a myopic view of the current situation and feed your biases. Also, do not get irritated that your timeline is flooded with people expressing their opinions on social justice or people expressing their frustrations simply because you cannot relate. Let them express their frustrations, anger. Again, be kind. The world needs it right now.
If you chose to say something, chose words and positions that ease the hurt and pain so many people are feeling right now. I watched a black lady take the stage and speak about racism on Instagram the other day. It was a powerful, thought provoking speech. So I decided to check the comment section. One comment insinuated that when black men are down, black women are always there to pick the pieces only for the black man to get back up, marry and share his wealth white lady. That was insensitive and inappropriate.
Several years ago when I was in Leicestershire in England, I was returning from the City Centre probably around noon. About a 100 meters ahead, I could see a little girl playing on the pavement just outside her parent’s garden. I could also see a number of others walking towards my direction. Upon getting closer, I realized she was a little girl, probably less than four. When she finally noticed me approaching, the fright on her face was so telling. Immediately she dashed into her parent’s house to avoid the grim reaper I suppose. Her mother immediately came out to see what frightened her daughter so bad. It was poor me, minding my business, walking back to my brother’s humble abode. She did not flinch upon seeing others before me walk past her. Well, they were all white. Just imagine what her parents may have been feeding her. Like I read somewhere a while ago, no one was born racist, they were taught how to be one.
So are you going to take a stand today? Do away with inherent beliefs, prejudice that feeds negative energy and chose to be different. Be humble to acknowledge what you do not know, listen more so you can learn a thing or two and always challenge unfounded prejudices, false claims, insensitive or divisive utterances. Do your research from reliable neutral sources too, support initiatives that align with the current struggles and stay committed to them. You heard about the rain droplets and snowflake. Of course no singular act or person can fix deep-seated social injustice in the world today, plus no one says it is going to be easy. But an ocean or snow will only happen if each of us plays our part by taking meaningful action right now. #notorape #blacklivesmatter
You are completely right, everyone is important, now and ever.
In regards to the rape here in Nigeria, it is quite saddening.
However, the positive here is, people are and will be speaking up in days to come.
And I hope these messages can also be taken across to the nook and cranny of the country where the majority are without internet or any sophisticated media.
Collectively, societies will be moulded by everyone. Therefore, it is important families be at the best that they may integrate positively.
I will like drop this quote “Any nation can only be as great as its people. That requires citizens to cultivate a moral compass that helps them distinguish between right and wrong”
Love the quote.