Now you may remember I posted a link to good ole Marvins 1972 track of the same name last Sunday ….if you didn’t listen do so …it’s a beautiful track and maybe even more pertinant ….sadly ….today
But things kind of ‘evolve’ over time don’t they? …..There is usually some kind of catalyst that kicks off a chain reaction that maybe only becomes apparant after the event ..BUT thanks to today’s technology things seem to be gathering pace …people are maybe better ‘informed’ …..or can be if they look beneath the veneer of what they are being served:)
SO …it just so happens that on Fri …The 17th Conference in memory of Steve Beko took place in South Africa …for those who don’t know …Steve was a student and antipartheid campaigner …whose imprisonment kicked off the mass movement which became unstoppable …leading to the fall of apartheid ….black people given the vote …full democracy AT LAST ( and it’s not THAT long ago)
It’s really sad isn’t it …because …maybe I’m naive …but certainly up untill the war on Iraq …it felt here as tho things WERE changing for the better in terms of race relations and Britain becoming a multicultural society ….a kind of blending …a slooooooooow process admittedly….
Anyway ….what I think started a backward change here was the HUGE protests against the war on Iraq which were ignored by our prime minister …as Mr Blair went scurrying off after Ole Dubya as he appeared to IMEDIATELY stick on his cowboy hat and hype up the war talk within HOURS of the twin towers attack in New York
Now I’m not belittling that attack in ANY way …it was a gross atrocity that killed thousands of innocent people ….but we STILL don’t know who was behind that attack …the US and UK going to war was based on Iraq having weapons of mass destruction which turned out not to be the case ….but too late …Dubya an arrogant man who had never travelled beyond US borders before ignored the UN ….declaring WAR …and Blair ……against most people at the time’s wishes …threw us all in too …causing great tension in communities here and possibly …probably …increased radicalisation of some British Muslims.
The Blair Labour Goverment proved to be a bit of a disappointment really ….yes most of us accepted the Labour Party needed to change to get elected way back in 1997 ….become more ‘press and big business savvy’ but it ended up being not too dissimilar to the Tory’s
Of course we all remember the Global Financial Markets going into free fall in 2008 …when corruption at the great Leaman Brothers bank was exposed …..and ping …ping ….ping …the dots were joined and the whole capitalist system exposed as a house of cards …a numbers game …which employed people to work in a corporate vacuum …a dog eat dog world …a game of monopoly where the winner takes all because they DESERVE it …’Buggar the rest ..as who gives a shit ANYWAY?’
All this was JUST before Obama became president of the US ….a moment of joy that resonated around the world ….here was a man of integrity …not a businessman but someone who was well educated …had been a public servant in downtown Chicago ….the Americans saw him as Black ….in this household he was seen as a product of the future …his heritage drawing things together ….Black African Father of Muslim background ….White American Mother of Chritian background …and brought up in Hawaii where its a RIGHT mixed bunch:D:D:D
For a moment it seemed something NEW was going to happen ….the banks held to account and a more considered …even approach to world affairs
Now I personally STILL love Obama …I think he did his best under the circumstances …and let’s face it he has to be the ‘coolest’ world leader there has EVER been …plus he and Michelle seem solid as a rock ….been thro thick and thin ….an example to us all ….BUT ….I think what has come to light now is that ‘democracy’ is a sham ….it is the Global Corporate Elite who hold the power …the banks and large financial/business institutions have come out of all this unscathed and it is us ordinary people AROUND THE WORLD who are suffering …..in the richer countries like the US and UK whole areas are being desimated …..investment to maintain infrastructures like health, education, housing and transport being ‘cut’ and businesses folding or pulling out of the poorer areas ….you might argue that even some whole countries are being held to ransom ….
Remember Venezuala anyone?
Yep ….that country in South America that produced all those wonderful and dynamic musicians ….yes it is still on the map if you would care to look ….although you may be forgiven for not thinking so
So here we are …..we’ve had the recent referendum on European membership here in the UK ….the result being to pull out and draw up the drawbridge ( by a whisker of a majority 52% v 48%) this has caused rifts in communities with increases in racist crime …not to mention the murder of a local MP and upcoming politician who had the potential to be a great reforming figure on the world stage ( I for one am STILL struggling with this)
And across the pond ..as they say …we have an ABSOLUTE madman ( and uber rich one) who is blatantly stirring things up!!!
And as for the Saudi’s? ……god knows what part they are playing ….the paranoid Chinese and Russian governments too …WHAT A MESS!!!
I tell you it’s a good job I meditated with Mr Modi this morning ….ok ….NO’ONE is perfect but you can usually ‘trust’ a yoga practitioner …..at least you can usually have a TWO way conversation with one
ANYWAY ….back to my initial reference …I suppose to the Black Civil Rights Movement in the US during the 60’s
RiGHT NOW we seem to be moving backward on ALL fronts don’t we? ….with all the rifts going on in the US and the shooting of 2 innocent boys we now have the ‘BLACK LIVES MATTER’ movement
Also on Friday there was the 17th annual Steve Beko memorial lecture in South Africa ….the guest speaker being Angela Davis who was a leading figure in the ORIGINAL Civil Rights movement in the US …I would urge anyone looking in to watch this speech in its ENTIRETY and really LISTEN ( it starts about 1/4 way thro the film …but you can sit thro all the intro’s if you want)
As I was listening it took me back to Youbi in Nigeria’s post earlier this year ..where the students had been peacefully protesting about student fee hikes …one of her friends got shot …the crowd dispersed and the college closed down for a month
My mind then went to the student protests in Venezuela which again started peacefully …turned violent and led to the total communication shut down
Zip …Zip …back to the Arab Spring of 2012
Zip …Zip …Zip to the student protests here in the UK and the ‘Occupy movent’
The thing is …as Angela says in her speech …yes things seem to have gone backward in terms of ‘Black Lives’just now …we don’t want to loose the momentum since the Black Civil Rights Movement of the 60’s ….not let it be blurred
RIGHT at this moment tho …’freedom’ is being dictated by a Capitalist Elite on Racial, Class and Gender lines …a very rich and minority ‘elite’ dictating to the majority and CREATING division and a culture of fear
As I said in one of my previous posts …you don’t have to be female to support feminism …feminists are NOT anti men nor do we want to BE men …it’s about equalising the balance
Therefore you don’t have to be black to support ‘Black lives matter’ …it’s about resetting the ‘balance’ from the historical ( and current) white supremacy model ….there IS recognition that white folk in poor areas are ALSO being treated as badly
It’s interesting that Angela states that ‘Education should NOT be a commodity’ …and that is ABSOLUTELY true ….what constitutes ‘education’ tho? …………Maybe we ALL need to wake up and shake up ….find ‘time’ to sift thro the crap to find that which is important …it CANNOT be ‘business as usual’ ….
WE are not ‘commodities’ either ..to be bought, sold or left to flounder …rubbed off the map
To quote AGAIN the wonderful if very brief Labour MP from MY home area … ‘We have more in common than that which divides us’