Do not call for black power or green power. Call for brainpower. –Barbara Jordan
It has been over six weeks since my last article, and it’s been six weeks because I determined to get constructive feedback to enable me to ensure that the ten minutes you spend reading my articles is time that transcends time well spent. So, this post will herald the gems from that mining — I am confident you will find the gems from my mining valuable.
Now, down to business. It is exactly two months after George Floyd’s posthumous fame reopened the scars of segregation and racism, which caused a global revolution for the decency in treating the lives of African Americans. Notable intellectual giants from all works of life have expressed their feelings and thoughts on the issue, and global companies have declared plans and allocated budgets to increase the upward mobility of African Americans.
For the above article title, it is important to discuss what I hope to express and share with you, It will be in three parts, where each part, will address the list below:
1. My Impressions from Participating in two of the #BLM Protests
2. Evidence of Africa’s silence to the #BLM
3. My version of Martin Luther’s dream.
Now, let’s dive straight to item 1 above.
A key takeaway from my first #BLM Protest Participation
I have had the privilege to attend two protests of the #BLM movement. My first attendance was — being the first protest I ever participated in — the iconic Amsterdam protest held on the 1st of June. On my journey there, I was overwhelmed by a sense of euphoria because on the metro, I could tell that over 80% of my fellow passengers were heading to the protest, and alighting from the metro. The use of Google maps was not needed, because everyone on the street shared the same destination.
Though I wished to have arrived there not on Colored Peoples’ Time, I did get there thirty minutes after it kicked off. And Oh, the crowd was beyond any crowd I did ever seen. My curious mind got the best of me, to get close to the stage where the organizers were, and after several excuses and squishing myself to the front, I could not help but marvel at man’s ability and will to coordinate against all forms of injustice and ignobility.
I saw placards in different languages, which equally meant that people from all nations of the world were represented at the protest. After getting a glimpse of the front view, I decided to walk around the area of the protest. As I walked around, I observed the looks in all participant’s eyes and body language as I walked the area.
From my observation, I noticed some participants at the protest, shared the euphoria I mentioned earlier, while some simply were there to be glad to be out after the two months house arrest — or so I assumed — while the importance of the protests was palpable in others.
But, all my observations cannot compare to when I found a preferred vantage point to take in the event and witnessed a conversation between a lady in her mid-thirties and a boy of under seven years old, whose parents are of European and African origin. The boy’s mother narrated his response ‘Why don’t we fight them..?’ to the lady when she explained to her son why it was important to be present at the protest. I couldn’t have come up with her advice to the boy: “Yes we are fighting, but not with our hands, but with here — pointing to her head” further explaining the importance of fighting with the brain than fighting physically.
The encounter informed and drove home to every cell in me that my time of being part of the next generation expired over ten years ago, and it’s my generation’s turn to continue or scale the progress of the foundations laid by the baby boomer generation. Because, I surmise that in the next twenty years, the boy will be a man, and he will attempt to implement what it means to fight with one’s brain, and the best way to fill his will, should be through deeds of how my generation has advanced the fight with our intellect — after all, the definition of sustainability is centered around the concept of leaving the planet, with social conditions better for the next generation.
Transiting to how I decided to ensure that when the present growing generation, inquires of my contribution to leaving the affairs of humanity better than I found it, I updated my library with books from Jared Diamond’s ‘Guns Germs & Steel’, and Daron and James’ ‘Why nations fail’, as well as taking my enrollment to Social Norms, and Social Change Coursera course more seriously.
2nd Key takeaway from my 2nd #BLM protest Participation
And, I like to think it is my enrollment in the later above, that caused my reluctance to participate in the next protest, held on the 10th of June, 2020, as I recently learned about the concept of “Pluralistic Ignorance”, which can simply be described as a situation where people’s actions and behaviors don’t match their beliefs or a situation where a person’s perception of what others in society believe to be right the right behavior, has a greater influence over what one believes.
Don’t try this at home:
results may vary — Kanye West,
But I still attended. And, this time, I had my investigative hat on, to dare engage fellow participants, about what the protest meant personally to them? While my investigation was neither recorded nor the results stored for analysis, I returned from the protest concluding that all generations before the millennials contributed to the development of the human species’, knowledge, benefits of harmony and peace, to all peoples of the globe. It is the lives and actions of fellow millennials that will be the proof of the concept that equality everywhere for every human, regardless of their physical or economic attributes, from their continent of origin is possible, and reaps more benefits than postulated by predecessor generations.
If there is logic reason in the above conclusion, then let us extend that thought, to conclude that the promise of the SDGs, to create equal access to basic human needs encompassed, in its 17 goals will require the input and energy of all living generations- from Boomers I, Boomers II, Gen X, Gen Y, and Gen Z generations.
With that said, it means Ervin Staub’s recommendation that bystanders are essential to eliminate violent discrimination against a group in a community, might not be a needed element, in the above logical thought. Though it might have worked in eliminating the genocidal leanings in Rwanda — a worthy listen to Hidden Brain’s episode: Romeo & Juliet In Kigali: How A Soap Opera Sought To Change Behavior in Rwanda.
Indulge me in a bit of digression. Staub’s hypothesis seems to work only on a micro-scale, but fails to work on a macro scale. Because, the bystanders of nations to the mayhem in Syria, is yet to save Syrians. And, when Syrians sought refuge in neighboring nations, their migration caused tremors in the unity of some EU nations, causing doubt in the benefits of the regional economic bloc.
While the success of the Black Lives matter is yet to be quantified or analyzed, I’m fingers crossed that the next edition of Adam’s Grant’s Originals: How Non-conformist change the world will accomplish that — or perhaps I will take on the task of documenting it.
I am aware that the first part of this title series does not link the relation the SDGs have with the Black Lives Movement, #BLM, this will be discussed in the second part of this series title, due in two weeks.
By the way, in my last article, Climate Change vs SDGs awareness, I left a link for you to test your Climate Change and SDGs awareness, here’s the direct link to the form. I will appreciate your input in the form. Thank you in advance.
Till then, I remain radically open-minded to your comments and perspective, to any improvement you might have to my documented thoughts.
Originally published at https://www.linkedin.com.