Home > The Monday Musings Column > on standing up for a cause

on standing up for a cause

I do try not to get into political issues here, but there is something bothering me and so I shall air it. There is a fashion for adopting causes these days and a new hostage will sweep the world faster than a pandemic. Fortunately, unlike pandemics, most of these fads get replaced by a new one fairly quickly and fade out, but therein lies a problem.

Most of these causes do have an important issue at their centre, but these get lost in the rush to join the bandwagon and that is a shame because, without the core issue being front and centre, there will never be enough real debate nor any resolution. I’ll take BlackLivesMatter as my example here because it’s the one that has been on my mind for a few weeks. Ask anyone what it is all about and, if you are lucky, they might say something along the lines of it being about that white cop in America who knelt on the black guy’s neck and killed him. If you then ask what was wrong about that then answers start to get a bit vague, but there is an important issue there that had nothing to do with skin colour: An officer of the law effectively executed a prisoner without trial or other judiciary process. That is wrong and if you then want to take up the cause of it being a white guy killing a black guy fair enough. I am with you as long as we keep our eyes on the prize of justice for all (ie; equality).

Now for a time you could barely move without seeing or hearing BLM in some form or other. Pressure was brought to bear along the lines of you are either with us or against us; neutrality was latent hostility and bullying was rampant. Celebrities were everywhere promoting BLM yet where are they now for there is another threat to darker skinned people that they are all curiously silent on.

Covid-19 seems to like people with darker skins. It appears to infect them more easily and have a more devastating impact on them. There is some generalisation here, but every time I read about the pandemic this problem comes up, usually accompanied by the news that the BAME communities are suspicious about the vaccination programme and take up amongst their ranks is significantly lower than it is for lighter skinned people. So if Black Lives Matter where are all of the celebrities now? Why are they not out there pushing for a greater take up? The only celebrities I see coming forward, and there are not that many, are the likes of Michael Caine and Elton John with their comic advert (for which I applaud them both; it is very well done).

I think that there is a big problem for genuine causes in that they get lost in the noise and so the real message disappears, watered down by all of the people jumping on to the bandwagon when they do not understand what the real problem is. People mean well and are usually in favour of a good cause. It is one of the nicer sides of human nature, but in these days of instant communication through social media something that is trending gets picked up and thrown around with gay abandon. Sadly that means that very little progress gets made on solving the problem that kicked things off.

If a cause means something to you then please do take it up, but do try to understand what it is about and look at ways that you can help that go beyond bunging our a few tweets with that hashtag. You never know, you might just make something happen.

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