All lives matter

All lives matter

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

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Dear Editor,

I am a proud Jamaican woman. I am not black, and certainly not white. In fact, I am from such a mixed background that I simply embrace my Jamaican-ness without giving it much more thought.

The love of my life was a strong black man and a true descendant of slavery. Our children are as “mix up and blenda” as one can get — one looks black, one brown, and one somewhere in-between. Colour has obviously never been an issue for my family...until now.

Enter “Black Lives Matter”, and within days I was asked by one of my children if his sibling's life means more than his. I have struggled to answer this question and have decided to instead promote in my home the mantra that every life matters.

It should not be that every time a race gets persecuted — as all have been at some point in time — they come up with a new slogan to document that fact: “Indian Lives Matter”, “Chinese Lives Matter”, Pakistani Lives Matter”, “White Lives Matter”, when will it ever end?‎

While it will not necessarily be a popular sentiment, I find the term “Black Lives Matter” to be extremely divisive in and of itself, and I actually think that it does little more than promote racism, ‎which I would hate to think the founders of that movement intended.

My view is that the human rights of one and all should be respected. Police brutality, whether it be against black, white, red, yellow, or green, is despicable and should be condemned ‎as such.

Should I be ashamed of this view? Should I be fearful while preparing for possible boycotts of the business place where I work? Attacks on Twitter and social media? Before I prepare myself for perhaps all of the above, we in Jamaica ought to stay true to our motto, “Out of Many, One People”, and focus on the respect of human rights of every brother and sister regardless of the colour of their skin.

Yes it may seem unrealistic and theoretical, but it is what I will continue to teach my children until such time when the mainstream media ceases to divide them and teach them otherwise.

Lydia Roberts

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