Two comments in Becoming, the recent Netflix documentary about MIchelle Obama, seem significant in the light of the killing of George Floyd and its aftermath. Obama said that although she became the most prominent person in the US, she never forgot that her great-grandmother had been a slave. She also expressed profound disappointment that Black Americans hadn’t bothered to vote in the 2016 election: it felt like a betrayal of what the first African American presidency had hoped to achieve. If the Black Lives Matter movement is to have real and (we hope) lasting success it will come through the ballot box, establishing strong support for change in Congress and the Senate, but this will only happen if Black and Hispanic communities turn out in force to vote in November.
Following the weekend protests across the UK in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in the US, it was disappointing but sadly not surprising to see the government’s reaction. Focusing on ‘damage‘ and ‘thuggery’ completely misses the point; likewise implying it’s a US issue only. A failed opportunity to engage with the many many people in the UK who suffer racial abuse. And a failure to read the signs of the times and show some much needed empathy.
The July edition of the NW NJPN E Bulletin is dominated by the brutal murder of George Floyd with several hard-hitting opinion pieces. Book reviews also feature as well as a look at how the poor have been adversely impacted by the Covid19 virus.
Please read and pass on.
Best wishes and stay safe.