Sunday 31 May 2020

Nerd Church - Power and Privilege In 2020

(Warning: This post discusses 2020. 

Which means it discusses:

- Coronavirus/Covid 19, and the death statistics
- racism
- racist murder (inc. murder of Black people by the police)
- Transphobia
- Transphobic murder
- Homophobia/Queerphobia
- Donald Trump

...I think that's everything. 2020, everyone.)

Power and Privilege in 2020

Well... it's been a week, right?

Unfortunately, if there's one theme to this week, both here in the UK and over in the USA, it's this: The more power and privilege someone has, the more they will abuse that power and privilege.

It's the same the world over - whether you're a racist cop literally murdering a man, or a top government aide who doesn't have to follow the rules you yourself helped to set up.

I don't like to sound bitter dearest nerdlets - I think there's enough bitterness in the world without me adding to it, and I'm naturally quite an optimistic person (despite the Depression.)

...But sometimes people just suck.

George Floyd did not deserve to die. 

The police killed him. Illegally (in case that wasn't implied heavily enough.)

Just like Ahmaud Arbery did not deserve to die. 

He was killed by an ex-cop, illegally, in a (imho) racist attack, and the system closed ranks to protect his murderers.

Just like Nina Pop did not deserve to die. 

Black Trans women are killed regularly in hate crimes in the United States. She's thought to be the 5th Trans Woman of Colour murdered in the US within one month. One. Month.

#BlackLivesMatter written on a face mask
Via Giphy

UPDATE, 31 May: 

Tony McDade - A Black Trans man killed by the police in Florida

Breonna Taylor - A Black woman killed by the police in Louisville, Kentucky in March

Regis Korchinski-Paquet - A Black woman who died in a police incident in Toronto, Canada, over which there are many questions; I've seen some descriptions of Regis as Afro-Indigenous, but haven't been able to verify this.

Update 2nd June:

James Scurlock was killed as part of the Black Lives Matter protests in Nebraska by a bar owner who is not facing charges.

David McAtee, an unarmed Black man, was shot by police during the Black Lives Matter protests and unrest in Louisville, Kentucky.

Update 8th June:

12-year-old Shukri Abdi, a Black Muslim Somali refugee, appears to have been purposefully drowned by other children in Bury, UK, in June last year.

UPDATE 14th June:

Rayshard Brooks, a 27-year-old Black man, was shot dead by police in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

I'm sure there are countless other instances of injustice and prejudice within the last few months - even more within the last few years - these are just the ones that sprang to mind.

And the president of those same United States?

The Trumpkin is a racist coward who only cares about sowing the seeds of hatred and distrust. Anything to keep him in power and luxury.

And somehow people still support this waste of humanity.

I think we've established that he doesn't care if you die - his Coronavirus advice and policies are reckless and foolhardy at best.

No-one with your best interests at heart pulls out from the World Health Organization.

Over 100k people have died of Covid 19 in the USA. That should mean something. That... it should mean something.

Am I naive? Am I somehow misguided in my belief that human life has value? That people matter?

I don't think so.

But when the Prime Minister refuses to sack Dominic Cummings, I have to wonder.

Note from Cee while editing: 'sack' in non-British = 'fire'

Because over 37k people have died of Coronavirus in the UK, too.

Who is Dominic Cummings? 

Many people consider him 'the power behind the throne' and credit him for the whole Brexit sh** show.

He drove the length of the country during lockdown. And had a day trip at a castle. And doesn't see anything wrong with this.

Evidently our Prime Minister doesn't see anything wrong with it either.

Mr Cummings seems to think that the rules don't apply to him.

This is to stop a global pandemic. These rules are there to save lives.

Or do the lives of the disabled and elderly, of poor people and BAME people, mean nothing in comparison to your inconvenience? 

BAME = Black and Minority Ethnic, amongst whom the death rate here in the UK is higher than average

Because my elderly and disabled grandmother is worth 100 and more of Dominic Cummings, and it's people like her that his actions are putting at risk.

And then some English (and, I admit, a few Welsh,) 'journalists' (I use the term loosely,) and politicians have the gall to say that the Welsh Health Minister, Vaughan Gething, was having a picnic.

No. He was not. He and his family picked up some chips from the takeaway (the takeaways are open,) stopped briefly on a park bench (b/c 5 year old child,) and went home.

He stayed local to his home.

And... I'm not sure which of these factors is relevant (probably all of them)...

...but it comes to something when attention is being diverted from the White, English, Westminster government aide who drove 260 miles with his family -

- to the Black Welsh Government Health Minister who... ate some chips on the way back home with his family within what he described as 'scooting distance' from his house for a five year old on a scooter.

The two things don't really compare, tbh.

There's also an element of Welsh/English argy-bargy here, because... apparently the English weren't aware that UK =/= England. *face palms*

I could go on and on.

I could talk about the rise in Transphobia (especially online) here in the UK, or the concerning and vicious attitude of some people towards 'reclaiming' the rainbow* from the LGBTQ+ community... 

...but I think we've established that, sometimes, people suck.

Marsha P Johnson: It's taking people to realize they [sic] we're all brothers and sisters and human beings in the human race
Via Giphy

*I would link, but I don't wanna give these a-holes the clicks.

What we need to do now is to remember that a lot of people don't suck - a lot of people are amazing.

I promise, that there is good in this world - so much good!

I promise that there is hope and acceptance and beauty and kindness and love and all those good things!

It just takes people with good enough hearts, taking small steps, to make the world a better place. I promise.

How do we change the world?

I mean, the world's so big, and these unfair, abusive, oppressive, and unequal, systems are so established! 

What can one person do?

Ah, well that's simply complex and complexly simple, so easy and so difficult at the same time:

  • Don't be a jerk
  • Respect people
    • Respect people's identities
  • Do not discriminate against or persecute people
  • Help people when you can
  • Listen to people - especially people from marginalised communities, whose voices are often drowned out by those in power
    • Boost those marginalised voices when you can
  • Have compassion and empathy
  • Don't stay silent when you're in a position to speak out against injustice
    • (Safety first)
  • Value. Human. Life.

...All things which can be surprisingly difficult in practice.

Wherever you are and whatever you're doing, dearest nerdlets, stay safe and stay home as much as you can - my love's with all of you

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  1. Thank you for this post, Cee! It’s hard to stay optimistic in times like these. But, there really is still a lot of good in this world. As Mr. Rogers said: “look for the helpers.” I think it would be beneficial if a lot of us became those helpers too.

    1. We didn't have Mr Rogers in the UK, but it's a good sentiment, all the same! <3


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