Colour of Perspective – When we begin to tolerate and understand different perspectives – When we love, admire and respect them for their uniqueness- Racism, hatred, discrimination and oppression begins to die.
“Mom, What are you doing?” he screamed as he ran up to me. “Takedown that Insta story! It’s controversial and insensitive! Mom you know you can be trolled.” What will people say when they see your story?” As I tried to spin my head around the matter I could only murmur “ What have I done?” I had never seen my sweet demeanour son so enraged before.
“ Mom, how can you write #BlackLivesMatter and #AllLivesMatter together? Look here! In this article, it says when we say all lives matter we are trying to divert attention from the cause of Racism. It is very wrong! You will never understand because you are not Black. Dad tell Mom to remove it NOW!” He raged, his eyes blazing with passion and purpose.
“ Aree, but I am supporting the cause of Black people and also that of thousand of Migrants in India and …” I remarked, with all the seriousness I could muster even as I tried to conceal an amused smile. Though I found it endearing to see my son in the activist mode, I had a sombre thought/perspective behind what I had written. I tried to explain, but my point of view was lost on an infuriated teenager who was invested heart and soul in the cause of racism, gaining momentum worldwide.
I was happy that my son’s heart was in the right place and that he was aware and involved in social issues. I removed the Insta story to raise the peace flag with my sunshine and postponed to deliver my two cents of knowledge for a time when he became calmer.
Colour of perspective – A rainbow of colours
There have been daily news on conventional media and social media about the suffering of the labours & poor people in general during the lockdown period. I knew that I was far away from my native land and was not a first-hand witness. Ever since Corona Virus gripped the world in its tentacles and invaded every bit of media space, there has been no news of the suffering of millions of people in Syria. Writing my views on Facebook or posting my disappointment about the waning face of humanity was nothing more than ARMCHAIR ACTIVISM. I was not really making any difference. Maybe I wanted to raise awareness. I tried to delude myself. However, I had a strange impetus to voice my concern. It was the same fire in my belly that pushed me to write what I wrote in the insta story.
I thought I was expressing a very unique and pertinent statement when I wrote #AllLivesMatter along with #BlackLivesMatter. Well, things had taken an unanticipated U-Turn though. There were just too many opinions on what is right and what is wrong. Variety and freedom of expression are all good. However, most times each individual is convinced that his or her personal (or affiliated group) point of view alone is right. There is absolutely no scope or room to entertain any other perspective. The abusive trolls on social media on posts where the views of the individual are different from those of the trolls reek of INTOLERANCE.
Colour of perspective – Of different hues
I woke up to a few more bad and troubling news as has become the case with 2020. Priyanka Chopra was being called out because she was showing herself as a selective armchair activist who only spoke about western causes. The author questioned her choosy sensitivity, as she was mute about the troubles of Migrants back in her home country India. Was it because she feared backlash or was it because she did not feel for the underprivileged? Those were the questions asked. In yet another read Pink was heavily criticized for explaining why #BlackLivesMatter and not #AllLivesMatter should be the cause one has to speak for now. Why is that we choose to remain blind to someones perspective? If the cause is right why do we try to dilute the thought and impose our views? The air flows easy and fresh when we give room to discerning thoughts.
There was yet another post saying that when people post only black images with hashtag #BlackLivesMatter, precious information about the issue are lost in a tons of blank images.
Colour of perspective – Always understand the context
I understand the anger and anguish of the Black people who have been discriminated for the colour of their skin, brutalized by police. Sustaining decades of suppression especially in a powerful democracy is unacceptable.#BlackLivesMatter as a movement has gained momentum like wildfire and I hope in its flames all forms of discrimination, oppression and racism is reduced to ashes.
Perhaps the most glaring example of a staunch believer in personal belief (even though grossly wrong) is Mr.Trump. Well, the indignant and comical Mr.Trump (Comical, because it’s like placing a deranged child in the pilot seat of a packed plane) is the most glaring example of compulsively advocating defective views and continuing to be intolerant of any other perspective. Here was a world leader trying to protect his freedom of expression by muting social media (Twitter) and blasting them for having accountability. Actions always speak louder than words. But words are extremely potent especially when they come from a person in a powerful position. Words (both spoken and written) have the power to incite action and drive passion.
My head was reeling by the time I got to read that a pregnant elephant had died a horrible death because of gross inhumanity. Does this planet not belong to animals? Do they not have a right to live? Does their life matter? #AllLivesMatter. When my son came up to me and hugged me as he does each morning, I sat him down. I explained to him that passion is the most important ingredient but it is important to rein it with careful consideration. “Try to understand where the colour of the other person’s standpoint is coming from. Do not be just driven by the herd instinct or the current trend. Use your words with discretion because words are like bullets from a gun. Once they are shot you can never put them back. Listen to all. Then do what your heart tells you.“