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  • Dickson V. Tarnongo

The Quest For Survival : Chapter 1 - Lessons From Covid 19 & Black Lives Matter

Never in history has a pandemic been dreadful to human existence, economic, social and political agitations all over the world like ‘Coronavirus’ (COVID 19). It was first discovered in Wuhan City, China, in December 2019 and spread across the globe. This virus was a sign of reminder to those who promote injustice, inequality, discrimination and racism that the world is one big family. The pandemic strengthened our firm belief in the universality of human existence, rights and obligations to each other. While that was a deep reflection, the police brutality of the black race in America took the world by storm with the emergence of the current protests that Black Lives Matter (BLM). Again the BLM was promoted all over the world with a hash tag, #ICantBreathe! or simply #BLM

Black lives matter is not just a movement. BLM is the story of the oppressed, the vulnerable groups, the asylum seekers in the UK, the persons with disabilities, the oppressed women and children, the people of colour, and the black race. The BLM movement is not a new movement but a resurgence of the old dichotomy of the global West and the global South in the struggle for equality, true justice and accountability. When the psychiatrist Frantz Fanon wrote 'The Wretched of the Earth' in 1961, where he provided a psychiatric and psychologic analysis of the dehumanising effects of colonisation upon the people of colour, he was saying black lives matter.

by Dickson V. Tarnongo

When Walter Rodney wrote ‘How Europe Underdeveloped Africa’ in 1972, he was saying black lives matter. When Jason Hickel recently wrote 'The Divide: A Brief Guide to Global Inequality and its Solutions' in 2017, he was saying the black lives matter.

We cannot reinvent the wheels, but we can only take the bulls by the horns with the emergence of a peaceful resistant of how the global West ill-treats the global south in the 21st century amid the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a world human rights instrument that is designated to safeguard the interest and dignity of all humanity. The inhuman standard of living of the people of colour all over the world is unacceptable. All defenders of human rights must rise to challenge this inequality, injustice and lack of accountability by saying ‘’Enough is Enough’’. This action will originate a new paradigm shift that will set a new world order where inequality, injustice and man's inhumanity to humanity will be condemned be it in Europe, UK, America, Africa and elsewhere. Humanity will always be one, and no human being is better than another. If the Coronavirus will not re-unite the world, then humanity may just be doomed. If a disease will not discriminate, if poverty will not discriminate and if death cannot discriminate then one wonder what could be used to discriminate against other fellow humans on earth.

Enough is enough of asylum seekers in the United Kingdom living on £5 a day, ‘’just imagine!’’. Enough is enough of restricting asylum seekers in the UK their legitimate and fundamental rights to work and earn a decent living with dignity. Enough is enough of silencing the voice of the oppressed by hegemonic powers who control the machinery of global governance. Enough is enough of defector discrimination against persons with disabilities and women whose lives are endangered by unfavourable policies. Enough of a double standard on human rights treaties. Never in life has the universality of human rights and the sanctity of the dignity of persons been in doubt than now! The preamble of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights recognises the inherent dignity and the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family as the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world. However, in practice, can we truthfully assert that the rights of all human in the UK and elsewhere is equal? This possibility may be a myth or rhetoric. The rights to work for instance is recognised by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights under article 23 which provides;

‘’- Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.

- Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.

- Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.''

Invariably, as far as the UK legal system is a concern, these rights promoted under article 23 is strictly reserve for citizens of the UK and no other humans living in the UK. The UK attitudes towards human rights of other citizens may remind us of the old allegorical novel written by George Orwell in 1945 called ‘The Animal Farm’. Seventy-five years later, the spirit of the Animal Farm incarnated in the movement, the Black Lives Matters. If President Nelson Madela were to be alive today, he would have still said; “Let there be justice for all. Let there be peace for all. Let there be work, bread, water and salt for all. Let each know that for each the body, the mind and the soul have been freed to fulfil themselves.”. Our clarion call today is that we must all stand up to fight for humanity. We must always remember that injustice for one; is injustice for all. ''A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but its lowest ones''.

The global West must be able to raise and condemned the injustice against the oppressed and the time to act is not yesterday, not tomorrow, the time to act is now!

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