Black Lives Matter
I was riding home from doing some Covid19 Swab Testing, so I had all my official NHS gear on and I rode home via Tesco. This was the first time I had worn my NHS gear to Tescos. I headed towards the back of a long queue, and as I was walking past the trolley park, a Tesco Worker called me over and told me to go in by the Exit and they’d let me straight in. Apart from feeling a bit awkward jumping the queue (essential Britishness!) I felt like Tesco were making a real special effort to make me, and more to the point, NHS workers feel that they MATTER – really MATTER.
You’d have had to be on the moon this last week not to have heard the slogan “Black Lives Matter.” It’s a response to the brutal killing of George Floyd on May 25th.
I have been disappointed to hear friends of mine and acquaintances object to this phrase, insisting that “ALL lives matter.”
It sounds persuasive, doesn’t it – because OF COURSE all lives matter. But it misses the point, badly.
In Luke’s version of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says this:
“Blessed are you who are poor,
for yours is the kingdom of God.
Blessed are you who hunger now,
for you will be satisfied.
Blessed are you who weep now,
for you will laugh.
But surely, some might object, ALL people are blessed – not just the poor, those who weep and those who are hungry….
Jesus’ point is that these are the people who don’t FEEL blessed – who are not experiencing the good things in life that were interpreted as “blessing”.
The same is true of the “Black Lives Matter” slogan. These are people who are routinely and continuously, at every turn in their lives made to feel that they DON’T matter.
I saw this cartoon this week that, I think, makes this point more clearly than I can with words, so – here it is, Black Lives Matter.