Listen to the People

At this point, it is highly likely that you have heard about the terrible occurrences in the United States in the past few weeks. From Alton Sterling to Philando Castile to the Dallas shootings, there has been a wave of publicly-visible violence coming from a country where guns have long been a point of contention.

With such dramatic, violent events, there has been outcry about each and every one of these occurrences. People have been speaking out about injustices in the system, the need for change, and racism, amongst other things.

I have only just watched the Alton Sterling and Philando Castle videos for the first time about 10 minutes before writing this post. I still cannot comprehend the callousness and reasoning behind the shootings. To be honest, whilst a large portion of people are crying out, all I want to do is keep quiet. Keep quiet and listen to those who are closer to these harrowing killings. To those who do not happen to be white males on the other side of the world from where these shootings took place.

And while I hadn’t watched the footage until now, I have been following some of the coverage of these events. From Trevor Noah’s poised, rational take on Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, to an Asian-American discussing the impact that these events have on him and the non-white community. There has even been an explanation of the problems of dismissing #BlackLivesMatter by saying #AllLivesMatter at this point in time. There has been a lot of measured, considered commentary on this.

Sadly, there has also been so much hate, coming in the usual channels of hatred. Comments on YouTube and tweets filled with vitriol and bile, laced with insensitivity and ignorance.

It’s hard to talk about events such as this, no matter what demographic you fall under. So before you say anything, just listen. You don’t need to get your Masters thesis in social dynamics before you have your say. Just watch the videos. Read the tweets. Educate yourself about what’s happening. Only then, when you have a good idea of what has happened and what has been said, should you comment.

Rest in peace, all who lost their lives in these tragedies. May your memories and stories help bring forth a better society.




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