Do Black Lives Really Matter?
Although the Black Lives Matter Movement was created here in the U.S., its message resonates throughout the world. Black people in America are not the only members of the African Diaspora suffering racially-charged injustices. Unfortunately, it is not simply America that needs to be reminded that Black Lives Matter; the entire world needs to be reminded as well.
Earlier this month, CNNi published an article reporting on an underground slave trade in Libya just outside of the country’s capital, Tripoli. CNNi journalists obtained cellphone footage of African migrants and refugees being auctioned off for work.
In the cell phone footage that CNNi obtained and uploaded to their site shows a few Black men standing side-by-side as an auctioneer barters with someone off screen. The auctioneer refers to the African migrants as “Big strong boys for farm work” and then sells them for $400.00 each.
Shortly after obtaining the footage, CNNi journalists witnessed another slave trade transpiring in a public space, again not too far from Tripoli. This particular slave trade consisted of about twelve African men being auctioned off into slavery by men in camouflage uniforms wielding guns, selling the men for as little as $400.00.
According to some sects of the world, Black lives really don’t matter. Black lives are obviously worth something to some people -- the low amount of $400.00 -- but our lives truly don’t matter.
Leading nations, e.g. the U.S., have a duty to weigh in on issues such as modern slavery. However, issues like these should never be commented on irresponsibly. Shortly after CNNi published their article exposing the Libyan slave trade, Trump continued his incessant harangue about CNN reporting fake news.
To play the devil’s advocate, CNN has found themselves under heavy fire by various outlets for reporting fake news; more specifically, news that often leads to the exposure of something much bigger than the issue reported. Bare with me as I venture off for a moment. Is it such a terrible thing if CNN is reporting on one thing to expose another?
How We Obtained The Right To Vote
Consider the following; it is speculated that JFK was assassinated because of his advocacy for the Voting Rights Act of 1964. After JFK’s assassination, LBJ then stepped up as the new president and also advocated for the Voting Rights Act to be passed. However, in order to get people to vote in favor of the bill, LBJ encouraged voters to uphold JFK’s legacy by voting for his beliefs.
You and I know that the right thing to do -- aside from making the ability to vote a right and not a privilege for all citizens -- would have been for people to vote in favor of the Voting Rights Act regardless of JFK’s views. But let us consider the possibility (rather, the apparent fact) that the bill was in fact passed in honor of JFK as opposed to the belief that all non-white citizens should be endowed upon birth with the right to vote; what’s the problem?
Voters may have supported the bill in honor of JFK but a number of communities benefitted indirectly. It would be great to be able to believe that we lived in a world where we share a quotidian mindset based on a progressive point of view, and that the support of certain bills like the Voting Rights Act of 1964 originated from a place of human decency instead of a place of posthumous commemoration for one individual, but that simply is not the case.
Could CNNi be exposing a particular aspect, be it consciously or not (intentional or otherwise, even), of a bigger crisis? Perhaps. But the important part is that the truth about the Libyan slave trade is exposed, regardless.
For Trump, someone who disdainfully supports the conservative FOX news outlet (an outlet known for exaggerating information, hosting debates between passionate conservatives and pseudo-liberals, and supporting right-winged individuals like Bill O'Reilly) to make the accusation that CNN reports fake news just days after their story about the Libyan slave trade broke, is irresponsible, distasteful, and suspicious.
We are left to question: could Trump have some involvement with the Libyan slave trade? Is there some sort of financial agreement in place between our president and the Libyan slavers? These are mere speculations with no concrete evidence to support them but, nevertheless, food for thought.
Although people love to put the blame on a scapegoat, there isn’t one person at fault. Former president Barack Obama has expressed his regret over America’s unpreparedness for what has taken place following U.S. intervention in post Gaddafi Libya.
While Barack Obama states that he does not regret American intervention in overthrowing Gaddafi, but that he does regret America’s lack of preparedness for the aftermath, former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is more opaque with her comments, yet highly transparent, about her stance on the events that followed.
According to the news outlet okayafrica, In response to her decision to support the efforts to overthrow Gaddafi, Clinton has expressed little to no regret. Clinton has also made meaningless, Trump-like statements such as, “We came, we saw, he died,” which completely dances around the issue of the Libyan slave trade.
Could there be a conspiracy brewing somewhere? Who knows? The important issue is that Black people are still experiencing bondage, still being dehumanized and treated like second-class citizens, constantly reminded that our lives do not matter. How can we sleep at night knowing that this is the world we live in? Don’t be distracted by fluff news.
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