Black Lives Matter - Thoughts and Observations

- Inequality and Brutality in the US ≠ The Same Elsewhere...



Black Lives Matter? Wrong, all lives matter, and until we are one people, one race, and one nation we will never achieve true unity or anything even approaching absolute equality. - As soon as a distinction is made between one race and another you have the potential for inequality, and this holds true in protests aimed at promoting the wellbeing of one above another in any environment where it can normally be expected that there would be no differences beyond those of culture and lifestyle choices.

- It is right to draw attention to Police brulity and inequality, but not everwhere treats BAME (Black Asian and Minority Ethnic) with the disrepect and inequality of countries like the US and, indeed, in the UK BAME people have become, in some areas, indigenous to the point that those areas can no longer be classed as even remotely white and where, in more extreme cases, English is no longer the default language in use in most of the stores or amenities in those locations.

Further to the above, many areas with BAME have disproportionately large populations of such because of their inherent tendancy to live together and in (often large) family groups. This, in turn, distorts the true image of the situation because if there is unemployment in those areas it will appear to mainly affect BAME and, similarly, if the schools are under-performing in those areas, it, again, appears to be something mainly affecting BAME.

There also appears to be some confusion relating to the social background of many BAME in the UK: most of those who have mentioned poor education or a lack of prospects seem to be from areas that are acknowledged as being deprived areas; so, again, this is a multi-cultural issue, not something specific to BAME, and is part of the extensive social mobility problems blighting (mainly) social housing areas all across the UK.

Additionally, a resistance to, if not outright resentment of, Police involvement in crimes typically of a higher incidence amongst BAME communities, eg: segregation, FGM, forced marriage (and abductions), and honour-killings, often sees Police officers (whether BAME or not) suspended for even trying to investigate such crimes in areas with a heavy BAME presence as a result of pressure from community leaders (who, in some cases, also preside over community courts of a type with no legal powers within the UK but plenty of presence within the communities), local councillors, and MPs (all, or mostly, BAME) who would much rather have the incidents quietly suppressed than investigated; so in the UK it can actually be said that there is inequality, certainly injustice, on all sides; although, again, different to that found outside of the UK.

If anything, the George Floyd issue is a reminder to us all that we must stand together on all things and not just those that directly affect us or which relate specifically to one particular aspect of our society (in this case BAME). In this, and as a campaigner myself, I am very much aware of the scale of pure apathy in the UK when it comes to protecting our rights, civil liberties, and freedom of expression. - The Copyright Directive, for example, and IPA (Investigatory Powers Act), not to mention amendments to the Counter-Terrorism Act, all contain restrictive and damaging legislation that went almost totally unapposed by the UK population (yes, including amendments that affect BAME just as surely as everyone else).

Then there is our refusal to break from proprietary IT (Information Technology) solutions (despite it costing UK taxpayers billions in licensing fees and unecessary third-party solutions, additional to removing excellent training opportunities from primary right through to university level), our dependence on Amazon (which is doing an admirable job of destroying independent market places the world over), and Facebook in everything (despite working in collusion with governments in South America, - mainly BAME populations, - to control (and suppress) all news and social media in those places).

Ultimately, progress in this matter lies not in protesting on the streets, but in making our voices heard by our governments1, our choices when we vote, using open source IT solutions2, supporting local retailers and independent traders (whether online or off), using decentralized solutions wherever possible3, forcing oversight on issues like facial recognition, holding the likes of Google accountable for integrating malware and spyware directly into its Android operating systems, and demanding fully secure mobile and DECT communications that cannot be accessed and hacked by anyone with a laptop and a wireless network card (including Police forces, peodophiles, scammers, fraudsters, and other rogue operators the world over).

- ©That Damned Treehugger, June 2020


1 parliament petitions are an oft-overlooked way of demanding that an issue be raised for debate, but need to be approved and to accrue 100,000 signatures in order to ensure a good chance of being debated. Sites such as Change.org and 38 Degrees are not recommended: such sites profit quite hansomely from well-intentioned petitioners who fail to realize that donations given to such sites usually end-up in the coffers of those operating the site and not actually helping the intended cause in the slightest. Change.org, for one, will also take down any petitions that are linked to a parliament petition and has been known to hide any petitions that it does not like (although 38 Degrees, too, is notorious for cherry-picking petitions).

2 an example of this would be providing children in infants with their own Raspberry Pi (which the schools could provide at a cost of around £20 per pupil vs. several thousand for each proprietary system) and building on this and its associated uses right throughout their school life. For those with limited interest in IT this could extend to nothing further than general literacy in using a computer or accessing an IT system; but for others this could be the foundation for a career in robotics, spacecraft design, automotive technology in general, AI, nanotech, advanced communications, or even quantum theory.

This approach, too, could provide affordable solutions for hundreds of thousands of people in developing countries all over the world, whilst the subsequent development of open source solutions could empower, improve, and enrich the lives of millions of individuals and businesses alike.

3 social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook are centralized, meaning that everything is controlled from one single point (think, in this case, one computer to control them all and you have the idea). An example of decentralized would be the likes of Mastodon (similar to Facebook but without any centralized hub: people install a SDK (Software Development Kit, or Mastodon server software, on their own servers and link to other computers with the same and then anyone wanting to join Mastodon looks for one of the Mastodon sites offering topics that interest them and sign-up for it, but without being tied to any one group and without needing to run a group and with no requirement to install anything on their machine).

This, in turn, means that the only machine that has any data on that person is the Mastodon server whose group(s) they have decided to join, so there is no gigantic Mastodon 'entity' that knows of every Mastodon user, and it is not possible for any one operator to simply access a Mastodon server in order to harvest any and all information on every Mastodon user: it is not only open source (built and contributed-to by other Mastodon users), but it also helps to protect the user's privacy, security, civil rights, and freedom of expression; whilst being moderated by the person running whichever server a given group is running on, and other group users, not some faceless group of people arbitrarily taking-down posts based on little more than those posts being flagged by an algorithm.




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