Do ALL Black Lives Matter: of Movements and Intersectionality?
The past few months the whole world has been at pain over the murder of George Floyd a black man who was brutally killed by law enforcement agents. His murder brought to light various injustices committed by systems that were put in place to protect us as citizens. The first one being racial profiling (his only crime was being born black), second being police brutality (abuse of power and institutions put in place to protect all citizens).
Citizens and governments across the world joined the revolution, with most taking part on black Tuesday as a sign of solidarity. The movement saw people across joining hands and fighting against the oppression of all black people. In Zimbabwe some even went to the extent of calling for a march to the American embassy and the movement also filtered into the private schools’ arena with students sharing their stories of racism and calling for a change.
Why is it important for the movement to be intersectional and all inclusive? Most people who have taken to social matter all over the world and also in Zimbabwe have been perpetrators of similar injustices against fellow black people as a result of identity profiling, especially when it comes to the acceptance of LGBTIQ identifying people.
Many times LGBTIQ people are told that queerness is a privilege reserved for white people, and in most cases it is referred to as a western concept. This basically means that the majority of black do not have a problem with LGBTIQ identifying people as long as they are white, loosely translated being queer is only a crime if you are black. The majority of the victims of LGBTIQ related crimes and murders are black people. How is this any different from the racial profiling that lead to the death of George Floyd?
The unlawful arrest, harassment and violence against queer bodies by the police have become a norm in Zimbabwe, and history is filled with several stories of the famous raids at GALZ and arrests at LGBTIQ events. Several times LGBTIQ individuals are arrested just for presenting different. The lockdown has seen an increase in the number of incidences of police brutality against queer bodies, with most being restricted from moving around even after presenting all the necessary documentation. George was attacked and murdered for being black, how many LGBTIQ people in Zimbabwe are harassed, beaten up and arrested for being black and queer? Even when it is not a crime to be LGBTIQ.
#BlackAt(insert name of a private school)
Former and current students from private schools have taken to instagram share their stories of racism within the school structures and how it affected them and are calling upon the school administrations to be more inclusive, to create healthier learning environments. Education is important and the learning environment should not oppress anyone. Several LGBTIQ students have been victims of bullying both by fellow students and educators, in some extreme cases some were even expelled and denied access to education. Everyone agrees that the learning environment should be tolerant and free from bias against students who look or present different, where does the black LGBTIQ student stand?
We all agree that black lives matter but how inclusive is the movement and how many times have we been perpetrators of injustices against fellow black people just because they look, act, present or sound different from us?
ALL black lives should matter including the lives of black LGBTIQ people.