The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, proclaimed by the United Nations’ General Assembly on 10th December 1948, is a fundamental Human Rights declaration that every country should follow and uphold so that every human, universally, is protected.
There are 30 articles of rights and freedoms for every human being; these are the first five:
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.
Everyone has the right to life, liberty and the security of person.
No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.
No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. ‘
I will never understand how police and retired police officers (because they still have that police-power mentality), believe they have the right to take away a life of a Black person, when they never gave them their life to begin with.
There already seems to be a problem with Article I and the problem is found in the following word: human.
Racists don’t see Black people as people, therefore they don’t see us as humans; as they don’t see us as humans, they don’t believe that Black lives matter. It’s evident in the way they speak down towards us; it’s evident in the way they talk about us, whether behind our backs or to our faces; it’s evident in the way they make monkey noises when driving past us; it’s evident when we’re rejected from jobs because of our skin tone; it’s evident when we’re turned away from bars and clubs for no apparent reason while others are able to walk in just fine; it’s evident when they hurl bananas at us; it’s evident when we’re arrested for ‘fitting the description’ of someone who is wanted by the police just because we’re black; it’s evident when we’re told to behave a certain way when being introduced to our white boyfriend’s parents, so his parents will accept us better; it’s evident when going on dates when our date will tell us about their latest feeling of ‘jungle fever’; it’s evident when they shoot my brothers and sisters like dogs in the streets; it’s evident when people who came in after us in the restaurant are served before us, even though we’ve been waiting to be served for 30 minutes; it’s evident when they want to use us to win sports games but leave us to eat alone at lunchtime. It’s pretty evident.
So, to them, the racists, as they don’t see Black people as humans, they don’t believe that the articles that make up The Universal Declaration of Human Rights apply to us.
May I also point out that this declaration is available in over 500 languages and yet, the racists still don’t seem to be able to understand what the declaration is saying. The reason? There’s one language that’s missing from the declaration which just so happens to be the only language racists understand: hatred.
And it was exactly that, hatred, that led Derek Chauvin to kill George Floyd and made the three police officers, Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng, stand by and do nothing to help as Floyd’s life slipped away beneath Chauvin’s knee.
The convenience store that Floyd was accused of allegedly giving a counterfeit $20 bill to when paying for his goods gave an exclusive statement to theGrio:
‘Cup Foods would like to extend its deepest condolences to George Floyd’s family, friends and the South Minneapolis Community that we know and love. We are deeply saddened and outraged by what happened to George Floyd in front of our store. There is no justification for the use of reckless force displayed by the police that murdered George Floyd. We support this protest.
The incidents that led up to this event teach us all an important lesson about dealing with the police. There is a state policy that requires stores to call the police in the case of counterfeit bills. As a check-cashing business, this is a routine practice for us: we report forged money, then the police come and ask the patrons about the bill so they can trace its origin. Upon receiving a counterfeit bill from George Floyd, one of our employees called the police in accordance with this procedure. The owner of Cup Foods, Mahmoud Abumayyaleh, was not present at the time.
Four officers showed up to the scene, and they proceeded to escalate the situation with increased use of violence and force. The nephew of the store corner, who was also present at the time, was yelling for the police officers to stop, and was pushed away by one of the cops. Sadly, we all know the rest of the story. Despite the fact that George never resisted arrest, police proceeded to end George Floyd’s life over a counterfeit bill. It’s likely that George did not even know that he had a fake bill to begin with. We are deeply saddened for our part of this tragedy.
We have been a cornerstone and pillar of this community for three generations of our family and for 31 years have proudly served our neighbourhood. Since George’s untimely passing, Cup Foods has been in regular contact with Floyd’s family who flew in from Houston. We are joining each other in solidarity, standing together to demand accountability from the cops. We will also personally be donating to pay for George Floyd’s memorial service.
Police are supposed to protect and serve their communities; instead, what we’ve seen over and over again is the police abusing their power and violating the people’s trust. We realize now that escalating situations to the police almost always does more harm than good, even for something as harmless as a fake bill. This is not an isolated incident: they have shown time and time again that they do not know how to peacefully handle conflicts in our community. By simply following procedure, we are putting our communities in danger. Until the police stop killing innocent people, we will handle incidents like this one using non-violent tactics that do not involve police. We must stand together to fight against institutional racism.
This is our time to demand justice. Please make your voice heard: call and email the Minneapolis District Attorney’s office to reach Mike Freeman. Join us in donating money to bailout funds such as the Minnesota Freedom Fund, Black Visions Collective, and Reclaim The Block. Work within your communities to find alternatives to policing, until the point that local and state officials decide to seriously hold police accountable once and for all. We will continue fighting with our South Minneapolis community until justice is served, not only for George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, but for everybody who is affected by police violence in our country.’
Can we pause, for a moment, to reflect on this sentence: ‘It’s likely that George did not even know that he had a fake bill to begin with.’
George Floyd was found guilty before he’d even been given a chance to explain his side, purely because he was Black. He didn’t have a chance, because he was Black, ergo not human. I now give you the next five articles from the declaration:
Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.
All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.
Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.
Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.’
We Black people, just as every other human, are supposed to be protected under these same articles, and yet, for us, it’s a different case.
As a Black person, this is our life: killed first, asked questions about us later (but only if our case hasn’t slipped under the radar because it’s caused outrage on social media thus becoming headline news).
As humans, Black people have the HUMAN RIGHT to be able to live just as other humans. Black people are humans, too.
All of the above laws from the declaration continue to be broken (and it’s only 10 out of the 30!) because this is how racists view each article: ‘All human beings, apart from Black people, are born free and equal in dignity and rights…’; ‘Everyone, apart from Black people, is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration…’; ‘No one, apart from Black people, shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest…’; ‘All, apart from Black people, are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law…’
George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Trayvon Martin, Philando Castile, Atatiana Jefferson, Jamel Floyd, Sean Monterossa, Tamir Rice, Alton Sterling, Terence Crutcher, Botham Jean, Michael Brown Jr., Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, Samuel Dubose, Walter Scott, Jordan Davis, Eric Courtney Harris, Tony Robinson Jr., Rumain Brisbon, Laquan McDonald and so many more Black women and men’s human rights were taken away from them, simply because they were Black, ergo not humans. There’s nothing else to it.
And even though they had the HUMAN RIGHT, if they were being accused of something, to have a fair trial, none of them made it to the court room because they were shot dead where they stood, sat, slept or while in police custody.
I will never understand how police and retired police officers (because they still have that police-power mentality), believe they have the right to take away a life of a Black person, when they never gave them their life to begin with. Are they playing God? Perhaps, if their version of God is racist, prejudiced, ignorant, evil and filled with hatred. And for goodness sake, it’s not just police brutality and police brutality that’s rooted in racism that’s a problem but racism as a whole — this piece hasn’t even begun to scratch the surface of institutional, covert, overt, structural and systemic racism, but For A Fairer Life will be talking about it.
But you know what gave me hope? The protests.
Yes, we’ve protested against police brutality before, but there was something different about the ones that took place over the last few weeks.
These protests brought every human from all walks of life, from all over the globe together to stand with us: Black people from around the world, all 50 states in America, 18 other countries, the Amish, Witches, the LGBTQ community, celebrities, K-Pop fans, Politicians and so many others stood in solidarity to one) get the three other officers who assisted Derek Chauvin charged and two) to remind the world that us Black humans, we Black people, our Black lives matter. Not just our culture; our Blackness; our fashion; our music; our hairstyles; our dances; and our food that’s appropriated for each non-Black person’s own profit and agenda, but the people, the Black humans, that created that culture.
** Side Note ** Think on this for a moment: to get three police officers who assisted in a Black man’s death charged, it took the whole world. What does that tell you about how we, as Black people, are viewed?
So no matter whether you (you, being racists) see us Black people as humans or not, we’re not extraterrestrial beings that you can send to another planet. We’re here to stay and we’re tired and no longer waiting for you to come to terms that we are indeed human beings, just like you, who deserve to live freely, just like you. That is our BIRTH RIGHT as a human.
We will protect our human right to live without oppression with every breath that still remains in us.
We’re learning and fighting while our non-Black allies are learning and fighting alongside us.
We will shout it from the rooftops.
We will sing it over the seas.
We will engrave it in the ground.
We will remind all as we take the knee.
BLACK LIVES MATTER
BLACK LIVES WILL ALWAYS MATTER
If you are based in the UK, the following are ways you can join the revolution:
- Black Lives Matter
- Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust
- The Movement For Black Lives
- Black Minds Matter UK
- Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights
- Stop Hate UK
– SIGN A PETITION
– TALK TO YOUR MP’S
– EDUCATE YOURSELF
– KEEP TALKING ON SOCIAL MEDIA
– KEEP FIGHTING