Sasha Johnson’s Filming Should Make BLM UK Focus On Internal And Systemic Issues Facing Black Britons – RT Op-ed
David Matthews is a writer whose work has appeared in The Sunday Times, The Mail on Sunday and The Observer, as well as on the BBC and Channel 4. He is the author of several books, including Voices of the Windrush Generation. Follow him on twitter @mrdavematthews.
There is no doubt that black Britons face racism in society, and it must be tackled, but it must not come at the expense of solving problems within the community. Failure to do so only serves to confirm racist narratives.
As top black political activist Sasha Johnson fights for her life after being shot in the head at a birthday party in Peckham, south London, racist loons, right-wing con artists and left shill are here to prove once again that anything America can do, Britain can do more water.
As the United States prepared to commemorate the first anniversary of George Floyd’s murder at the hands of minneapolis rogue cop Derek Chauvin – a tragedy that sparked a wave of global Black Lives Matter protests against systemic racism – in the early hours of Last Sunday 27 Ms Johnson, a mother of three, was the victim of what may well turn out to be a much more prosaic attack on human rights.
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Hit by a single bullet as he witnessed what the Met police say “An organized party taking place in the back garden of a Consort Road address” in the presence of about thirty guests, hardly the self-proclaimed “Oxford Black Panther” was on the stretcher than the social rumor and MSM had started. Immediately after the shooting, and speculating on the cause, depending on which side of the extremist comment you take, Ms Johnson was the victim of an assassination attempt by “white supremacists” or another “driving” victim . of “black on black crime”.
The truth, however, is probably somewhere in between. Given the contempt for which the current Conservative government holds Britain’s black community and continues to undermine its relationship with the police and criminal justice system through dwindling resources, political apathy and whitewashing of Its Commission on Racial and Ethnic Disparities, a growing number of thugs are acting with impunity within the community.
Meanwhile, those tasked with overseeing London, a city of nine million people, feel unable to do their jobs effectively in the face of budget cuts, which have reduced the Met to managing just 36 police stations after losing 106 bases. Across the UK, since 2010, 660 police stations have closed, reducing capacity by 50%. Ask any copper if there is a correlation between the increase in crime and the lack of police presence on the streets and they will stare at you with limp jaws. Under these circumstances, isn’t it any wonder that violent criminals, whatever their color or motive, think they can just walk into a party and shoot it down without caring about the world?
A statement from the Taking the Initiative (TITP) party, which Johnson co-founded last year as “The first British political party led by blacks”, suggested, unsurprisingly, that forces darker than the usual senseless violence we have come to know and hate in Britain might have been at play. “Since the incident, we have been getting emails and social media messages celebrating Sasha’s attack, messages wishing she would die, calling her a racist and wishing the shooter the best of luck next time so as not to be having killed, etc. ” TITP said, suggesting Johnson may have been “targeted” by right-wing extremists. The party also referred to the Met police characterizing the shooting after describing the suspects as “four black men in dark clothes” and briefing the press, “We are also not aware of any reports of threats made against her prior to this incident.”
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Now that Southwark Police have arrested five men on suspicion of Johnson’s attempted murder, the truth will be revealed soon enough.
With Covid-19 disproportionately impacting their health, well-being and livelihoods, violent crime on the rise and the traditionally pro-Labor Party lacking in winning ethnocentric ideas, many black Britons feel besieged and desperate to find answers. So when a black activist is shot, confirmation bias dictates that there has to be more than it looks, because we want the offender to be a white man to change a relentlessly anti-black media narrative. . If it’s just another shot in the hood, the maniacal right wins, again. Never mind that most of the pedophiles, child murderers, armed thieves, burglars, fraudsters, rapists and homicidal maniacs in Britain are white: this is “black on black crime” or “County” or “aggression” and whatever comes out of Rod Liddle’s Crunchy Gob That Matters. The 82% of Britain who are white need their own constantly nurtured prejudices on the altar of occasional racism. And this week’s sacrificial lamb just happens to be Sasha Johnson.
Oddly enough, Johnson’s name, not to mention the details of his shooting, is missing from BLM’s website. In fact, her connection to BLM, at least publicly, seems largely based on UK media telling us that she is “A prominent Black Lives Matter activist”. The hammering of this micro-narrative is of course based on his antics, “controversial” statements, and neo-Black Panther aesthetic, which emerged in the wake of George Floyd’s murder. But since the summer of discontent last year, what has she done to deserve so much tabloid attention – attention that has included classic Daily Mail hatchet work? Is she a real political threat or just an eccentric and marginal character, a Farage with a clenched fist salute, tailor-made to roll up reactionary fruit cakes that black people are secretly scared of for reasons that we don’t know. can that guess?
Many looked to the UK chapter of the BLM not only as a catalyst for change, but also for more direct political and cultural leadership within the black community. For example, according to recent data from the National Crime Agency, black people made up 14% of the missing in England and Wales between 2019 and 2020, more than four times (3%) their relative population. I know there are black vigilante groups forming around this issue and other issues; but what is BLM’s position? Why is it ceding ground to the right-wing shills on the problems of the British black community when it should take it over, as other black-led organizations have historically done?
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BLM will argue that its mission is to “Eradicate white supremacy and strengthen local power to intervene in violence inflicted on black communities by the state and vigilantes. By combating and combating acts of violence, creating space for black imagination and innovation, and centering black joy, we gain immediate improvements in our lives. Nowhere in this mission statement does it say that BLM is committed to reducing so-called “black-on-black crime”, reducing black unemployment, or focusing on intra-community issues.
Without taking anything away from Sasha Johnson, she is not Angela Davis. But if, hopefully, she survives and makes a full recovery, she will be perfectly placed to use her own tragic experience of violent crime to great effect.
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The statements, opinions and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.