“Black Lives Matter”

Throughout the United States, there are large protests in support of Black Lives Matter (BLM). In response to the 2013 acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer, BLM was formed to challenge racial injustice against Blacks. It advocates non-violent civil disobedience protests, whenever police brutality incurs against Blacks. BLM received national attention for the 2014 protests in Ferguson, near the city of St. Louis, for the death of Michael Brown and the protests in New York City for the death of Eric Garner.
Slavery, bondage, and oppression in various forms are still prevalent across the world. American-Blacks continue experiencing discrimination across the US and are targeted for abuse by the police. According to the Washington Post, blacks are “2.5 times as likely as white Americans to be shot and killed by police officers."
Of course, all lives matter but not all of us are being equally subjected to discrimination and other human rights violations. Presently, the issue remains that blacks are continuously being targeted for discrimination, harassment, brutality, and other abuses. Family provides a good analogy. All members in a family matter, but, when one is sick with fever, the family turns attention to that one. If one of the healthy family members cries that we all matter, the family considers it out of place, insensitive and selfish. If a single home in our neighborhood is on fire, are we going to give attention to that home on fire or cry that all homes matter?
In the Americas, the Native Americans have been brutalized and murdered since the arrival of the first white people in their territories. Millions were already massacred before the first group of black slaves put foot in the Americas. That is the continent’s chronic illness and must be addressed once the present situation returns to normal. Right now, BLACK LIVES MATTER remains the burning issue. Even the Natives are supporting Black Lives Matter.
We are all born free; thus, we must continue living free. No individual, group, or nation has rights to enslave our beings, keep us in bondage, and limit our activities where they do not infringe upon the rights of others. The law of nature, first noted by Greeks and Romans, expanded by Muslims, and later by Christians, demands that we must not wish for others what we do not wish for ourselves.
Right now, we must stand for “Black Lives Matter”. We must open our hearts to this cry for justice and provide equal opportunities. We must all join together to correct the wrong. The process starts with each one of us. It begins with in our own family, community, and peer group. We must assume responsibility for our conversations, dialogues, and actions instilled within our family, peers, colleagues, communities, and friends. We must not laugh, condone, support, talk or joke with any racist undertone. We must expect our judges and security forces, such as the police to be retrained to treat all people with respect equally.
Sa'adi, the great thirteenth century Persian poet, provides a poignant tribute to the morals of equality and tolerance that must be observed by all peoples and nations:
Human beings are limbs of one body indeed;
For, they’re created of the same soul and seed.
When one limb is afflicted with pain,
Other limbs will feel the bane.
He who has no sympathy for human suffering,
Is not worthy of being called a human being.
Translation by Ali Salami

Dr. Mehdi Alavi, President
Peace Worldwide Organization

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