By Yvonne Sam
Go ahead and count me in, whatever number of people, who remain unsurprised, that 21-year-old Robert Aaron Long of Woodstock, Georgia, entered into Gold Star Aromatherapy Spa, and Young’s Asian Massage and, on exiting, left eight people dead.
It does confuse me, as a Black individual, that anyone is shocked by the horrendous violence that takes place in America, on a daily basis. My study of world history convinces me that deadly violence is as American as baseball and apple pie.
As a result, I am never surprised, or taken aback, by barefaced attacks, such as the recent occurrence in Atlanta.
An interesting facet, evolving from my study of race, especially Blacks, is that there is an often-overlooked bigotry train that ferries various forms of oppression, from micro-aggressions to lethal violence.
The bigotry train that usually remains within Black communities will sometimes venture out to other communities, when it desires.
Is it Blacks’ familiarity with the various manifestations of oppression that this train carries, that causes them to lead the charge against it, wherever it stops, or, more plainly put, could it be that Blacks are kind-hearted and naïve, regarding how other groups regard them.
Fight, or indict, me, but I do question, why Blacks rush to the assistance of other communities that have rarely, if ever, done the same for them, during their 400-year holocaust.
All freedom-loving citizens must remember that the fight/struggle against oppression must be supported, regardless of its proximity to you.
The historical record shows few non-Blacks assuming a staunch oppositional position against such evil. Their ire only appears, when the bigotry train visits their community.
The attacks, such as the one perpetrated by Robert Long, exposes American racial groups as being somewhat disinterested in suppressing or squashing racial injustice. They only care when it impacts them directly — when the train is in their station.
Please do not misread this, as any absence of sympathy, on my part, for the lives lost, on account of this random and senseless display of violence. I am experiencing some difficulty in viewing the Asian community’s public outcries as an indicator of their commitment to ending such tragedies, across the board.
Let us pause for a moment for a reality check in the final paragraph. The Asian community has had a plethora of opportunities to break its silence, regarding similar violence, perpetrated against their Black countrymen, by both law enforcement officers and White citizens.
I have yet to hear significant rage from them, such as that articulated by Atlanta resident, Malik Peay. “Every life matters. Asian lives matter. Black lives matter, and even white lives matter,” said Peay, 40, who is Black, after allowing dozens of backed-up vehicles to pass.
Hopefully, this communication serves as a wake-up-call to all groups, that the racial bigotry train is coming down the track and, unless you are continually engaged and devoted in ongoing efforts to halt its advancement, it will arrive at its next destination.
All freedom-loving citizens must remember that the fight/struggle against oppression must be supported, regardless of its proximity to you. If you cannot understand this simple statement, then cease considering yourself a freedom-lover, because that, you are definitely NOT.
Aleuta, the struggle continues.
Yvonne Sam, a retired Head Nurse and Secondary School Teacher, is the Chair of the Rights and Freedom Committee at the Black Community Resource Centre. A regular columnist for over two decades with the Montreal Community Contact, her insightful and incursive articles on topics ranging from politics, human rights and immigration, to education and parenting have also appeared in the Huffington Post, Montreal Gazette, XPressbogg and Guyanese OnLine. She is also the recipient of the Governor General of Canada Caring Canadian Citizen Award.