I took a break from the blog to refuel and to be honest, when I saw how many reacted to the Black Lives Matter tribute on by Sadiq Khan on New Year’s Day, I thought it would be better to protect my mental state for the year ahead. But seeing how Robert Jenrick is trending on Twitter, I had to chime in on this farce of a government appointed official.
Communities Minister, Robert Jenrick, wrote in the Sunday Telegraph that “our view will be set out in law. That such monuments are almost always best explained and contextualised, not taken and hidden away”
“When it comes to our heritage, due process has been overridden. That can’t be right”
“What has stood for generations should be considered thoughtfully”
The statements made by the minister who hopes to write legislation to protect statues, is off the back of the slave owner statue was thrown into a river in Bristol, following the murder of George Floyd by a police officer in the cold light of day to a hysterical and pleading crowd.
It seems that seven months after the toppling of the statue, now would be the opportune time to distract away from the £5.22 worth of school meals that were pictured on social media, following Marcus Rashford’s campaign that no child should go hungry and to provide food for the young who might otherwise starve. The campaign itself was rejected by the government who then succumbed to the pressure of appearing heartless while the youth of the country are blighted by a pandemic. Unfortunately and unsurprisingly, the school meal packages that were begrudgingly agreed to, did not seem to fit the brief of being able to feed a child for a week, let alone a couple of days.
It appears that our government and perhaps namely Robert Jenrick himself, has his priorities somewhat confused to say the least, so let’s just pray he hasn’t been enlisted into the vaccine distribution, because at this point he speaks with the untamed conviction that might see him armed with a syringe, wondering around Parliament Square searching for the statue of Churchill.
Jenrick himself voted against extending school meals and perhaps the Communities Minister would have been better served drafting legislation to ensure that children don’t go without, instead of wasting administrative hours protecting slabs of stone that represent the wickedness of humanity. But in saying that, his actions go hand in hand with the minister’s agenda to be fair. To him, it is far more valuable to protect statues of men who themselves threw Black people taken at slaves right into the Atlantic ocean.
The people of Bristol wrote and campaigned numerous times requesting for the statue in question to be removed and under Jenrick’s jurisdiction which is as the minister’s website points out – “to give more power to local people to shape what happens in their area”, seemingly, those requests to remove the public symbol of some of Britain’s ugly past went unheard.
For those who may have forgotten why the statue was toppled into a river, you can be forgiven, merely for the fact that the government has since done nothing to address the racial disparities in Britain when it comes to police brutality and Black and Asian minority ethnic groups who have been disproportionately affected by Covid among other deep rooted issues. The matters affecting Black people in Britain continue to be ignored and yet the only time the government sees fit to discuss anything concerning us, is when they are sharpening their knives to provoke and attack those fighting for equality and who are currently trying to survive a pandemic they’ve managed to exacerbate. A pandemic whose death toll continues to destroy families and desensitise us from tragedy. It’s pathetic that the Tory minister is now trying to divert citizens focus with a culture war rooted in his ancestor’s making.
Well, this is just another day in Britain, where Black people’s issues are trivialised by men who know nothing of the struggles we face that are perpetuated by ignorance and a lack of care for communities that didn’t attend Eton. But just to set the record straight on the term that get’s banded about by white men calling those who fight for justice and equality “workie worthies” as the minister said, may I just say that using this term with the obnoxious insincerity that flows from Jenrick’s school-boy pout, is about as cringe as watching Matt Hancock cry on national television. Nobody needs to be tortured in this way and it needs to end.
So while, the attempts continue to smoke -screen what is really happening in our country, let’s just say that at this point, Black lives still don’t matter, but at least we’re woke enough to know it.