Part 10: Why are we planning to go back to “normal” anyway? RESPECT

We were told one thing but it turns out it was not true. So was it 1500 deaths in one day in the UK from Covid-19? Was it over 1000 deaths 22 days in a row? What, instead of 909, 800? Who knows? Does one human life matter to the powers that be? 

Photo by Jametlene Reskp on Unsplash

Health Manager: “Yes Sir, 1425 people died today”

Minister:“What did you say? Around 900?” 

Health Manager: “Er, no Sir, 1425”

Minister: “Could you round it down please?”

Health Manager: “Er…down?”

Minister:“Yes please! Oh never mind, let’s go for 900 today, thanks!”

So, how exactly did it play out? Grandparents, fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, friends…I mean, if you are not going to be honest in the first place we might as well guess the scenarios.

It’s not a mistake of policy or organisation. It’s disrespect of the virus and disrespect of the people. In short a lack of “respect”. This is what’s on my mind in this post.


I’ve feel learnt a lot in the last few months about attitude, especially my own as well as others through observation, listening and also what the future will hold.  

At the heart of the powers that be, we have lacked leadership and fundamentally a bad attitude which has resulted in a lack of respect for the general public in every way. This has led some members of the populous reflecting the same bad behavior. 

Photo by Elijah O’Donnell on Unsplash

I find it incredible how we have got here since the virus took hold and affected all aspects of our lives. I mean “do some people really stop and think?”

I thought about this as I drove through a busy gentrified area of London which pre-covid would be pretty much buzzing and full of energy 24/7. The signs were that people are not waiting for lockdown to lift at all. For them it’s lifted already. It was buzzing and had all the hallmarks that when 30 degrees hits it will be busier than ever and social distancing will be long gone and have become a thing of the past.

Tell me, do people bring their own plastic glasses to the pubs that flout the rules? 💁🏽  

The blaise nature of the “new normal” is plain to see all around us. Is it disrespect, stupidity or something else. Let’s go with disrespect and it starts with the actions of leadership, or lack of. 

The blaise nature of the “new normal” is plain to see all around us.

Symbolism matters

Photo by Kunj Parekh on Unsplash

We are clear on the symbolism of “taking the knee”. At least some of us are. 

We can delve back into history to understand the origins of this. The most recent high profile symbolism of “taking the knee” was in 2016, when Colin Kaepernick, the NFL footballer stood firm in his decision not to stand for the US national anthem during an NFL game. He made it clear “I am not looking for approval. I have to stand up for people that are oppressed.” It attracted a lot of media attention and has not been forgotten since. 

But fundamentally, it’s earlier than that. When the Revd Dr. Martin Luther King Jr along with other civil right activists knelt to pray with protesters in Selma, Alabama in 1965 at the beginning of the 54 mile march to Montgomery, this signified a defiance and the taking to task of the establishment for an end to segregation. For the right to vote, end to segregation and end discrimination against African Americans. 

When contemplating the murder of George Floyd and the officer who used his knee to take his life away it actually signifies something so, so far away. We can look at it like “the just cause versus evil”. It cannot be clearer. 

Yet in discussing why “taking the knee” is used in respect of those fallen, against oppression and injustice, some people have tried try to trivialise this. 

Some people will not do it…ever. Not out of shame but simply in that they do NOT believe in the cause of injustice being played out. This is fundamental. 

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

Like a government minister who threw out an insult by likening “taking the knee” to a fictional TV series, they will NOT show or tell the people who support them this is the something to respect. 

It’s strategic. It’s also disrespectful. Does it matter to those who know the significance? Do we ignore them?

Do the right thing

RIP Bill Nunn who played Radio Raheem in Do the Right Thing

I’ve talked about my interest in education and schooling on more than one occasion. With British history in the spotlight you don’t need to tune in to “your radio waves of sense” to understand that something is fundamentally wrong. Some people have chosen to close their eyes and block their ears.

“Our national curriculum covers the issue of the British Empire…we must bbe proud…will not erase…” Do I need to go further?

If indeed the curriculum gives a full account of the British Empire then a true interpretation of African history amongst the 25% and 500 million people on this planet Britain colonised needs to have “significantly more truth” than it does now. 

The conscience of many teachers will have a little voice ticking away when the new term starts.

The conscience of many teachers will have a little voice ticking away when the new term starts. Whether the curriculum changes or not the momentum is here. What’s the respectful thing to do? Can they do it? Do they want to? It would be far to easy for the government to authorise it.

That’s why in order to progress beyond the conversation beyond just “wanting respect” you have to take a stand yourself. Read up on history, do your own research and share with others. That’s the respectful thing to do. 


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