Part 5: Why are we planning to go back to “normal” anyway? PRIVILEGE
The birds are still singing in my garden, but I hear them less now as the cars on the street and the trains are back, and back with a vengeance. “Normal is making a strong comeback in a very big way.”
Before I started writing this piece I sighed and just shook my head as to what was being played out in the media this week. Almost in slow motion — the frenzy of how the establishment can play around in the lockdown. The deaths (officially they now number 37,000+ in the UK) will barely get a mention. I remember early in the pandemic discussing with a friend that we will get to a period where x hundred of deaths from Covid-19 will just be a passing comment in the news like the weather is presented daily. We are here now.
During the early days of the crisis, there was also a sense that everyday events were secondary. Brexit was a distant memory; knife crime had fallen considerably and hope had kind of been singing daily of fundamental change in all aspects of life. This was of course a very optimistic view.
The opposite of hope is despair and I came back early in the morning to update my article following the tragic murder in broad daylight of George Floyd by police officers in Minnesota. Normal is not making a comeback because it never really went away. So, this lays the fundamental focus of this article on PRIVILEGE.
“Normal is not making a comeback because it never really went away”
The rules of war are part of the Geneva Convention and they were first established in the 19th century. They dictate what can and cannot bedone during armed conflict. They aim to protect people who are not fighting in the conflict and curb the brutality of war by setting limits on the weapons and tactics that can be employed.
What war are we talking about? The war on Covid? The war on the fallout from Covid? — inequality? The wars around the world? My war? Your war?
We are talking about the war against privilege
Privilege: a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group.
It’s happened many times before! It echoes the fate of Eric Garner in 2014, many before and in between. What more can I say? We have cameras and social media everywhere. Say cheese? You’re on camera. There is no cry of please don’t take my picture, just a calm reassurance that under the rules of law for the privileged anything is possible, and everything is tolerable by the higher levels of society. This is because one person has every right to do what they want to do and get away with it.
The boundaries of justice will also allow a “reasonable punishment for the privileged”. I’ll elaborate a bit on this. If there is a punishment then it should fit the crime but the pessimistic view it will be a “comfortable level of punishment”. We hope not.There is not much more I can say now other than the internal anger and rage that is shared by many.
So, the media circus played out this week in the UK to focus on one person. The excess deaths at this time of year number 60,000. Did that person break the rules of the invisible war? Did that person go on road trip? Did that person go to a tourist destination? Did that person stay at home?
An explanation for the death of George Floyd will eventually be presented by a defence lawyer somewhere. An explanation of the interpretation of the lockdown rules in the UK has been presented already.
What’s the difference?
A lot as you cannot compare these two incidents at all, but the common thread that underlines the action is privilege.
Some of it is so brutal and conscious you fail to understand the evil before you and other times it comes along in a cryptic way with a number of different subplots.
Entitlement: the fact of having a right to something is one of the most ugliest words in the English dictionary I feel but it is also one of the most powerful and righteous words. To be entitled to an equality — human to human is a fundamental right? I mean, Covid-19 does not discriminate right? Surely, this invisible beast larger than humanity means that humanity comes together, humbled to fight back?
It means absolutely nothing if some people feel they are more important than others, do as they please and the most important thing is believing what they do is just and right.
“Some people feel they are more important than others”
I personally am less concerned if somebody broke the lockdown rules to travel the length of the country. I’m more concerned if that same person is also the architect behind much of the message to the whole country leaving the UK with an unenviable death toll.
So, privilege runs deep and is not going anywhere sometime soon…