#BlackLivesMatter!

I’m a little late to this, even though I did see mentions of it crossing my Twitter timeline here and there this past week. Recently, on Britain’s Got Talent, a dance group called Diversity performed a Black Lives Matter dance and apparently that dance has received a record amount of complaints for being too political. I only just now watched that dance for the first time and it is a stunning performance.

I had a visceral reaction to this performance and I am still in tears while typing this.

Speaking of that performance, it also made me think of this performance at the BRIT awards earlier this year by a British rapper, whom I don’t know, called Dave. He too addressed Black Lives Matter in a very personal way…

I had a similar visceral reaction to that performance as well when I first saw it a few months ago and again just now as I re-watched it for this post. In fact, that performance sparked a whole discussion on the topic with my son a few months back, which was very valuable to me, and since then Black Lives Matter has come up in conversations with my kids regularly. I am so proud to hear them speak with such disgust of intolerance and how natural it is for them that black lives really do matter (and how much they hate the #alllivesmatter hashtags).

One of the things art is about is that it interprets reality to highlight an issue or feeling and make us as viewers understand and talk about it. These performances do that so achingly well. The pain of what it can feel like to be black in our society really hits home in these performances and I think everyone should just take a moment to stop and listen and then do better.

Thankfully I am just now reading that British media regulator Ofcom will not further investigate Diversity’s performance. They say: “Diversity’s performance referred to challenging and potentially controversial subjects, and in our view, its central message was a call for social cohesion and unity. Any depictions of violence by the performers were highly stylised and symbolic of recent global events, and there was no explicit reference to any particular political organisation – but rather a message that the lives of black people matter.”

Bravo to Diversity and Dave for their heartfelt and stunning performances and may it help effect change!

19 thoughts on “#BlackLivesMatter!

  1. Servetus

    It’s racist pearl-clutching: violence is regularly the subject of all kinds of art.

    A friend of mind was complaining about the new film, “Cuties,” last night on FB as oversexualizing young girls. But she defended her choice to teach Romeo & Juliet (a play about a relationship that would be illegal in the entire US at present, plus a suicide pact) in her English classes. If a European girl is making questionable choices in the 14th c., that’s art, but if a black girl does it in the 21st, we need to organize a boycott. Color me unimpressed.

    (Totally with you on BLM, of course.)

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It’s funny you should mention “Cuties”. I hadn’t heard of it before but was just yesterday reading Tom Ellis’s wife Meaghan Oppenheimer discuss this on Twitter, she says among other things, “Listen, everyone’s acting as though I said this was my favorite movie ever and I love it, which is not the case. All I said is the film’s message was not intended to celebrate the sexualization, as many are claiming before seeing it, but that it was intended as a condemnation.”
      (if you’re interested, read through her Twitter timeline: https://twitter.com/MoppyOpps/with_replies. She also somewhere references an article on how the right wing is painting the left wing in the US as pedophiles. Not sure how accurate that is, but it was an interesting read). Anyway, I haven’t seen “Cuties”, know nothing of it, but it feels like a quick condemnation yet again aimed at someone who’s black. Ugh. So much work still needs to be done… it’ll take generations…

      Like

      1. Servetus

        I don’t know exactly how mainstream it is, but if you’re familiar with QAnon, that is their main idea: the government is filled with Satanic leftist pedophiles who are running a child sex trafficking ring. (the predecessor in 2016 was PizzaGate, which actually led to a shooting incident). About 10 percent of GOP members are thought to be followers of QAnon. I haven’t ever met anyone who is, though, and my daily contacts were until recently filled with GOP voters. Supposedly something like 9 candidates for US House this year are openly supportive of QAnon. The two I am familiar with are Laura Loomer and Marjorie Taylor Green, but supposedly the state assembly candidate in the district one over here has also tweeted in support. I didn’t read the report closely because (a) he’s not my rep and (b) after the last year, it’s hard for me to imagine I’d ever vote for a GOP candidate again for any reason. At this point I’d vote for a dead, rotting skunk first.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Servetus

            I think it’s in general hugely unsettling when you meet someone F2F and they report some counterfactual belief as if it’s a universal axiom. I had a really good buddy in my advising job — she did great work, she was a super colleague, she was a published (refereed) anthropologist, but she believed all that birther nonsense. It only came up in conversation once but it changed the entire way I looked at her. It also makes me wonder which nonsense counterfactual beliefs I hold. (I’m not talking politics here, I mean things like convictions about reality that are 100% wrong — like the idea that the US didn’t land on the moon, for example).

            Liked by 1 person

      2. Servetus

        oh: re “Cuties” — my suspicion on this was that this is actually a weird marketing ploy. It’s actually an arthouse film, and the initial marketing for it was very provocative. Then after there was an outcry, they changed the marketing to be more accurate to the film content. The point being getting some mileage from the outrage — people watching it to prove their prejudices either way. I haven’t seen it yet, but you know, given so much of the stuff we read in high school that was labeled as classic literature, I can’t imagine that this film is all that troublesome.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Good for Ofcom. It is such a bogus argument to describe art as too politicised, as if life can be separated from politics, it is so often a euphemism for saying, “I don’t like the politics/ message represented”.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Same here. Racism here is different than in the US, often a little more subtle, but it’s definitely there, especially noticeable here when issues around the Sinterklaas traditions with ‘Black Pete’ are discussed. Or anything relating to Muslims.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Le sujet sur “BLM”, que vous abordez ici, me touche et m’intéresse.
    Je ne pourrai pas développer des arguments et en discuter avec votre éloquences.
    Aussi, je me cantonne à vous conseiller d’écouter ZOE WEES entonner sa dernière chanson ” Control”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, very powerful. I’m glad racist complaints are being swept aside about it.

      Not sure I want to attempt Cuties yet myself because I get very touchy about such topics and need to pump myself up to watch something like that, so it’ll be interesting to read your thoughts on this.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Esther very enlightening video
    I’ve never seen Britain Hit TAlent or America’s Got Talent (just not my cup of tea) so thank you for posting these videos
    Good for Meaghan to take a stand
    Glad your son and daughter are so socially conscious 👍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t really watch those shows much either, don’t have a lot of patience for them, although I do on occasion sit down and watch some acts later on YouTube. That’s cool, because I get to pick my own highlights and some really are very good.

      My son gets to vote here for the first time next spring and is looking forward to doing so. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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