The #BlackLivesMatter activists are currently fighting for a future where police brutality doesn't exist and someone's skin colour doesn't decide the value of their life in America. Yes, George Floyd had to lose his life for the revolution, but as his daughter has been saying, her dad indeed has "changed the world." As the movement gets amplified across the world, people from all races and ethnicities come together to protest against brutality and subhuman treatment that a race has faced for centuries now. Well, all but few, actress Sara Ali Khan being our special concern here.
Sara recently had the Twitterati losing it over a picture posted by her on social media that said "All lives matter." Incidentally, the word "all" was written after slashing out "black" from the sentence along with an illustration that showed hands depicting different races and a trunk that can be interpreted as her reaction to the recent killing of a pregnant elephant in Kerala.
It is indeed very disturbing to see how casually Sara shut down the #BlackLivesMatter movement by equating it to animal rights and distastefully juxtaposing two entirely different conversations. Now, tone-deaf as it is, to post this right when people are protesting and fighting for the #BlackLivesMatter movement is all the more problematic considering that this comes from a Political Science graduate who should have had a better understanding of the issue at hand. Just Imagine a Columbia University graduate saying #ElephantLivesMatter in response to the #BlackRightMatter movement!
However, this is definitely not the first time that Sara has been cavalier with the idea of colourism and racial prejudices. It was just last year that she received flak for a bizarre photoshoot for a popular magazine. The cover featured Sara posing with local Masais from Kenya with no sensible context to the pairing and the tribespeople being simply used as props for the picture.
Sara really needs to develop more sensitivity to the topic. But more than that she needs to understand that saying "Black Lives Matter" doesn't at all imply that other lives don't. She also needs to understand that, right now, to say things like "All Lives Matter" or "White Lives Matter" or "Blue Lives Matter" is not only staying blind to the years of racial injustice suffered by Black people in America but to effectively stand against the movement by supporting sly discourses created to do just that. And while there might be those who end up getting confused with the misleading packaging of the phrase, the world surely expects better from an Ivy League graduate.
Soon after posting the picture, Sara had Twiteratti calling her out for the absolute lack of understanding in the matter and sabotaging a discourse by presenting a counter-argument that does no good apart from nullifying the one at hand. And while Sara deleted the post after being called out for her skewed, not to mention problematic, take on the subject, the screenshot kept doing rounds on Twitter as people expressed their disbelief on the messaging propagated by the actress.
Here's what Twitterati had to say:
Sara Ali Khan posted this pic on her insta which say "all lives matter" striking the word "black" on the post. I know our Indian celebrities were stup!d but this is peak dumb@ssery, I have no words. #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/skQD4w3QHk— swaraaa_➍ 🏳️🌈 (@QUEENSO0) June 4, 2020
The f*ck is wrong with them??? How hard can it be to educate yourself maannn!!!! pic.twitter.com/nc0vL7Zc6w— Ruby (@iperfectlywrong) June 4, 2020
Ofcourse she crossed out Black and then reduced it down to animal rights...that political science degree looking real good Sara Ali Khan pic.twitter.com/scdhLfA38y— Priley (@prileykwest) June 4, 2020
Dear Sara, do you realise how terrible things have to be for a nation to come out of their houses during a pandemic and stage protests while putting their own lives at stake? Here's a little perspective:
Lastly, it is very important to understand that we will effectively nullify all discourse of any significance if we keep countering problem A with problem B while problem A is being discussed. Yes, there are other problems in the world but they have their own time and platforms and can certainly have their own movements. Counter-productive arguments like these are not doing any good to anyone. It's high time we stop with sentences like "Black Lives Matter but what about..."
Featured Image: Instagram