I sometimes write about a topic that is on my mind. On this occasion, I want to share two pieces of writing with you.
During the Summer the Black Lives Matter movement became prominent. During that period a pre-eminent British historian, Professor David Starkey gave an interview in which he refuted the idea that slavery had constituted genocide. As genocide means the deliberate wiping out of a race, his position was not indefensible and the matter debatable. The comment that caused outrage, however, was his explanation that it could not have been genocide because there are “so many damn blacks” alive today.
I would much rather have men ask why I have no statue than why I have one. Cato
Protests over the death of George Floyd have continued and there is now a focus upon visible symbols of past discrimination. The tearing down of Edwards Colston’s statue in Bristol was probably something of a shock to most people in this country not only to realise that a statue could provoke such hatred, but also that similar statues are dotted all over our country.
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. Martin Luther King
In 1991 video surfaced of LAPD officers savagely beating an unarmed man, Rodney King. The video, which remains on Youtube is still shocking today. The Chief of Police had this to say: I stared at the screen in disbelief. I had viewed it 25 times. And still I could not believe what I was looking at. To see my officers… beat a man with their batons 56 times, to see a sergeant on the scene who did nothing to seize control, was something I never dreamed I would witness.
Mr Arbuthnot and I have a shared love of interesting words. Today’s word is imperturbable and imperturbability; being incapable of upset or agitation.
I have always been attached to Italy; a country known for the opposite of imperturbability. When I was at school my father was posted there and I spent three very happy years commuting home for the holidays.
“One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star.” (Friedrich Nietzsche: Thus Spake Zarathustra)
Normally on a Wednesday I speak to the school about whatever random thing happens to be in my head. Oddly, today I have been thinking about the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche.