After the death of George Floyd, at the hands of the police, and the outpouring of grief and protest, a counter argument has resurfaced. That the real issue is actually black on black violence not institutional racism and abuse by law enforcement on BAME communities.
Many activists and social commentators have condemned “black-on-black violence” narratives for derailing conversations focused on police brutality. Michael Harriot, writing in 2017 for The Root, compared it to the head of Homeland Security hosting a news conference after a terrorist attack and talking about texting and driving, which kills more Americans each year than terrorism. Most homicides across all races are committed by people of the same race, according to statistics from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
This argument comes as Nigel Farage has claimed that soon our “cities wont be worth living in” following protests against violence and systemic racism towards black people.
The Brexit Party leader compared the Black Lives Matter campaign to the Taliban in a tweet which has been roundly criticised since it was first posted.
The Afghan fundamentalist political movement were falsely believed to be behind the tearing down of Saddam Hussein’s statue in Iraq in 2003, which could have been what drew the comparison.
Bristol’s police chief has defended his officers for not intervening to stop protesters pulling down the statue of slave trader Edward Colston.
The bronze statue of the 17th century figure was pulled down with ropes, dragged through the streets and thrown into the harbour during a Black Lives Matter protest on Sunday.
Avon and Somerset Police have launched a criminal damage investigation into what happened to the statue, which has long been a source of controversy in the city where it has been situated since 1895.
Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees said the damaged statue was likely to be placed in a museum alongside placards from the march that were laid around the Colston plinth.
Social activists and musician Akala has put the black on black violence counter argument bed with this series of Tweets.
And London is not the epicentre of violence in Europe anyway, as Akala points out.