What hope this photograph of heroism evokes!
Of course, heroism always inspires. But this is a particularly powerful example. The act itself is noteworthy, but the irony of the incident makes it unprecedented. The image multiply magnifies the deed, and has caused it to resonate around the world.
You would, in fact, be hard put to find an action that better defines a message, than a black man possibly saving the life of a white supremacist demonstrating at a Black Lives Matter (BLM) protest.
The BLM movement has arisen largely due to the loss of non-white lives at the hands of white US police. After a particularly brutal incident resulted in murder charges against the officers involved, protests erupted all over the USA and around the world. This, and the sheer number of such incidents, has given rise to claims of institutionalised racism. Consequently the protest demonstrations are continuing.
It was at one of these in London that the incident in this photograph took place. White supremacists were counter-protesting and riots were developing when, somehow, this man got himself knocked over and isolated and was rescued, picked up and carried to safety on this black man’s – Patrick Hutchinson’s – shoulders. What a fine example of innate human decency.
And it isn’t as rare as you might think.
Yes, you could argue that every instance of brutality highlighted by BLM points to humankind’s bestiality. Or that humans are governed by self-interest (WIIFM), or that their thinking can be overtaken by culture, ideology, or crowd hysteria. But this story proves that is not necessarily the case. There is an expression that claims, regardless of skin colour, “If you cut me, do I not also bleed?”
The fact is, ultimately we mostly all have the same wants and needs. Consequently, when we acknowledge this, and are more accepting and tolerant of the fact, we could all get along far better. Possibly without any of the discord, disruption and destruction that so often manifests in our lives.
BLM is a specific form of this. It is therefore a challenge that we need to confront and address. But perhaps the best way to do so is to acknowledge a universal being with universal needs, and to look for a way to meet those needs. This is ultimately what I am trying to achieve with what I call “Universalism” and my “Universalist Manifesto.”
My book, The Democracy Delusion: How to Restore True Democracy and Stop Being Duped presented ideas for changing our economic and socio-political systems. It attempted to promote discussion and debate around them. Now I have, however, written a new book that takes them further through what I call “The Universalist Manifesto.” Provisionally entitled. “Searching for Better: Exploring Ideas for Eliminating Conflict and Improving Quality of Life” I am currently searching for a publisher, but if you are interested in the learning more and/or would like to help in that quest please contact me.