Organized by GU-Q’s Black Students Association, the webinar saw three students talk about ways to understand and remain sincere to the BLM movement
To be truly sincere in supporting the Black Lives Matter movement, people around the world should not just agree with its values but try to understand the anger of Black people and be part of making real change happen, an online panel hosted by Black students at Qatar Foundation has been told.
It’s important not to be racist, but it's also important to be anti-racist, meaning that you're actively condemning and calling out racism in your communities
Enough is Enough: Black Lives Matter and the Black Experience was organized by the Black Students Association at Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q), a partner university of Qatar Foundation, with three students speaking out on the topic.
“The solution is not singular, like having empathy. It’s a start but it's simply not enough,” said Kamilah Idris, one of the panelists. “Imagining what it's like to be a Black person is temporary because it's easy for you to return back to the way you live and not be directly affected.
“It’s important not to be racist, but it's also important to be anti-racist, meaning that you're actively condemning and calling out racism in your communities.”
Iman Ismail, another panelist, discussed the notion of “performative activism”, which involves surface-level activism that is carried out for personal gain or social capital, without resulting in any real change.
According to Ismail, the passing of laws abolishing slavery in the past to modern-day beliefs that Black people have been given all their rights are among the examples of performative activism because, she said, they never really ended the suffering and injustice faced by Black communities.
Performative activism has led to Black Lives Matter movements to quickly die out in the past and that is why, after all these decades, we still see social injustice exist at the level that it does
“Performative activism has led to Black Lives Matter movements to quickly die out in the past and that is why, after all these decades, we still see social injustice exist at the level that it does,” she said. “These superficial actions often make the Black Lives Matter movement appear superficial as well, and this just explains where this Black rage is coming from.”
The outrage and frustration seen across the ongoing Black Lives Matter marches is a result of continuous and systematic discrimination that has continued despite years of protests against such injustices, the webinar suggested.
“Before judging the anger in Black individuals and activists, educate yourself about why it's something to be angry about,” said Ismail. “Try to understand why the Black Lives Matter movement seems to stem from anger, but in truth it stems from a sincere, truthful sight, and a desperate shout and cry for justice.”
Mohamednor stressed that if non-Black people want to truly understand the Black Lives Matter movement or why it is taking the shape and form that it is, education is the best tool. “Basically, you have to educate yourself on all these things, and education is not a one-time thing, it's a lifelong thing,” she said.
“It's a matter of checking ourselves continuously and checking those biases, because it's so ingrained in the system that it has become a system, and in order to start reforming you need to check yourself and check your communities and ask ‘how can I change?’.”