In the wake of recent, devastating events and the social fallout, the Coronavirus doesn’t seem to be taking up as much space in the collective unconscious. Perhaps this is because, after fighting an unseen enemy for months, Americans now have a tangible personification of evil in Derek Chauvin. Like the rest of the world, Bourke Accounting employees are talking about little else.
It was during one of these conversations that Bill asked me if I had heard about the protests that have been taking place worldwide. I allowed that I saw a headline or two, but hadn’t really looked into it. When I did look into it, I was surprised.
Since the Revolutionary War, America has sort of been like the tough, cocky, reckless (sometimes mad dog dumb) younger sibling to the rest of the world; as far as countries go, we’re the baby. And as far as our attitude goes, “My Way” might as well be acknowledged as our theme song.
It’s wonderful that people, thousands of miles away, are empathetic and strong enough to lend their voices to protest despicable and lethal racist practices. While our current troubles are clearly a dark mark on America’s reputation, it is astounding that the gravity of our plight has reached so far. For example, a few days ago in Berlin, Germany, protesters demonstrated outside of the U.S. Embassy (NPR.com). Also, in London, England, in Trafalgar Square, demonstrators took a knee for nine minutes (NPR.com). Even Iran hosted protesters for a candlelight vigil, complete with “Black Lives Matter posters and illustrations of Floyd posted” (NPR.com).
So far, the international protests have been extremely peaceful. Maybe it’s because protesting another country’s problems is one thing and destroying your own city is quite another. Maybe they’re just better behaved than us. From what I’ve read, the only incident that even hinted at potential violence was in Australia; apparently a demonstration was cancelled because people on social media “threatened to create havoc and protest against the event” (TheGuardian.com). Australia Prime Minister Scott Morrison also warned protestors against “importing things happening in other countries” (TheGuardian.com) to their own. After watching some US protests, it’s hard to blame him.
Besides showing solidarity against prejudice in general, many international activists point out that there are race relation difficulties within their own countries. For example, Australian protesters mention that, since 1991, there have been “more than 400 Indigenous deaths in [police] custody” (TheGuardian.com). These deaths have yet to be explained. Additionally, in England, riots erupted after police shot and killed Mark Duggan, a man “under suspicion of planning an attack” (BBC.com). During the riots, it was discovered that the police were “four times more likely to use force against black people than white people” (BBC.com).
Sadly, bigotry is not just an American pastime. With the world watching, we can prove that the US does not condone discrimination. We can also demonstrate that change can happen without violence and destruction. We must not allow ourselves to be drawn into a bloody civil war because some guy, squatting in the White House, has nothing better to do than antagonize a wounded nation. Let’s show the world that, while we may be cocky, we’re not as dumb as we look.
Bourke Accounting understands the importance of solidarity – not just regarding their clients, but concerning the world, as well. Your Bourke Accounting bookkeepers and tax preparers know that teamwork makes the dream work (laugh at me all you want, but you know I’m right). With Bourke Accounting, as with life in general, cooperation makes us better than we are alone. When we stand up for each other, we stand up for a greater, more peaceful world.
Written by Sue H.