Editorial: The Pandemic of Systemic Oppression

Motley Editor-in-Chief Matthew Moynihan reflects on the seismic shift instigated by the murder of George Floyd

Beyond the disturbing fog of tear gas, flash grenades and rubber bullets, a hopeful future has been emerging over the past fourteen days. Society at large has woken up to the issues faced by our minority friends, family and colleagues, and is willing to fight to rectify the stains of injustice and redress the imbalance of human rights both within and without our borders. Many, however, remain blinded by dogma and ignorance and choose to stay asleep. It is not worth our time to engage with these people, they are blinded by ideology and hate. This toxic combination cannot be undone by appeals to logic, ethics or empathy. The majority now are awake and acting. The murder of George Floyd must become the birth of a new annal in the history of equality and race relations. If not, the world will never break its haunting routine of seeing injustice, burying its head in the sand and waiting for another catalysing incident to once again spark a discourse.

If you are not an ally, you are a foe. 

If you are not a part of the solution, you are a part of the problem. 

In the midst of a pandemic, I truly did not believe that my first editorial would be related to the Black Lives Matter movement but I feel honoured that my words might be some small part of the solution. Systemic oppression, however, is itself a pandemic, whose virus has plighted society for centuries. Equally, CO-VID19 does discriminate, killing more BAME individuals per capita, arguably because of the poverty that systemic oppression has left behind which has led to poorer health outcomes for people of colour. The events of the past two weeks have brought up a number of emotions for all of us. For me, the primary emotion has been anger. What I have found most jarring is that as a society we are in a place that we need to say “black lives matter”. How have we come to this point, where pigmentation discerns a different currency in the spreadsheet of life, and where society has allowed certain lives to matter less? Collectively, we should feel ashamed, individually we should act. 

We cannot cheaply point across the Atlantic and point out the most obvious racial inequalities to detract from the scars of inequality at home. Much reform is needed here to protect the Travelling Community from political dog-whistling, to better our immigration system and to tackle the humming injustices that silently pervade the very fabric of our society. 

Motley Magazine stands with all individuals who are being oppressed. This magazine is a blank canvas upon which we must paint society’s ills, frame them for all to see and hopefully instigate change at the auction. Your voice matters to us, whoever you are, wherever you’re from, whoever you love and whatever race you belong to. You will find a space in these pages to express your experiences, to call out wrongs and to be a part of a diverse community. As a publication this is our greatest duty and distinct privilege. We stand with you, we are your allies, and we stand together.

RESOURCES 

Black Lives Matter – https://secure.actblue.com/donate/ms_blm_homepage_2019 

NASC – Migrant and Refugee Rights: https://nascireland.org/donate 

Pavee Point – Traveller and Roma Centre: https://www.altruism.ie/charity/pavee-point