Showing solidarity for a global movement on social media is important, but Moroccans should also work on addressing racial bias in their own country.
Larache – Over the past few days, Moroccans have been reacting to the controversial Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement originating in the US and garnering global involvement.
Publications and interactive posts on social media have heavily expressed disagreement and outrage over the ongoing vandalism and intense riots in Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Miami, and many other US cities. Yet, the same social media users support the anti-racism human rights movement Black Lives Matter.
Meanwhile, the protests and the solidarity that Americans have shown towards each other in such circumstances have been immaculate.
The hashtag #blacklivesmatter went viral shortly after the new wave of protests began, thanks in part to the significant support and validation that the Black Lives Matter movement received at an international level.
The most popular way of promoting equality and showing support on Tuesday, June 2 was to post a black square on Instagram with the trending hashtag. In a context where these posts were well-intended, movement organizers claimed that this measure blocked the visibility of urgent updates and information regarding ongoing demonstrations. This occurred in a digital world where staying updated on the rapidly-evolving protest movement is mainly done by searching hashtags.
It is ethically unacceptable for us as Moroccans to deny the existence of racism in the US and complain about parties fighting against racism in the country. Nevertheless, the crucial situation in the States is a call-to-action to raise awareness about ethnic-based discrimination in Morocco.
Changing mindsets to address racism in Morocco
Such immense support from Moroccans to a noble, worldwide cause, battling systemic racism, is a great gesture. However, helping by doing what is possible is an even better approach than simply expressing support. Doing what is possible mainly involves upgrading to a solutions-oriented mindset.
Change starts once it is decided, then translates into action. Normalizing discriminative and racist names people are called in the Moroccan streets every day, and shaming the act of calling for change certainly takes the community several steps back.
With that being said, we as Moroccans still have opportunities to help. We can donate to anti-racism NGOs and charities, help freedom funds, speak up about any racist or discriminative action witnessed, sign international petitions meant for responsible authorities or governmental institutions, and begin racism abolishment with our local communities and families first.
It is essential for us to grasp the history of systematic racism and its societal impact. The current situation calls for us to educate ourselves and our loved ones on the international anti-racism movement led by Black Lives Matter protesters in the 50 American states and supported by observers in many foreign countries.
The higher purpose behind fully understanding all aspects of racism is to increase compassion, which ultimately leads to change.
In the aftermath of the tragic death of 46-year-old George Floyd, many protests and riots across the US are calling for fighting racism, police brutality, and bias in the criminal justice system.
Reflecting on the chaotic circumstances in the US, the question to ask in this context is: Do we really need a video depicting a cruel murder and the entire world’s compassion to admit the existence of racism and police brutality in our country?
In the midst of the anti-racism controversy reaching all corners of the world, the cultural taboo of racism in Morocco comes mainly from the continuous denial and oppression social and community activists face every day.
In this frame of reflection, it is clear that human rights associations need to intervene and proceed with developing change-driven approaches and appropriately treating individual cases for victims of racism and discrimination.
Hiba El Harrak is an engineering and management science student at Al Akhawayn University.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial views.
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