The Malta Independent 3 December 2021, Friday

Black lives matter

Saturday, 2 October 2021, 09:01 Last update: about 3 months ago

Do they really in Malta? We have been going from bad to worse. In July 2015, Daboma Jack was assaulted at the Valletta Bus Terminus for no reason at all. On 6 April 2019, Lassana Cisse Souleymane, a 42-year-old migrant worker from the Ivory Coast, was killed in a racially motivated drive-by shooting in Ħal Far. In March 2020, Mark Mwaka was brutally assaulted, again for no reason at all. In July, 2021 a 27-year-old Somali national in Mġarr harbour, Gozo, was attacked and thrown into the sea to the cheers of an onlooking crowd. The latest was the vile roadside dumping of an injured black worker, Jaiteh Lamin, near Selmun by a contractor.

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I feel that I have to sincerely apologise on behalf of all those Maltese who have not simply declared themselves to be non-racist but, rather, anti-racist, to all those coloured people present in Malta who have been victims of racist abuse and violence as well as other forms of exploitation, reported or not, and extend my empathy and solidarity towards them. I want them to know that it is only a minority that is responsible for this appalling racist image and perception that Malta is being given in international fora.

The idea of human dignity, found in almost all legal and political cultures, now plays a very significant role in political and legal discourse. The concept occupies a prominent place in our Constitution and international human rights conventions. The pursuit of dignity has always been a fundamental principle of every Maltese government. Yet unless we step up measures to eradicate this contagious racist disease that is threatening our society in the same manner that the Covid pandemic had threatened our livelihood, all talk about human dignity risks ending up empty and cheap talk with the effacement of personhood as a consequence.

We must start from the idea that blacks are indeed human, such that every commitment to equality after that will be unshakable and that blacks will no longer need allies who fight for their inclusion.

 

Dr Mark Said

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