Ugandan Diaspora News Editorial | July 2016 | Do Black Lives Really Matter – Race and Police Brutality!

Posted July 10, 2016 by Ugandan Diaspora News Team in Editorial ~ 3,766 views



Dear Readers,

Greetings from the land of the free and the home of the brave. Today America makes 240 years having celebrated another independence day on July 4th but even though the framers of our Constitution preached equality, justice and liberty for all in the pursuit of happiness, today we are a nation more divided by both race and ideology. The new talk and slogan is “Do black lives really matter”, in the wake of the new police brutality. Those on the other side of the divide have also posed a similar question — If blue lives (cops) equally matter as a much since the police and the other law enforcement officers are now the subject of targeted assassinations from those vigilante groups trying to correct what they see as a broken judicial system in America.

With the November election largely putting race, immigration and the effect of globalization on world politics into focus. More and more people are paying closer attention to race relations and its impact across America.  With the dark chapter of slavery hardly a century away — Do black lives really matter? First it was Rodney King in 1992 the acquittal of the four police officers filmed beating this black man sparked the Los Angeles riots, then came the Ferguson in the wake of the Micheal Brown shooting. Others have included Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Alton Sterling and more recently Philando Castile have been the latest victims of police brutality in the USA. But unlike the movement led by civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. There has been a growing fear that the current movement is largely anti police with no clear ideology. Even though it appears to have been born out of the unfair justice system that allows white officers to walk away as black lives are left to die on the streets of-course Philando’s death captured Live on Facebook by the girlfriend causing the latest outrage.

The shooting of five innocent policemen in Dallas was equally disturbing and seems to have exacerbated the situation with some justifying police action. With all the stereotyping and racial profiling that goes on it’s now more dangerous to be black in America.  For many of us who grew up admiring the life of Nelson Mandela and reading about the Sharpeville massacres at the height of the Apartheid rule in South Africa that resulted in the deaths of many Black Africans — the killing of innocent black lives while acquitting the perpetrators of such crimes has been a new low!

All the above events have only caused me to reminiscent the day I was pulled over in North Carolina by a State trooper while driving back to Massachusetts from Atlanta. This was a routine stop on a major interstate highway. I was kept waiting for close to an  2 hour as my licence plates, registration and background checks were done. Even with my CNN internship credentials or Boston University papers the traffic incident lasted unusually long before I was eventually let go albeit without incident. However how many black men or foreign immigrants have been the target of a system that still views black or latino people as subservient to white folks. And for those that have ever been arrested or even convicted its always dejavu.

Some have also blamed President Obama for doing too little to end this inequality within our justice system that largely treats white folks in similar circumstances different. According to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), African Americans constitute nearly 1 million of the total 2.3 million incarcerated population, and have nearly six times the incarceration rate of whites.  If there was a time when America could use the healing it’s now a message several black leaders including motivational speaker Bishop TD Jake’s have tried to convey on social media platforms.  Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Put it best when he said — I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

As we mourn the latest victims in this recurring cycle of violence let’s all reach out to our city Councillors and State representatives by asking that they ensure more community policing as a way to help diffuse the current tension that has now resulted in the villain vs victim mentality that borders on anarchy if left unchecked within our various communities. There is also need for legislation that limits the use of excessive force among the police and other law enforcement officers during routine stops and the need to ban assault weapons from that streets of America.

On a positive note the Ugandan Boston community will on Monday July 18th host the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State – Bureau of Africa Affairs at the US State Department — Mr. Todd Haskell. The meeting will be held in the city of Waltham, Massachusetts.   The visit will present an opportunity to compare notes with the leadership of the Ugandan Diaspora community in North America whilst presenting an opportunity to discuss Uganda’s current political situation and the US Africa policy initiatives. As a proud coordinator of this event on behalf of the Bureau for African affairs – please be advised that the town-hall will only be open to the Community Leadership and prior registration is required. RSVP –

On a positive note Uganda and in particular President Museveni’s foreign policy credentials have enjoyed a boost recently in-spite of the continued harassment of his political opponents. First came the President of South Korea, then the leader of Turkey and now Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu was the latest world leader to make a stopover in Uganda. However unlike the visits to our neighboring Kenya, Uganda’s presentation and would be value addition from the visits have been somewhat lacking of any tangible MOUs similar to what we have seen in Kenya Media.  Sadly the failure of the Republican of South Sudan to manage its own affairs and in the wake of the latest armed skirmishes in Juba that have now resulted in the death of more than 100 rival soldiers according to the Sudan Tribune,  some pundits and political commentators seem to suggest that President’s Museveni’s approach to pacify the region might win him fresh admirers within the international community.

On a diplomatic front lots of resources have now been dediated to Dr. Specioza Kazibwe’s bid to win the African Union top job with special envoys dispatched across the continent to sell her candidature. Ofcourse all this on the heels of our very own nduggu Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda who served as Uganda’s Permanent representative at the UN Security Council followed by Hon. Sam Kuteesa who later assumed the Presidency of the UN General Assembly,  a position that came with intense lobbying and expenditure. However debate is now shifting to how we as a nation benefited especially in areas of geo-politics,  tourism and branding of Uganda. It would be good to hear from publicist Sarah Kagingo and those lobbying for Dr. Specioza Kazibwe bid how exactly we as Uganda stand to benefit from this new posting since it has been rumored that over 3 billion shillings has been spent on this exercise!

Kampala and many of its socialites are now getting ready to apply for that all mighty visa pass to America. Word of the vine is that some people are already trading application letters for a quick sale. Depending on which convention you plan to attend UNAA Boston (  or UNAA – Los Angeles (  these two cities as homes to many Ugandans on both the east and west coast will attract big numbers. Last year the group in New York was dubbed a pro-MBABAZI camp a false allegation to the consternation of many while those in New Orleans were identified as pro NRM given overwhleming government representation — we await to see what political contests will play out given Boston’s position as one of the strongest opposition strongholds in North America. On a lighter note working together with NBS Television I will be doing a series of documentaries on Life in the Diaspora with some Live Broadcasts from Boston and Los Angeles during the US Labor Day Convention weekend.

Finally the effects of the Brexit vote continue to impact Europe and now there is a growing fear that the US might catch the cold. Britain saw about 2 trillion of its stocks wiped out in a single day. London as the global financial capital of the world might be a thing of the past if the hemorrhage of the almighty pound is not stopped very soon. Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson both prominent leaders of the Brexit vote campaign seem to have melted away.  That was the power of the silent majority tired with establishment politics in the UK and the more reason the world should not be so fast to write off Donald Trump. There is definitely a new looming world order and perhaps a rise in feminism across the globe as the UK and the US seem ready to elect women to the highest office — only time will tell!!

 Be Safe!
— Ronnie Mayanja
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About the Author

Ugandan Diaspora News Team

Ugandan Diaspora News Online is an independent, non political news portal primarily aimed at serving Ugandans who work and reside outside Uganda. Our aim is to be a one stop shop for everything Ugandan and the celebration of our Ugandan heritage.


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