The Summer months have been a critical time for the world. Apart from the spread of COVID-19 in June 2020, we also witnessed the brutal killing of George Floyd by police. This killing bought a new life to the anti-racist movement which has now spread across the globe. People from every segment of society came forward to condemn this brutal action. Protests have emerged in not just the United States but in the whole world to demand amendments against such actions.
Recently, we spoke with the 21 year old Matthew Paul Horsfall from Elixir by Royel’s Roman Holiday Issue in which he discussed various situations he faced due to his physical features. He talked about his childhood and about his journey to face such a situation.
Matthew saw the video of George Floyd while he was drinking coffee and after watching it he was “utterly shocked.” Matthew also mentioned that he has been a Black Lives activist for a long time and has used social media to create awareness on the matter. “I am honestly still shocked by the response to George Floyd’s death. How can anybody who saw that video say they were just doing their job, making assumptions about a man they have never met based on the color of his skin? Outrageous,” he said. He further added that “Yet they fail to see the issue here. I think that this shows the true opinion of society. They don’t care, they just care about themselves. In no way do I feel the response is justified.”
Matthew also opened about the movement of Black Lives Matter and the criticism it is facing in the form of “All Lives Matter.” Matthew said that if we had seriously considered all lives to be mattered then we would have never reached this point.
The 21- year old also gave his suggestion about protesting. He said that it is hard to keep the protest peaceful in such a situation because no one can say when police start resisting. Matthew holds a very different opinion for violent protests. For him, the protest shouldn’t be violent as there is a lot of business that gets damaged as a result. “I think unlawful protesting isn’t usually the way to get your voice heard just due to the fact that a lot of innocent businesses are destroyed, communities are a warzone and people get hurt,” he holds. But he also believes that it is necessary at the moment. “If the police are allowed to kill African Americans based on their skin color and face no consequences repeatedly than what do you expect? It seems to me that the only language the police know is violence so you can’t be surprised when a broken community talks back!” he further added.
According to Matthew, the whole fault lies in the authorities who do not carry out their jobs honestly which leads to all of this. He also suggested a song to listen to in the current scenario as it delivers a powerful message. “I would like to suggest a song about this very topic by the biggest names in the music industry called DON’T SHOOT, I highly recommend anyone reading this listens to it if you haven’t already. Very powerful,” he suggested.
“I don’t worry about being randomly stopped and searched if I leave my house which is a good thing if you’re white but if you’re a young black male as my friends are then sadly they don’t have the same comfort as I do,” Matthew mentioned while talking about the brutalities black people face in our society. He also added that this discrimination is done in every field of society even while getting a job. He also added that we need to change the system of the whole world if we really want to do something on the matter. “You can’t force change on someone, but those who aren’t willing to adapt to the new world coming are going to get frozen out. Appreciate everyone around you right now, it’s time for a change,” he said.
Matthew is working actively for social justice. He is also working with a clothing brand that you can check on his Instagram @itsmatthewxx. The next issue of ELIXIR by Royel will be out in August. You can also browse the previous issue for free at elixirbyroyel.com. Stay tuned for more interesting articles on Social Justice, George Floyd, and Black Lives Matter!