“I hate racial discrimination most intensely and all its manifestations. I have fought all my life; I fight now, and will do so until the end of my days. Even although I now happen to be tried by one, whose opinion I hold in high esteem, I detest most.”Nelson Mandela
Things need to change. People who believe racism isn’t a major problem anymore are kidding themselves.
George Floyd’s last words were “I can’t breathe.” They wouldn’t let him go. But he isn’t the only person this has happened to:
Millions of black people suffer EVERY DAY just because of the colour of their skin and it needs to stop right now. They have undergone years, decades, centuries of oppression right from the beginning of history, yet it still goes on today.
For what? The colour of their skin.
I cannot even begin to comprehend the feeling of being pulled over to the side of the road while driving within the speed limit; being followed around a shop ‘just in case’ or facing discrimination in the public, working sector or justice system. I do know that it needs to stop.
I have also heard some people claiming that in this case of George Floyd, the policeman was justified in his actions because of previous crimes, but firstly I would like to say that NO ONE deserves to die through the cause of someone else’s actions no matter what the reason; and secondly, racism isn’t just an issue that Floyd faced on that tragic day, but he faced it his entire life – and so did his parents, his grandparents, his great-grandparents: the list goes on.
We need to make our voices heard and end the corrupt system that black people are faced with every. single. day.
I’m not too proud to admit that I am not fully educated on the entirety of this prominent issue; but I am making an effort to learn more, and I think we all should.
In spirit of this, I have compiled five ways that you can help to end racism.
1). Donate to charities.
There are so many charities such as Black Lives Matter Uk, Show Racism the Red Card or Stand up to Racism that work tirelessly to fight against this issue and bring awareness to the public, and are all worthwhile causes to donate to and check out their websites.
2). Attend Peaceful Protests.
As of right now, this is difficult to do as social distancing is still in place, however ‘stand up and show up’ is a relevant motto to make your voice heard.
3). Educate yourself.
I admit that I need to learn a lot more about this issue to make sure I can understand the extent and full effects of it and I’m not ignorant to anything, so checking out some of the websites of the charities I mentioned above will provide lots of useful information. You can also check out JezzCheung on Instagram who shared a very helpful couple of posts which contain useful reading and watching.
4). Start a conversation.
A lot of people don’t know a lot about this issue, or maybe you don’t either. Starting a conversation is so incredibly important to make educate each other and find out things you didn’t know before. Some people sadly also don’t see the problem with racism so that conversation you start could lead to one less person being racist, and one more person standing up for equality. Remember, if you are neutral in this, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.
5). Take time to reflect.
Think about your life recently and ask yourself questions. Have you been racist in any way? Perhaps with a joke you thought was harmless? Did you see any person of colour being discriminated against and what did you do about it? How can you improve?
I don’t understand what you are going through but I stand with you and support you. All lives can’t matter until black lives do.
Please please please read up on this issue and make an active effort to be anti-racist. Not just during this period because it’s all over social media, but every day; because this is something that people of colour experience daily, and have been for their whole lives.
If you haven’t already, sign the petition for George Floyd and make your voice heard here.
Black lives matter.