Black Lives Matter: 3 words that shouldn’t need saying in 2020 but sadly do
After witnessing the horrible death of George Floyd at the hands of a sadistic police officer, as we all have, on social media, the Black Lives Matter movement and subsequent protests have ricocheted around the world.
As a white male, I am not even going to begin to pretend I understand the lived experience of people of colour either in my home country, the UK, or the US. What I do know is that I am privileged. Yes, I may have had hardships in my life but knowing that does not give me the right to deny my privilege. Instead, I need to own it.
I have never been racially abused, I have never been stopped or harassed by the police because of my skin colour and I have never been refused a job or any other privileged that naturally comes from being white because of my race. Those are just some of the privileges I live with. And if you are white; so, do you. They shouldn’t be privileges they should be the rights that everyone enjoys, but sadly that is the world we live in.
As a father of a mixed-race teenager I am heartbroken by the world we now live in. Yes, all lives matter but that does not need saying; Black Lives Matter does. It shouldn’t in 2020 but sadly it does.
I am not going to claim I understand the lived experienced of people of colour. But I can say I will learn from them, be informed by their experiences, listen to them and stand side by side with them against racism, institutional or outright.
When I see statues of old slave traders pulled down and thrown into canals, I don’t feel joy, I feel sickened that it took this moment to bring them down, they should never have been there in the first place.
It’s time for a change. In fact, it is way past time.
So, don’t shun away from your white privilege, recognise and own it. Use it to call out racism when you see it. Give voice to those that need your support and be a part of the solution instead of bellyaching about a label that makes wearing it uncomfortable.
Black Lives Matter: three words that should not need saying in 2020 but sadly do.
Join the movement in any way you can, be part of the change.