Black Lives Matter. It’s such a simple and obvious statement, yet I’ve seen countless people criticising and jumping on the all lives matter bandwagon. Most have British flags in their twitter profile or profess a love of Brexit. This cartoon from scarecrowbar nails why Black Lives Matter is such an important statement that will not be silenced.
I’ve looked on in shock at the violence in America this week. Video after video of police attacking blacks in general, or attacking anyone protesting. So far the violence isn’t working. Protests are rising and spreading across the world. Not sure if it’s weeks of lockdown but this feels like a tipping point has finally been reached. But why should I comment? What do I know? I read this tweet about being black and working in the UK and was almost in tears.
Here are a few words I wrote about what it’s like being black and working in the UK television industry: pic.twitter.com/l05MFHsToL— Richie (@RichieOnTV) June 5, 2020
I’ve never suffered from this prejudice but I’m in no doubt that others around me are racist and that in general we live in a racist and unjust society. I’ve seen and heard it at work. At times I’ve taken action but as I write this I know I could and should have done more. I’m part of the problem. So what now?
The biggest for me is Educate. This thread from Lisa-Marie Ferla has some really useful ways for people to educate themselves. I’ve already signed up for the course on British history. Time also has a list of books on anti-racism that I will start to read through.
Edward Colston statue pulled down by BLM protesters in Bristol. Colston was a 17th century slave trader who has numerous landmarks named after him in Bristol. #BlackLivesMattters #blmbristol #ukprotests pic.twitter.com/JEwk3qKJx2— Jack Grey (@_jackgrey) June 7, 2020
However it’s clear that action is taking place. A statue of Colston was ripped down today in Bristol. He was a slave trader and you have to question why that action has caused so much upset around the UK. Is a slave trader someone that should be looked up to via a statue? Maybe 100 years ago when society was very different but not now. We’ve seen similar shouts to rename streets in Glasgow as it like Bristol and other UK cities grew thanks to the slave trade. Activists placed alternate names across Glasgow on streets named after slave trade owners. There’s also a petition gaining wide support – please sign it.
On the first day in months that there wasn’t a death from Coronavirus in Scotland I thought this may be a more positive post than recent but that will have to wait for another day.
Finally, if you are reading this and disagree then please read A Letter to my White Friends. Don’t be silent.