Race isn’t something I normally talk about, maybe because personally, I don’t feel affected by racism nor or because I don’t follow the culture and hang out with fellow black people or maybe because I don’t get called racist slurs or maybe because I don’t get hate for the colour of my skin. I’m writing this today for my brothers and my sisters who are targeted day in and day out because of the colour of their skin!
I’ve been thinking a lot about the recent crimes in America that were fueled by racism, a black man who went out for a jog was fatally shot for the colour of his skin, that man was Ahmaud Arbery; A black woman was shot dead by police who stormed her home as she slept while searching for a suspect who was already in custody, that woman was Breonna Taylor; And then the most recent, George Floyd, who was killed by a police officer who knelt on his neck while Floyd repeatedly said: “I can’t breath”. These are just three of the thousands of racially fueled crimes that have happened in and around the world, as it exists everywhere, the UK, for example, isn’t perfect either. High profile cases such as Stephen Lawrence shock the nation too.
To me, jumping on the hashtag, or even sharing the trending petition, has always made me feel insincere about the situation, even though I do share posts and retweet comments made by others, I still feel like I’m not being genuine of the situation. It can make a difference, but surely we have all been aware of the racism ethnic minorities deal with every day? But how come we only talk about it now? It’s hardly been a week and sellers are already cashing in on the trend, have a look on Etsy on the most recent things to go on sale stating “I can’t breath”. Too many hashtags as a replacement for actual activism.
There have been times where I have been one of few black people in a room, this has always been something I have been used to when I have to cross that bridge. Actions speak louder than words and, I mean this in no offence to anyone, but I know that there are white folks who are pressured to say something so they don’t offend black people, some care, some don’t but if you are going to tweet, if you are going to post on Instagram or your blog, make sure that you second that by being active on stopping the problem in the street. It’s like bullying, the bystander is always as bad as the bully!
I also need to get off my chest is the growing trend of people using the term ‘All Lives Matter’ as a response, what people need to understand that the Black Lives Matter Movement, isn’t there to belittle other races, but it is to bring alight the pain and the suffering that people of colour feel today.