The last few days have seen some of the worst racism reported. George Floyd was murdered by a policeman, who knelt on his neck. We’ve seen the white woman calling the police and making fake accusations against a black man.
It made me angry, full of rage – wanting to do something but not knowing what I could do (from here in the UK). I’ve seen the peaceful protests and I’ve seen the looting. Right now, I can feel their frustrations. We’re angry, tired – beyond exhausted.
We’re treated like Black Lives don’t Matter
There are so many issues affecting black communities in USA and all over the world. We have the same problems and ups and downs as any other race. But the big difference is in our skin tone. Being black creates alot of challenges which white people never have to think about.
The protests in America aren’t only about George Floyd – this is also about all of the other black people who have been murdered by the police and white people. It’s worse that alot of the times the policeman/woman gets to walk around ‘free’ – usually only receiving minimal punishments. They are allowed to get way with these crimes because black lives are not treated as valuable. Black people are treated like they are nothing.
Racism and the issues behind it
In addition to the lack of justice for when black people are murdered, there’s a large amount of the black American community still being unemployed, suffering financially. This is about George Floyd and every black person who was murdered and justice wasn’t served. There is a definite link to slavery. The slave masters just gave people basic food and shelter while brutalising, murdering and raping black people. Our ancestors were treated like nothing – disposable, like rubbish. When slavery ended money and compensation was paid to slave owners and nothing given to the slaves.
So this started a legacy of poverty and always being financially behind white people; meaning white people held onto all the privilege and advantages that society had to offer. No, not all white people are rich or have an easy life. But having white skin ‘opens doors’ and gives them access to opportunities, making it easier for them to build better lifestyles for themselves and their families. When us black people are discriminated against, it’s these lack of opportunities and ‘closed’ doors which creates generational poverty and a lack of progress in education, work and our lifestyles.
Today this legacy hangs over black people, who haven’t enjoyed the generational wealth. Especially the wealth enjoyed by slave owning families and their decendents, Money and being rich won’t solve every problem but a lack of money, jobs and being unable to ‘rise’ has caused our people to always be at ‘bottom of the ladder’. From having a higher probability of being unemployed, being passed over for pay rises and promotions – all of these thing affect our ability to earn decent living wages or to experience any improvement in our living standards.
Generations being held back
Here in the UK we also know what it’s like to be held back, pushed backwards and ignored because of our colour. It’s easy to say that because we don’t see black men being murdered like George, slaughtered in the streets, that there’s no problems in the UK. But no that isn’t true.
The racism here is sneakier, more underhand and less overt. We don’t have the Klu Klux Klan coming to burn a cross in our lawns. But we have people in positions of power at work, in the police force, in Government who use invisible barriers to stop the black British making progress with our lives.
This is also about the oppression of our vibrant, brilliant people for centuries, who for generations have been held back due to white privilege and suppression – in the workplace, in politics, in society, financially and economically.
The racists and their strategy
All of this brings me to what we know racism is really about – keeping us black people in our place. Keeping us poor, unemployed, underrepresented. They don’t want us in the boardrooms, living in ‘white’ areas or being the managers in the office. The strategy is to make sure black people never rise to have the opportunities white people have. The plan is to ensure white people are always superior.
Still fighting racism and for social mobility
This has played a big part in the protests – we are tired of always being at the bottom. Especially when we’ve done all that’s required of us. We black people have lived fighting for social mobility for so long – it’s become our norm. Some of us win and can improve our lives but a lot of us are held back by society/social constructs against us and racists who just don’t want to see Black people have decent living standards.
I’m praying for change and that we black people can do whatever we can to be strategic with our words, work & actions to help all of our communities move forward.
If you’re white and really want to make change happen, then don’t treat this as something that’s just for today or this week – You have to stay involved- always.
We cannot live like this for another 200-300+ years. Stay safe, blessed & focused Black people. Hold onto your spirit.