I didn’t rush to publish a comment about the Race and Ethnic Disparities Report To be honest I knew I would be triggered. Seeing the comments and news reports about the claims that there’s no institutional racism in the UK did not surprise me. I wasn’t going to Blog about this but like so many other people, I was so angry that I had to write something. The people and institutions making these claims, don’t know what it’s like to struggle as a Black person today. Putting a smile on our faces while knowing our skin colour brings an automatic struggle for complete fairness and acceptance in a white society. So, I’ve written this article for all the Black people who know how it feels to go through the following in white society. This is for us who know the truth about racism and institutionalised racism in the UK:
Triggered by memories of racism
This message is for:
All of us who have been sidelined and ignored in the work place. When you work hard, have the qualifications and sometimes have out-performed colleagues. But you are repeatedly passed over for promotions in favour of white colleagues.
All of us who have endured repeated micro-aggressions and gaslighting in mainly white environments. Whether that’s being told you are imagining racist behaviour or your work/projects are always picked apart. Somehow they never want to listen to you in meetings or your achievements aren’t recognised.
Any of us who have been called the ‘N’ word to our face, in the street or overheard someone using that word to describe us. The anger and hurt you feel when you hear that word. That word reminding us the slave masters used it to make our ancestors believe they were sub-human and deserved to be brutalised, raped and murdered. Knowing how that word is linked to the institutional racism we are oppressed with today.
For every Black person who was limited by the school system and teachers. Whether it was being put in the bottom groups because you’re Black. Or the ‘careers’ officers who discouraged us from having any aspirations. To go onto study at college or university was not seen as something we were supposed to do. Or being told by PE teachers that Black people “have heavy bones so will never be able to swim”.
For every Black woman who is asked if your hair is really yours or “can I touch your hair?” When you arrive at work wearing your natural hair and you’re are treated like an alien. Sometimes they make rude comments about how your hair looks.
For every Black woman who’s accused of being ‘angry’. No matter how calmly or eloquently she raises a point at work. But somehow when a white person says the same thing it is accepted.
For every Black family who move into a new neighbourhood and none of the neighbours want to speak to them. Sometimes wherever they park their car is a problem and the neighbours have an issue.
For every Black person who is told that All Lives Matter, whenever they try to explain that Black Lives Matter means white society using our colour as a reason to discriminate against us and stop us from accessing better lives and opportunities.
Weary, tired…but not giving up
Sometimes just thinking about everything I’ve typed here, makes me so tired and weary. I know there’s so much more I could add. I’m not surprised by the report’s outcome because of the things I’ve written here, which we have endured for years. This report is a farce, a disgrace but it did nothing new but to gaslight Black people.
What will we do about it? Us Black people will not give up on pushing for equality. We will continue to build our careers, businesses and enter ‘white’ spaces to access the life ‘progression’ that we deserve.
What did you think about the race report? Leave your comments below