Am I racist? The legacy of George Floyd
The killing of George Floyd resonated globally and for us in the UK his untimely passing has had a dramatic impact — and I hope for his family and his children, this will bring some small degree of comfort.
For them this trauma will go on and on as they seek justice and demand justice from those who are responsible and rightly so. What happened was beyond comprehension and beyond belief. Now the courts will test if what we saw is really what we saw, so I’ll leave any further comment as proceedings are now active.
Here in the UK where police officers don’t routinely carry guns and generally appear to be more ‘sedate’ it would be easy to think ‘that just cannot happen here’. Yet that’s simply not true. The amount of people out on the streets showing solidarity, even in the time of Covid19 shows that. There are a list of names which attest to that too.
The truth for me to face is this — I’m a white woman of middle age and I’ve rarely ever felt like I’m part of a minority therefore how could I understand what a man or woman, black or of colour has experienced? How can anyone understand or feel something which they have not experienced? Or have I had some experience, just not routinely so it’s been easier to ignore ? No more. I’m calling myself out. I’m going to try to understand my own unconscious bias and reflect on any of those experiences. I have to try to walk in the shoes of those who do not have white skin.
In the UK, it’s my belief we have inbuilt institutional racism within our societal structures. It’s inevitable if you think about it — who built those structures going back decades or even hundreds of years? If you born white, male and wealthy in the UK you will have a much smoother ride through life than if you are not those things. You will have to be a jerk to mess that up and even if you are a jerk, you will probably still be okay (I could name several).
Goals and dreams are more difficult to achieve if you are of colour, female, of a sexual orientation other than heterosexual, from a low income background or disabled. People can argue endlessly that that’s not true but the statistics over and over again do not lie. We cannot keep brushing this under the carpet, we cannot keep…