The murder of George Floyd had brought racism to the forefront of our minds and the forefront of the media. The headlines will fade in time, the petitions will stop, the protestors will look at their banners, their photos, and their videos as part of their history if they are not deleted or confined to the bin. Not in all cases I know.
This will be marked by some as an isolated incident, but that is not true. I do not believe for one moment that every police officer in the United States is a racist, any more than I believe every white man is. I do believe racism is an abhorrent scourge in our world.
Whatever level of awareness we possess, small acts of racism occur every day all over the world. Not all deaths will make the headlines, not all ill treatment will lead to marches and protests and petitions for justice much as I would like them to. I am guilty of this too. It took a man to die and have his death make worldwide news for me to write this after all.
Every time a comment is made that refers to a person of another ethnicity, race, or colour as in some way less than and it goes unchallenged, we allow the perpetrator to believe its ok. Every time we fail to stand with our friends and family when they are treated differently because they are BAME we fail them.
I do not know what it feels like to be Black and I will never know. I can read and watch and learn as much as I can but I cannot walk in shoes of a victim of racist abuse. I cannot say how it feels to be targeted because of the colour of my skin. I have not lived through the experience of being turned away or segregated because of my ethnicity.
It angers me that we allow this, it hurts to see people hurt for unjustifiable reason. It saddens me that racism is so endemic in our society that it is just dismissed. That my friends have become deaf to the comments because they are so frequent and they are so tired of fighting.
I cannot remain silent while my friends beg to be seen as equal. When they have had to beg to be thought of as human already in a world where slavery was considered ok. Human trafficking still exists however much we deny it.
I may not agree with the looting and burning but I do understand it. I do understand the need to be heard, the desire for attention to be given to the injustice that is heaped upon the black community.
The road to equality is littered with corpses. The injured are uncountable, the damage irreparable. We cannot go back and change the actions of our ancestors; we cannot erase history. We can learn, we can change, we can grow.
If we are to change the world, we must be counted, we must use whatever channels we have to get the point across. We must educate ourselves and not block it out. Racism is evil. It must stop. This is everyone’s fight.
Silence is consent, I cannot be silent.
Copyright © 2020 Lily Lawson