Black Lives Matter
But why, though? Why do we still have to have this conversation?
Things haven’t changed as much as people think, and that’s the sad part. We’re only three generations removed from the legal ownership of slaves, yet there are many who think that racism was abolished with the 13th Amendment on January 31, 1865, or The UK Slavery Abolition Act 1833.
Racism is much deeper than slavery and has much longer-lasting effects which shows itself in many forms today. Whether it be straight up discrimination against people of a different colour, sly comments that have racial implications or straight-up ignorance, there’s a lot that goes on in the racism sphere which is why it is nearly impossible to eradicate entirely.
But it’s not completely impossible. It will just take a few more generations past ours.
How do we help speed up this process?
Awareness. We need to raise awareness of what’s going on around us.
If it’s one thing the protests and riots are doing, it’s raising awareness of this serious situation worldwide. This entire incident could’ve and probably would’ve been swept under the rug like countless other cases of similar circumstances. Injustice would be keeping with the status quo, and that’s not right.
I can’t blame the level of unrest that’s going on. I’m not saying it’s the best way of going about things, but when you’ve tried everything else to no avail, what other choice do you have? These movements have been going on for years with only incremental changes and improvements made, and not even incremental enough for a blatant murder caught on camera to not be a debatable subject, where people had to straight-up burn a city to ensure that their voices aren’t ignored as per usual. I feel that’s the saddest part of all this.
I’ll leave this with the answer to a question I was asked a few days ago by a friend who wanted to do more with what’s been going on;
“It’s just about the whole black lives matter movement because of the atrocities in America at the moment. How are you feeling about it all? And what are your thoughts on the online support and things from white people? Everything that’s been going on is so awful and I feel like I’m not doing enough to just sign petitions and educate myself on systemic racism more, idk I just thought you might have some more insight than my white friends ! If you don’t mind me asking”
Thanks for the question, First things first is that what you’re doing is more than what we need people to do right now. There’s not much you can do in your current position other than informing yourself and helping where you can. But it’s definitely the most important thing that you or anyone can do if they’re serious about ending racism and systemic racism. There is a series called Roots if you’re interested in learning more about slavery and a bit about the trans-Atlantic slave trade. It’s based on a true story and even if it wasn’t, the entire thing is the general idea of what happened to our ancestors, if not worse in some cases. There’s also When They See Us on Netflix, which is also very powerful and tackles modern-day racism through another true story.
To be honest with you, I haven’t been involved too deeply with what’s been going on because I have a lot of things on my plate right now and some of it deals with racism as well. I’m working with the same people from my sailing trip on some projects regarding racism and we want to do an IGTV series on such topics like racism, environmental racism (which I recently found out is a big problem in Europe), etc. along with the other climate change topics. I’m also starting a podcast for the group that will also touch on those topics. Honestly, we need more awareness and different perspectives to get our point across. I feel a lot of support coming from the majority of the vocal white community but honestly, things won’t really change until people do what you’re doing and actively educating themselves to understand why black people are in the position they’re in and why we have to take such a damn strong stance every time. It’s not that we necessarily want to, but we have to.
By informing yourself more, listening to the stories, and spreading your knowledge to your peers, you’re doing the absolute best thing you can do even if you were rich and could do more. What we need is for people to truly understand where we’re coming from with our cries, and what has happened in the past that has made things the way they are today. This is a fight that has been going on for hundreds of years, and the history taught in first-world schools such as America, Spain, and England, etc. downplay the atrocities they’ve done one hundred-fold. Ignorance is our biggest problem.