Black Lives Matter – June 2020 campaign

Some people seem to have a problem understanding the global response to the George Floyd murder.

Systemic racial prejudice exists in the UK and we should all work to eliminate it. The murder of George Floyd has triggered a global response not just because it was grotesque and disgusting to watch somebody having the life choked out of them over 8 ½ minutes, but because of the culture of impunity that it betrayed. The policeman knew he was being filmed and just didn’t care or worry that there could be any repercussions. And this is on top of the disproportionate impact of Covid19 on these minority communities in deaths, unemployment, loss of health care in the US etc etc

George Floyd unfortunately is not the only victim, which is why the slogan ‘black lives matter’ resonates so widely. Ask any person of colour if they and their family have faced prejudice? Very few are lucky enough to have avoided it and for most, it has been a significant and memorable or even traumatic pattern in their lives. The statues that some seem so attached to (Edward Colston), are of people for whom black lives clearly did not matter. Nobody is trying to rewrite history; they are trying to change today’s society by preventing the present day glorification of people who made their wealth, and whose philanthropy stemmed directly from, their total disregard for black lives.

I heard a black mother say to her child, “if you work twice as hard as everybody else, and achieve twice as much, then with a bit of luck, you might be able to overcome the racial prejudice that will always impede your progress”. Just because some have managed to achieve success against all odds, it is not evidence that prejudice has been defeated and that all is well with the world.