Over the past two weeks the world has witnessed protests in America, here in the UK and around the world following the horrific killing of George Floyd after being arrested in Minneapolis.
There have been conversations based on people’s experience of racism, the discrimination and prejudice that Black people face and what we can all do about it. These ongoing discussions have sparked new levels of thinking, of self-awareness, of understanding. For some, it has sparked a desire to learn and grow more; for others, a voice to make a stand and a difference.
Racism is a problem across the globe, and we all need to do something about it
Racism should not be boxed and classified as a political issue; when we start to unravel racism it reveals issues that are about humanity and human rights. Some people may ask “Why are we having these conversations now?” I can’t help but think, why not?
The best time is now
Some people are afraid of saying the wrong thing, of offending people, of losing relationships or jobs and in some cases putting their safety at risk. However, silence on the matter is the same as being complicit. Silence is harmful because it prioritises the comfort of those who benefit from racist policies. Policies which are embedded in the Western system at the expense of those exploited and victimised by them.
The truth is, this conversation or the experiences of racism against Black people is not new. One thing that remains the same though is, we all have the right to live our lives without fear of discrimination based on the colour of our skin. It is not enough to say you are not racist, the real strength arises from being anti–racist. What we have seen over the last two weeks are not standalone events, they are a direct result of a long history of police brutality and racism that Black people have faced for centuries. Systemic racism doesn’t happen overnight.
Now, more than ever, it is vital that we all commit to eradicating systemic racism and discrimination
This is a collective effort and the emotional and physical labour that comes with dismantling centuries-long systems of oppression should not, and cannot, lie on the shoulders of Black people. It is high time that we all do our part and ignorance is no longer (nor ever was) an excuse. Here at Certitude, we thrive off the principle of treating our staff and the people we support with kindness, fairness and without discrimination. I hope the conversations and actions raised both internally and externally are fruitful and positive.
“The world is changed by your example not by your opinion.” Paulo Coelho