A 46-year-old man was brutally murdered on the 25th of May. His name was George Floyd. A police officer named Derek Chauvin knelt on George’s neck for 8 minutes, George’s crime? They thought he bought something with a fake $20 note. George pleaded for his life but the cops did nothing, they knelt over him and watched George die, his last words were “please – I can’t breathe. They’re going to kill me.”
George was loved by many people, he was a father to a beautiful girl named Gianna. Racism killed George, just like it killed Eric Garner, Ahmaud Arbery and many many many more. Racism will continue to kill innocent black people until we do something.
I am a white person with a lot of privilege, I do not know what it is like to fear for my life because of the colour of my skin, and I will never know the pain caused by systematic oppression. But I am here to learn and speak up. As white people it is our job to dismantle systemic racism, how do we expect the black community to single-handedly fight against a system they had no part in creating? Being ‘not racist’ no longer cuts it, we must become anti racist.
Not understanding white privilege aids the oppression of POC. It doesn’t take long to read and understand how as a white person you benefit from the systematic oppression of black people, learn and understand. Speak up when you see it happening around you. White privilege is deeply embedded in our society, and as white people it has become all too easy to turn a blind eye, but it is there, not only present but thriving. Ignoring it is not an option, and the ignorance that comes with that only harms people. Speak up and learn.
A GUIDE TO WHITE PRIVILEGE
Below is a quick but helpful guide to white privilege, illustrated by Courtney AHN Design. It’s a great way to get started.
There are protests happening across the UK in solidarity with the US. If you can attend these protests please do, keep on speaking up! But make sure you are being safe, continue to wear face masks.
Below is a great guide to the protests happening across the UK.
SIGN PETITIONS AND DONATE
Below is a great website that guides you to petitions and pages that need donations.
DONATE WITH NO MONEY
Donating may not be an option, but luckily Zoe Amira has thought of that. All ad revenue from the linked video below goes to Black Lives Matter, all you have to do is click on the link and DON’T skip the ads. The video also showcases work created by black artists.
WATCH AND LEARN
There are so many documentaries out there that highlight the struggles faced by POC. Netflix has many, one being 13th. This documentary directed by Ava DuVernay explores the history of racial inequality in the US, focusing on the prison systems. I realised how deep systematic racism is engrained in US society. It’s a must-watch.
Educating yourself is one of the most important things you can do, especially as a white person. Listen to black people’s experiences, and continue to listen. Do not stop.
Here is a great list of documentaries available.
We can not stop learning about POC’s experience with oppression, ignorance helps no one, and only hinders equality.
An important thing to do is read books by BAME authors, educating yourself will not only help your understanding, but showcase the outstanding work by authors who do not get enough attention. You can then widen your knowledge and be prepared to speak out when you witness racism around you.
Below is a great list of books you can read to get you started, but don’t stop there! Continue to find books and read as much as you can.
SUPPORT BLACK BUSINESSES
We need to amplify black voices, and we can do this by supporting black owned businesses. Shop, listen, read and continue to support!
Here is a great site, it’s a comprehensive list of UK black owned businesses you can support.
DON’T BE COMPLICIT
Right now there is a momentum, we can’t let this stop. We need to continue to listen to the black community, let them guide us and support as much as we can. While remembering that we have a responsibility, I feel that as a white person who benefits from POC’s oppression, I can no longer be complicit in their suffering. Stand up and don’t stop.