Just Give Me A Sec - Where Do We Go From Here?

Wednesday, June 03, 2020

I have been obviously observing events unfold across social media following the horrific MURDER of George Floyd - emphasis on murder due to the evident unlawful brutality that must be highlighted. With events related to black lives, what is evident to me is the nations ability to mute it out to become almost white noise - which in turn allows for further spiralling and belief that 'oh it's not that bad here isn't it?'. The repetition of such statements particularly within European culture is proving problematic, with the allowing of ignorance of continuous instilled racism across the system. I've continued to take a step back during this uproar to reevaluate and take notice of my surroundings to understand the complexity of instilled racism within the UK.

The death of Belly Mujinga is one of many deaths caused by direct acts of racism - yet treated as 'accidental' or the result of issues but the issue itself i.e. racism. Our policing and justice system alike work continually against the black community in particular in a lazy and systematic manner. This is not because we as a community are presenting a negative front but instead have built a negative relationship with these enforcement agencies as a result of generations of aggressions coming directly from these institutions. In the UK, the system has mastered the forms of micro-aggressions that continue to hinder and isolate us.

What is evident is that a strategic plan as a community needs to be formed as a means to progress and ensure that this is totally eradicated - protecting and uplifting our own since no one else will. Yes reposting is beneficial and saturating other media outlets with information that is critical to our overall awareness is also key - however what do we do going forward?

#Blackouttuesday, which occured yesterday, saw a number of brands to influencers and media outlets 'standing' with the black community in solidarity. But what we need to do instead of 'thanking them' for their acknowledgments of current affairs - we need to seek change from them directly and question intention. Notice, a lot of the brands we as a collective continue to support lack the ability to be truly inclusive. A token black person is not enough particularly in the Fashion and Beauty industry where our coin is evidently important in ensuring these large companies can stay relevant and afloat. Black content creators continue to push their capabilities and creative energy for it be white washed and replicated to the masses to fit brand 'aesthetics'-  instead of being included in marketing for said brands. Enough is enough - supporting these culture vultures is a large issue . In order for progression to be made we must wholly unite. Separation of people within the black community must be removed and must be done sooner rather than later - particularly that of African and Caribbean separation. How can we seek inclusivity if we  ourselves are separated as a people yet to them we're all the same?

Political education must too become a major key in black households. The same way we encourage the progression within the STEM industries, basic political literacy holds significant power. I've come to realise that basic understanding of how our political system operates here in the UK is not common knowledge. Knowledge is indeed power - how are you actively seeking power? Learning more and allowing for more representation on a local authority level will most definitely allow for progression further up the ladder in due course.

Taking back our diluted black nature through distinctive changes such as challenging schools who do not allow your black children to have braids and afros. Educating people on the meaning of your 'long' name to further bring to light our blackness in a positive way. This particularly is aimed at white readers, seek to be educated instead of working on assumption and appear ignorant.

Supporting black owned businesses to further develop our economy and ensure our coins are being spent within our community. Through this we will open more seats at the tables which have for years  not included us and/or lacked actual representation - again not just one token black person. Money talks - this is evident on the basis that without an economic standing we fail to be wholly included and acknowledged as equals. Nonetheless, this won't be effective unless this is done on a wide scale.

If you still think the UK isn't that bad take a second to take a step back and reflect on your own personal treatment in your childhood etc. Did anyone alter your name to make it easier? Has anyone touched your 'interesting' hair? Do people actively continue to call you aggressive/rude? These are all micro-aggressions that we as a collective, me included, have continued to brush past to ensure I don't appear aggressive as mentioned previously.

Let this conversation be a reminder that we are still in a state of oppression and must continue to raise awareness that this fight is far from over. Change is on the horizon and we will bare witness to it. Let us raise our platforms - economically, politically and socially.

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