Today, we've participated in #blackouttuesday on Instagram.
But I want to address something that I saw written earlier on Facebook - 'Don't all lives matter?'
Of course they do. And misunderstanding this point is at the crux of the Black Lives Matter Movement.
Saying that black lives matter is not saying that white lives don't. However, not acknowledging the daily struggle that BAME communities face is essentially believing that racism isn't a problem. As Archbishop Desmond Tutu famously said:
If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.
Regardless of our race, ethnicity or background, we all must do whatever we can to stop racism. It's utterly shameful that in 2020, the world is precariously balanced on such despicable racial inequality.
From a British perspective, I look back on colonialism with contempt and disbelief at the arrogance of our ancestors. Working in Africa, I'm sorry to say that I still witness acts of what I describe as 'neo-colonialism' that reinforce negative racial stereotypes. You can read a recent blog post of mine on 'White Saviourism.'
But back to the question posed at the start of this post: don't all lives matter?
The answer is unequivocally yes. It's ludicrous that we live in a world where groups such as the KKK, the National Front, Britain First etc. exist and attract membership.
As citizens of the world, we all have a responsibility to label racism and racist acts for what they are: hateful, unjust, divisive & repulsive. We can all do something, no matter how small, to stand in solidarity with those that suffer racist abuse at the hands of others. It's unacceptable not to.
I'll leave you with a quote from Martin Luther King Jr:
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
Amen to that.