“Be the change you want to see in the world” – Mahatma Gandhi
Our world is changing, not only are we fighting an unseen global enemy in the shape of COVID-19, but we are doing the exact same thing with racism. It hides within our society. It singles out individuals. And it changes lives forever. We’ve seen the unacceptable recent deaths of a number of Black African Americans but the catalyst for global protests and demonstrations is the death of George Floyd. Not to mention the vile way Amy Cooper, a white woman, made inaccurate threats to the police about bird-watcher Christian Cooper in Central Park.
This issue isn’t just in the US, it affects the global population. I, like many, joined in the #BLACKOUT movement on social media, and listened to an emotive and impassioned speech by Radio One DJ Clara Amfo; who very eloquently demonstrated what a fundamental impacts anti-blackness and racism has on many aspects of peoples’ lives.
So what can you do to make a change? You might think that your voice will be lost in the millions of others; that simply isn’t true. You can join with those other voices and make a difference; here’s how:
SIGN A PETITION
Change.org’s petition is calling for the Mayor and the DA of Minneapolis to indict and charge all the officers involved in George Floyd’s death, regardless of their part in it. A police badge should NEVER be the shield behind which the perpetration of black (or any other coloured) brutality can go on unchecked.
GET EDUCATED ABOUT ISSUES
Knowledge is power. Read up on these issues and educate yourself. There’s lots of information out there on the web and in print to help you. Why not start with Reni Eddo-Lodge’s Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race. This will help you better understand racism in in the UK.
CHECK IN WITH YOUR BLACK FRIENDS
Supporting someone struggling can make all the difference; so check-in with your Black friends and coworkers, they may be having a tough time of it. We’re all susceptible to the dark clouds and one check-in from you, with a friendly ‘Hey’ or sharing a funny joke or meme can make all the difference to them right now. Just let them know that you’re there for them.
watch WHAT YOU SHARE ONLINE
Racism comes in many forms, from the casual racist stereotypes to the more graphic and click-bait inducing images on the web. Just think about how you sharing something could affect others, in a bad way. Remember what Edward Buler-Lytton’s said, “The pen is mightier that the sword” so you might want to think about what you’re writing too!
Finally, you can donate to the George Floyd official memorial fund on GoFundMe. This page has been set up by George’s family to support them at this time. Your donation will go towards “funeral and burial expenses, mental and grief counselling, lodging and travel for all court proceedings, and to assist our family in the days to come as we continue to seek justice for George.” The Fund currently stands at over $11.4m.