At some point in your life, you will have walked into a room and felt like everyone was staring at you, will have felt as if someone was judging you, will have felt like people were talking about you. …
At some point in your life, you may have lost a job opportunity to another equally skilled and experienced individual for unfair reasons such as gender, sexuality, age, religion or appearance.
At some point in your life, others might have shouted abusive words towards you, put you down or bullied you.
All of these things make you feel terrible about yourself. Nobody should deny you of the pain you feel when you are discriminated against for these very real reasons yet, unfortunately, it still happens.
Just imagine how awful you feel when you experience the scenarios above.
Try your hardest to imagine…
Try your hardest to imagine experiencing that kind of pain, humiliation and blatant discrimination every single day, for your whole life because of the colour of your skin. It is a kind of pain that is unsettling, unbearable and sickening. Try to imagine also knowing that every single one of your family members is experiencing that exact same pain. Your heart breaks for them, yet it was already broken.
Now, try to imagine doing your very best to raise your children. Your beautiful, wide-eyed and innocent children. Try to imagine knowing that one day they are going to experience that same unbearable pain. Try to imagine knowing that they are not going to have the same opportunities as the other children, despite being just as loving, just as intelligent, just as beautiful and just as special.
Try to imagine knowing that if your children are ever in need of help from the law, they run the risk of becoming a suspect, rather than getting the help that they need. Try to imagine what it is like to sleep at night with the knowledge that your child is regarded by some, as not as much of a priority as the other children.
Imagine having a nightmare, where your child is being abused at the hands of people who are supposedly here to ‘protect and serve’ our community and try to imagine waking up in a world where the words “it was only a dream” are just not true.
Try to imagine wanting to find out about your family history and discovering that this kind of behaviour has been happening for as far back as you can possibly search. Try to imagine finding out that your relatives were slaves, were tortured and were seen as less than human than anybody else.
Would you speak up? Would you want to say something? Would you want to raise your children into this world and do nothing about it?
Try to imagine what it would be like to find the strength and the courage to speak, only to be told by thousands and thousands of people, including those who you thought were friends, that the problem doesn’t really exist.
Some people don’t have to try to imagine this scenario. For the black community, discrimination and inequality have been issues that they have had to learn to live with throughout their whole lives. Nobody should have to learn to live with this.
We will never understand the pain that the black community has gone through but we can teach ourselves about the experiences they have endured, we can educate ourselves about black history, we can stand up when we see discrimination happening and we are fully capable of finding out how we can help make a positive difference in the world.
The black community does not need our pity or our excuses, the movement and our black brothers and sisters need our support.
Nobody is saying that there are not other issues out there that are worth fighting for. Nobody is saying that your problems are insignificant or small.
People are most powerful when they all come together and I believe that ending racism is the first and most important step that we need to take to make this world a better place. Then, we will all fight for a better world, together.
Together, we will tackle LGBTQ rights, animal welfare, mental health awareness, gender equality and fight discrimination against physical appearance, age and generation, disability, people who have been through the criminal ‘justice’ system, nationality, religion, etc… but right now, we have the opportunity to fight for our black brothers and sisters. Please don’t turn away.
“Black Lives Matter – a political and social movement originating among African Americans, emphasizing basic human rights and racial equality for black people and campaigning against various forms of racism. Abbreviations: BLM, B.L.M.”
Help and Education
If you would like to find out more about Black Lives Matter or would like to find out how you can help, below are a few links which may be helpful.
Charities, Information and Donations: Black Lives Matter, The Bail Project, Campaign Zero, American Civil Liberties Union, Stand Up To Racism UK, Minnesota Freedom Fund, Act Blue, Black Visions, North Star Health Collective, Go Fund Me – Black Lives Matter Uk
Instagram Accounts, Articles and Information – 75 Things White People Can Do For Racial Injustice, Ways to Help – Black Lives Matter, How can I help from the UK?, A Brief History of The Origins & Legacy of Racism in America, Social Justice in Medicine Coalition at USC