I AM TIRED….
I am tired of being tired. I am tired in a way that pervades all that I am. At a time when hundreds of thousands have died from Covid, a pandemic that is killing black people at a disproportionate rate, we are forced to watch as the pandemic of racism takes BLACK lives all around the world.
I was recently told by a white English man that England is not America and we should be ‘grateful for how far the country has come since the 50s’. I was not born in the 1950s, but as a child at school in the early 90s (40 years after the proclaimed long way that the country has come) I was called a baboon and a monkey by my peers. Was asked if I really lived in the jungle and faced physical violence simply because of the colour of my skin. Time has passed but we have not come a long way. Just this month, we saw a plane fly a ‘white lives matter’ banner over a football stadium mid-match.
So I will not listen to someone who has not experienced racism, tell me how great and fair England is and so much better than America. Racism cannot be quantified or excused by comparing countries. Racism is not a multiple choice question. I do not want to hear your excuses for why you think your racism is ok or justified, I am too tired of that.
I am tired of having to bare witness to the countless lives lost as a direct result of racism. On the 10th June 2020 the guardian asked Want to make the UK less racist? And provided their suggestions of twenty positive ways to bring about lasting change.
I am tired of seeing so many black people killed because their lives are not given the value and protection that they deserve.
Each one hurts just as much as the last. It’s endless. The wound deep and forever open. Our blood spilled and running is never enough for them, but for me one drop spilled is too much! The necessity of having to film each brutality just to prove this barbarity is happening because our words are not sufficient, leaves these tragic images etched on my mind.
I AM TIRED.…
For every day adds to the pain. Earlier this week I was asked how I manage to get up each day and keep fighting. This person wanted to know how I do it. I am just as tired as the next person. It is exhausting to have to fight a daily battle whether you choose to or not. It gets to me, and I don’t know how to stop that, or if I would, should I could. I am just as affected by all the news headlines and the negativity that has permeated much of 2020. If the news isn’t reporting another disproportionate death of another black or ethnic minority person due to Covid, then the headlines are encumbered with the heavy load of deaths related to police violence and brutality. The UK is not spared from these prejudices or headlines. I awoke to news that two Met officers were arrested over selfies they took and circulated with the corpses of two black female murder victims. I am not sure why these officers are being afforded the protection of anonymity when any other adult suspected criminal in the UK is not afforded the same.
I AM WEARY….
This all gets to me. I won’t ever pretend that it doesn’t. I am as human as anyone else.
I am weary from a life time of having to deal with this. To me, we have not come a long way. This is a marathon, not a sprint. Ignoring it will not make it go away. It is not beneficial to “sit back and watch, to see if the government makes changes”. We “watched” as institutional racism in the Metropolitan police force resulted in it taking 19 years for a conviction in the case of the murder of Stephen Lawrence. We have “watched” as the Windrush scandal occurred and still carries on. We “watched” as the Grenfell fire burned for 60 hours, claiming countless lives, and watch still as the government makes paltry excuses and gives empty promises. We have “watched” as the government transparently reports some of the equality or more accurately inequality statistics. We see that watching in history has done nothing for us. No one suggested watching World War 2 to see what happens, instead allies were sought to help end it. You are racist to suggest that Black people should “sit back and watch” as we are killed and disproportionately targeted in all areas of life. Maligned, racially abused, and KILLED because of the colour of our skin.
I am tired. I am weary. BUT I AM NOT GIVING UP. I ask that you do not either, let’s make a difference together. I do not have the solution for such a multifaceted problem. I believe that education is a necessary tool in helping to eradicate racism, and because of that I launched a petition. I hope that you will support me in clicking the link below and not only signing the petition but sharing it too!
Make black history a compulsory part of the national curriculum for all ages