‘#blacklivesmatter: A Collection of UK Based Resources’
On the 25th of May 2020, George Floyd was murdered by a police officer suffocating him for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. This is the latest in a series of murders, committed by white police officers against black people in the United States. This has sparked a renewed set of protests across the US and the globe asking for justice to be delivered.
Here in the UK, this has led to discussions surrounding racism and white privilege, and it feels like along-side the protests, there is an important campaign for education taking place.
In this article we are seeking to add to the wide range of resources available, but also encourage people to engage in one to one dialogue about these issues. Speaking to friends and family on an individual basis is a really important way of promoting and spreading understanding. So if you feel there is someone in your life who lacks understanding of the issues, or doesn’t know how to help, hopefully this can provide some sort of useful starting point. Based on our readership, we’re going to focus on racism in the UK.
What we’re trying to do with the article is to help continue the momentum built up over the last week and help people to educate themselves and others. All the information linked below is free and accessible to anyone. Finally, it’s important to note that state education is lacking in this area; racism in the UK, both historical and current, should be part of the school syllabus if we ever want to overcome it.
Racism in the UK
“Today, black people in Britain are still being dehumanised by the media, disproportionately imprisoned and dying in police custody, and now also dying disproportionately of Covid-19.”
“We are talking about some of the most marginalised and oppressed people in our society dying in a hellish inferno, so the very nature of the discourse around what happened at Grenfell Tower is innately political whether we want it to be or not.”
“These failings demonstrate an institutional ignorance and thoughtlessness towards the issue of race and the history of the Windrush generation within the department, which are consistent with some elements of the definition of institutional racism.”
“Grenfell and Windrush represent an unremitting reminder (to those with the luxury of forgetting) that racism is ‘the state-sanctioned or extralegal production and exploitation of group-differentiated vulnerability to premature death’.”
From Grenfell to Windrush, state racism kills - sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly - Gracie Bradley
“The burden of proof for holding institutions or people to account for deaths in the BAME community is always set beyond reach”.
“Britain’s plantation records reveal the extent of the inhumane treatment Africans were subjected to by plantation owners and more importantly how the slave trade made them and the UK very wealthy.”
Racism in the UK’s Criminal Justice System
“1,741 people have died in police custody or otherwise following contact with the police in England and Wales since 1990. Not a single police officer has been convicted in connection to these deaths.”
“BAME people die disproportionately as a result of use of force or restraint by the police, raising serious questions of institutional racism as a contributory factor in their deaths.”
“The youth justice system has identified BAME disproportionality as a problem for some time, but too little has been done to draw together the lessons of promising early work.”
An Independent Review into the Treatment of, and outcomes for, Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic individuals in the Criminal Justice System - The Lammy Review
Understanding White Privilege
“For many Whites, advocating for a race-neutral, color-blind world is a practical strategy toward an admirable goal: the elimination of racism. While the end goal is laudable, what oftentimes remains unspoken (and unchallenged) are the ways in which color-blind rhetoric fails to recognize and address continued forms of racial discrimination and institutionalized racism. Thus, perceptions of the U.S. as a post-racial society are best understood as a reflection of a lived experience steeped in white privilege.”
“It's not very hard to put some thought into the biases you might hold, become curious about the way your words and actions are perceived by others, listen when people explain why certain remarks offend them, and make it a habit stop for a beat and think before you speak, especially when you're weighing in on someone's identity.”
“Do you want to be on the right side of history in the fight against racial injustice? Good, because now is the time to step up.”
“[White privilege] affects every part of our lives. It is mundane. It is predictable. It is the ability to represent grease, rather than grit, moving smoothly through the world. It is the ability to make people feel comfortable, the knowledge I am approved of, the ability to see myself in the world around me. It tells me I belong.”
If you want to get involved, below is a list of BLM protests taking place. They are being held under social distant conditions and organisers ask that you bring a mask with you.
Petitions to support related to US Criminal Justice Cases.
“Whether you’re keen to donate to the organisations spearheading protests in the US, or interested in supporting UK-based efforts to tackle systemic racism, British Vogue has rounded up the nonprofits and campaigns that could benefit from your help now.”
“We call for the school curriculum to be amended to educate all school children in the United Kingdom about the existence of racism in the UK and how to combat this.”
Photo Credit - https://unsplash.com/photos/gr0wnD7PbJk