While much of the world reels in shock at what is happening in the USA right now after the shameful murder of an innocent black man called George Floyd, I am sad to say that I am not shocked at all. Systemic racism is an insidious and every present monster not only in the USA but very much in the UK and all over the Western World.
If you are white and want to be actively part of a change that must happen but have no idea where to start, here are some things you can do.
- Write to your representatives and call for change. Here’s a link that explains how to write to your MP if you’re in the UK. If you need inspiration on what to write, leave me a comment and I will help.
- Donate money to anti-racism charities. Here’s a list of UK based ones.
- Challenge your friends, family and co-workers when they exhibit racist behaviour. Be willing to have the difficult conversations.
- Educate yourself through reading books and articles by black authors and listening to podcasts on anti-racism. Here’s just one short reading list to start you off. And another longer one you can move onto.
- Make sure your social media feeds are full of diverse viewpoints.
- Ensure your children’s bookshelves include books with diverse main characters. Here are some books you can buy for your children.
- Close your mouth and open your eyes and ears. Allow black people to talk about their experiences without questioning or trying to relate or putting yourself in the centre of the conversation.
- Be willing to be corrected. Saying nothing is so much worse than saying the wrong thing unintentionally but if someone explains to you why what you’ve said is wrong, accept it and learn and change without getting defensive.
- Join protests if it is safe for you to do so. Here is a link to some anti-racist protests happening around the UK.
- Sign and share petitions. There’s no definitive list of these as they keep updating but you all have Google.
If we all do the work now and for the rest of our lives we have hope to do better.