Privilege: a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group.
As a white person, there is no denying that I am privileged. I am privileged enough to be able to run, shop, write cheques, read, drive, and ask the police questions without a second thought. I can walk along the streets without the fear of being stopped and searched. I can exercise my rights to protest without the fear of arrest. I can exist without fearing for my life. Unbelievably, many black people across the world remain unable to experience these same freedoms.
The murders of George Floyd, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and countless other unarmed black citizens in America, have sparked global conversations regarding race. But, these are not one-off incidents, and we should not only be speaking up about these issues in our society when they are on-trend. It has taken me a while to turn my many thoughts on this topic into words, but I feel as though I have a responsibility to use my privilege to speak up, to educate myself, and to join others in demanding much needed social change. Racism is all around us. It exists in our workplaces, our prisons, our police forces, our schools, our playgrounds, our slang and our streets. It is a global issue; one that is not just happening in America. In the UK, for example, "Black ethnic groups had the highest rates of stop and search out of all 16 individual ethnic groups." This is unjust.
The fact that people are still being mistreated, misrepresented and brutally murdered because of the colour of their skin is absolutely disgusting and urgently needs to stop.
Being white, I will never ever understand or experience how it feels to be oppressed and taunted because of my race. Despite this, everyday I am trying to educate myself on this movement. I need to become an active ally, who shows support to - and defends - ethnic minority communities in every way possible. I am fully aware of my white privilege, and I know that I must use it effectively if I am to contribute to breaking the vicious and deep-rooted cycle of racism in our society.
-Use your voice to make others heard
-Do research to educate yourself, and then teach other white people
-Sign and share petitions
-Donate to causes if you can
-Support black businesses
-Listen to others without undermining their experiences.
In this digital age, we are surrounded by resources that can be used to further educate us on these issues. This document (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BRlF2_zhNe86SGgHa6-VlBO-QgirITwCTugSfKie5Fs/mobilebasic), created by Sarah Sophie Flicker and Alyssa Klein, provides a huge list of anti-racist and informative resources for white people. Alternatively, you can visit https://blacklivesmatters.carrd.co/#resources for access to some helpful websites and articles.
At the moment, writing this post and sharing my thoughts is the very least I can do. However, I hope that I've encouraged those who have read this to join me in reflecting on your privileges and becoming a part of the change.
NO LIVES MATTER UNTIL BLACK LIVES MATTER.
NO ONE IS FREE UNTIL EVERYONE IS FREE.