Just to make it absolutely clear for anyone who reads this post. Racism is NOT just an American issue.
The murder of George Floyd has been spoken about a lot over the past few months so I don't think I need to explain how potent the stench of racism is within our current society, however, I do feel the need to write down some thoughts on how the UK has responded to the current conversation.
I've seen, read and heard how the UK is not as racist as the USA or how it's not that bad over here but interestingly enough, those words were not spoken or written by anyone who is Black so it's funny to me how someone who is not Black, Asian or any of colour other than White is asserting an opinion that is presented as fact on an experience they've never lived or experienced. Odd, very odd.
And of course, not all white people hold this opinion and yes, all lives do matter, but until we look past ourselves and have a real good look at the systems and structures around us and how they affect our current society, it is very unwise to assert a position claiming everything is fine when a section of the society you live is saying otherwise.
Racism in the UK may not be as overt, but we face micro-aggressions and discrimination everyday, to point of some people losing their life. Things that, to some, might seem small in isolation. Sometimes so small, they go unnoticed and disregarded. From changing my last name on my CV so I can get considered for an interview or choosing not to get on the packed train on the way to work out of fear of being labelled as the 'aggressive black man' pushing his way on to carriage.
I posted on my Instagram asking Black people to share their experiences within the UK. You can read those stories here. All of them are heartbreaking to say the least, but, stand as a reminder that there is still so much work to do.
I've also had the chance to speak to companies about inclusion and how the corporate world can do its part in highlighting inclusion amongst underrepresented minorities, in this case, black individuals & I've seen more conversation within certain industries like Advertising (which is years behind when it comes to diversity but that is a post for another day) which is great but time will tell whether it's just for show or the start of a new wave of workforce that looks different to what it has been.
CHRISTIANS, we need to do better. Churches, pastors, team leaders, youth and all of you in between.
I could type out what would be a 40 page essay on the history of the ‘Church’ and how the ‘Church of old’ has instigated, incited and been complicit in many injustices, more specifically the issue we are all taking about today, racism.
Please do your research and and you will see the only reason why we have a society with the laws and morality we do is because of the ‘Church’. Because hundreds of years ago, White ‘Christian Men and Women’, who claimed Christ as their saviour, pushed and allowed for one human to own another.
This is why we, the current body of believers, MUST speak on the injustices we see & this doesn’t have to be on social media. There is no excuse. We know that SIN has a huge part to play in this and it has reared one of its heads in the form of racism, systemic racism & slavery. We have read this in the book of Exodus. This is not new. Educate yourself and speak about it amongst yourselves.
As we did before when allowing these injustices to happen, we must have the ears of policy makers, we must be impacting current culture and not standing idly by, waiting for society to will/force us to speak. That, in itself, is an injustice.
We are not perfect, but we follow someone who is. So when we are conflicted, turn to Christ & when we see something wrong, don’t only emulate Christ’s compassion. CONDEMN THE SIN.
Let’s do better.
You don't need to be Christian to act on the heart of these words. If you see injustice, speak up. This online movement is not a game or a trend. For a lot of us, it is everyday life. Let’s speak up OFFLINE for the micro aggressions and the injustices we see everyday. Also let us ALL work towards putting ourselves in positions where we can affect change.
Black lives matter.