Friday, 5 June 2020

WE NEED JUSTICE - BLACK LIVES MATTER!

Hi all, With everything that has been happening across the world from Covid-19 to the 'Black Lives Matter' protests  It's been a about a week since I wrote this piece below and put it out across my social media pages. Two days after the news of the George Floyd murder broke, my fiance and I had a very emotionally draining but sadly not unfamiliar conversation. How many more times would a black person have to be executed by police brutality or at the hands of racists before enough is enough? When I heard the distress and cracking in my fiance's voice, I knew I had to do something and speak up about this, I literally sat up in bed grabbed my laptop and just poured my heart out...this is what I had to say.

I've honestly just been wanting to cry for the last two days, my heart feels so heavy. It is 2020, 2020 and black people are still having to be subjected to this murderous bullshit at the hands of racist police.

ARTWORK BY: ARIEL SINHA

The Amy Cooper video in the park and the Oscar winning performance of her pretending to be attacked by a black man while she was on the phone to police made me sick to my stomach. She weaponised her tears and knew that being a white woman would allow her the privilege of being viewed as a victim despite her being the villain. My first thought was 'Thank God that man was filming!'... but can you imagine if he wasn't? The police could have brutalised that man and destroyed his life, and she KNEW IT, she knew it and she maliciously continued knowing that phone call could end his life, she was well aware that black life in the justice system is valued so little. 

When people say things like 'I don't see colour' and then chime in with examples of how they too have had 'similar experiences of being oppressed', it is a load of bullshit, and it is an attempt to erase your experiences as a black person trying to navigate your way through society, to falsely insinuate that these experiences can happen to anyone, to downplay the seriousness of the racial injustice taking place, and to suppress your right to feel outrage.

I then had to think about how many Amy Cooper experiences black people have encountered in general life and at work. Like the time my younger sister came home from her 'shiny' TV job in distress because she was minding her own business by the photocopier when a white woman walked up to her out of no where and said to her 'Do you speak in that clicky language' (Yes she said that, I can't make this up), my sister said 'Shara I literally just put my face in my hand and walked away, I didn't say anything to her at all I just walked away. The woman then proceeds TO BURST INTO TEARS and three members of the team in the office rush over to console her, and then they turn on my sister shouting 'WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO HER?!' meanwhile the woman didn't own up to the fact the she was the one who had caused offence, she watched them verbally accuse my sister, cowered behind her tears and did nothing, the rest of the team then told my sister that she needed to apologise to the woman, (when my sister told me this I was furious). Very often when you are the only black person in an environment like that or in the office and the rest of the team is white and they haven't been culturally introduced to people of other races, many of them rely on their narrow media stereotypes to cast judgement (e.g 'the aggressive black woman') and frequently make throw away comments towards black people, so as a black person we are always trying to figure out how to navigate these spaces, do our work and come home in peace without feeling emotionally exhausted, over looked or dismissed by the end of the day. 


Or the time when my fiancé went to pick up his friend in Chelsea, parked his car waiting for his friend, and a white woman came out of her house, walked up to his car and said to him he needed to move his car because she doesn't want any drive by shootings happening around there (when I heard this my blood was boiling!) It didn't matter to her that my fiance is an amazing man, an engineer, a sports coach running a business with his close friends, and a son who looks after his mother and makes her beam with pride, she made a disgusting stereotypical pre judgement based on the colour of his skin. Or the time when I was at my retail job and my line manager was boasting about a black guy she was dating and then said 'I'm not sure about taking him home because I don't know how my kids will react to his black skin' (my jaw literally dropped at the fact she felt so comfortable to say this too my face, I was livid!) in an attempt to remain calm I said 'I am a black woman, you cannot date a black man and pick and choose pieces of him', her reply was 'Yes but he's not like your black he's like a dark dark...' at which point I lost it and I had to school her right then and there, she also welled up with tears (eye roll). These experiences are VERY common (and I have way more examples than this). Most of the time when black people are at work or just living life they are censoring themselves around other races for reasons like this. White women who are in the wrong but weaponise their tears against black men and women knowing it can lead to their demise or smear their character is a form of violence and I for one WILL NOT remain silent about it.

If you are not black but you 'have black friends', love dating black men, love black culture, love black food, you guys need to speak the fuck up. It's not good enough to say you are not aware, it's not good enough to turn a blind eye, you don't get to dip in and out of black culture when you feel like it. Black men are not your fetish, they are not your 'bad boys', they are not your 'big d*ck fantasies', they are not your trophies to make you look cool, they are not your hyper masculine action figures for you too objectify who can handle anything. Black women are not your stereotypes, we are not your sassy black friends, we are not all 'strong black women who can handle anything', where is the room for us to be vulnerable and breathe? Black men and women are human beings with emotions, feelings and families, who would like to live life without having to pass down generational traumas or the, 'you'll have to work twice as hard to be seen as equal' conversation to the younger generation growing up behind them. WE ARE TIRED!



Black men and women PLEASE watch your mental health at this time, it is not normal to continuously watch yourselves like lambs to the slaughter at the hands of evil racists, police and Amy Coopers of this world. For other races they get to call the police and more often than not they know things will be fine, black people always have to think twice before doing so because they don't know how it will end for them. If reading this post has made you uncomfortable - GOOD! It is time that we stop sweeping things underneath the rug pretending these issues don't exist and start being honest with each other and having these hard ugly conversations, we cannot mollycoddle the truth anymore because it may hurt someone's feelings.

And to people reading this who want to speak out against the ongoing murders of black people, but choose not too and are scared of how it will affect their jobs, their relationships with other people etc please remember the words of Desmond Tutu when he said 'If you choose to be neutral in situations of injustice, then you have chosen the side of the oppressor'. #BLACKLIVESMATTER #R.I.P #AHMAUDARBERY#GEORGEFLOYD #BREONNATAYLOR 

REST IN POWER!
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