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#BlackLivesMatter

Black Lives Matter Protest boards say 'Black lives matter, listen, learn, educate'

Hello,  

 

Thank you for clicking onto this article, you are helping move forward into a better world by doing so. You have probably clicked on this article because you are interested in Allyship and what you can do to support equality of all races. 

 

Now I am not an expert by any means just a person who is passionate about equality. However I have linked some resources below that will give you a better understanding of what has happened in the past, happening right now and why it is so important. 

 

This time is also not for you as a white person to expect people of colour to teach you, it is not their job to teach you about white supremacy. In an age where information is so accessible, ignorance and not educating yourself is a choice.  Instead ask your friends of colour how they are feeling, this is the largest civil rights movement in history, they are probably feeling overwhelmed with emotions. Check-in on them, listen to them and respect their boundaries.  

 

I have seen a lot of confused white people on the internet over the past few weeks, some of you don’t consider yourselves to be racist and are a little confused as to why you have been called this over the past few weeks, as that’s not how you were raised right? I will try to break this down as simply as possible. 

 

There are three types of people; I want you to be a number 3 moving forward. 

  1. Racist

  2. Non-racist  

  3. Anti-racist 

 

Anti-racism means taking action when you see racism, not just quietly disagreeing with racism in your mind. Things you as a white person can do to become a number 3:  

  • Being receptive to conversations  

  • Not being defensive when challenged  

  • Acknowledging there is a problem and acting on it are two separate things  

  • Don’t be silent 

  • Listen 

  • Read (and watch) 

  • Unlearn and relearn 

  • Normalise changing your opinion after learning new information, its ok I promise. You will grow as a person! 

  • Understand white supremacy 

  • Understand and use your white privilege to further equality 

  • Share what you have learnt with friends and family 

  • Call out racism, saying nothing puts you in category number 2 which doesn’t help further equality 

  • Have difficult conversations 

  • Stop putting this in front of your statements “I’m not racist but…’ we all know everything before but doesn’t count 

  • Do not make this about you 

  • Take action 

  • Show up  

  • AND REPEAT 

 

I am also seeing white people who are getting defensive and upset over being called racist when they don’t deem themselves to be. That is kinda the problem, how you see yourself and the comments you are making as fine, guess what, others may not. If someone is saying you are being racist, the likelihood is you are being just that. Now, this may not be intentional, it may be completely unconscious, but how you saying it and undoubtedly what you are saying is offensive. Instead of being mad at them for calling you racist, you should question yourself on why they think you are and what you can do to change this. You as a white person do not get to determine what someone of colour finds offensive/racist. What I will ask you to do is difficult but try to remove your ego from the equation, have a moment to reflect on the fact that you are not an expert on racial inequalities or racism. Take some time to look at some of the links I have put below. 

 

Now I have also seen many comments where people are bored or annoyed by seeing black lives matter being posted on social media. The average UK life expectancy is around 80, so for the people who are “over” seeing this “issue” posted after a few weeks, imagine having to deal with this every day of your life for 80 years, then think about how this has been going on for four centuries. 

 

For the people saying all lives matter instead, yes all lives matter however as there is not equality, we are focusing on black lives matter and how globally there is not equality. No one is saying that your life is not important, this is not about you as a white individual. No one is saying you have not had to face struggles or adversity, what we are saying however that your skin colour is not something that has been held against you, as a white person it is not a hurdle you have to try to jump. 

 

‘Why are they taking statues down? Those people have done good things!’ This is a prime example of whitewashing our history. Good deeds do not make up for bad ones. Many of these statues represent individuals who believed and actively took part in bigotry, hatred and oppression of many people. Keeping them up completely disregards the pain of those who are still wrestling with the remnants of the crimes committed against humanity. On a personal note, I think you should be more outraged about systemic inequalities in this country than statues. Maybe we will get some female statues moving forward. There are many historical figures who have not oppressed within our history that can be celebrated. Remember when they tore down the statues of Saddam Hussein and people in this country said how progressive that was, does that not count in this country then? Please don’t remove yourselves from the narrative when it’s convenient. 

 

If you are more upset about being called a racist than racism. You are part of the problem. If you are more upset about people protesting than what they are protesting for, you are part of the problem. However the good news, you can change your own thoughts and opinions on what is happening by educating yourself. Your privilege could well be that you don’t think there is a problem as it doesn’t affect you personally, that does not mean it does not exist. The world is changed by your example, not your opinion. 

 

Equality is not a cake that by giving someone a slice means that your piece becomes smaller, there is an infinite amount of cake. Racism (homophobia, sexism, xenophobia, transphobia etc) aren’t opinions. You do not get to simply “just disagree’ about someone’s identity or human rights. Sexuality, gender and skin colour are not lifestyle choices for you to believe or disbelieve in they just are. 

 

We are not looking for a short-term fix but long term change, be a catalyst for life long change. Now is the time to pay attention, learn, most importantly if to listen and critique your own knowledge and thinking. Then actively make changes both on and offline, not everyone has social media, we are moving in the right direction but it's not over yet. We need to keep going, not just over the coming weeks, forever. Keep your foot on the pedal as you must know that it will not happen overnight. 

 

And finally, think of racism as COVID-19; 

  1. Assume you have it, even if you can't see the symptoms 

  2. Listen to experts about it, do some research 

  3. Don’t spread it, it's been 400 years 

  4. Be willing to change your life to end it 

 

Many thanks,

Ro Tomlin-Wills 

Head of Student Engagement (2018-20) 

 

Things everyone should understand:

Shorts; 

Why you should stop saying “all lives matter,” explained in 9 different ways 

Understanding your white privilege  

 

Lobbying that can be done within Southampton & things you can do; 

Southampton City Council have been approached (By Don John & Jay Shah) to set up and fund a Advice Centre to support people who have been subjected to Racial Discrimination, Racial Disadvantage & Racial Harassment in the Southampton area. Therefore we are asking you to lobby the Council to support this request. You can do this by contacting: 

Cllr Chris Hammond, Leader Southampton City Council: Councillor.C.Hammond@southampton.gov.uk 
Lobbying your local councillor Royston Smith 

Further lobbying that can be done regarding Re-imagining the future of education through Black British history.

 

Donating to charities; 

There are many other charities you can choose to send funds too, below are just personal recommendations. 

Stand up to Racism UK 

Black Lives Matter UK 

Show Racism the Red Card 

10 Anti-Racism Charities in the UK that you can donate to

 

If you are not able to contribute money there are many things you can do to create racial equality and end systemic racism. The first being to expand your understanding of racial inequality, systematic racism and racial bias; 

 

Watch/listen; 

Angela Davis talk at Southbank Centre in 2017 

Battle for Brixton - Brixton riots 10th April 1981 

How Racist Are You? - Jane Elliott's Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes Exercise 

Anything by Akala, many many youtube videos

 

Documentaries 

  • 13th - 2016 

  • 16 Shots - 2019 

  • Crime + Punishment - 2016 

  • The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson - 2017 

  • Ferguson: a Report from Occupied Territory - 2015 

  • I Am Not Your Negro - 2016 

  • Let The Fire Burn – 2013 

  • Stay Woke: The Black Lives Matter Movement - 2016 

  • When They See Us - 2019 

  • First Australians - 2008 

  • The Tall Man - 2012 

  • 3 ½ minutes. Ten bullets - 2015 

  • The House I Live In - 2012 

  • Quest -  2017 

  • Do Not Resist - 2017 

 

Signing petitions – enacting change from home

Below are just a few of the petitions that are running right now, there are many out there, you can even start your own; 

Teach Britain's colonial past as part of the UK's compulsory curriculum

Suspend UK export of tear gas, rubber bullets and riot shields to the USA 

Justice for Belly Mujinga 

Improve Maternal Mortality Rates and Health Care for Black Women in the U.K. 

Battle racism by updating GCSE reading lists 

Include Afro Hair Education In The Hairdressing NVQ 

#DefundThePolice 

Require all police officers to take Anti-Racism education

Mandate regular Anti-Racist training for all teachers

Introduce mandatory Ethnicity Pay Gap reporting in the UK

Add education on diversity and racism to the school curriculum in the UK

Make Anti-Racism training mandatory in all UK workplaces

Require universities to educate staff and students on unconscious bias

Introduce Gender and Race equity for GCSE English Literature set texts

Condemn US government for use of force against its citizens

Create an independent investigatory commission to help protect minorities in the UK

Impose sanctions on Chinese government over its treatment of Uyghur Muslims

 

 

See where your own unconscious bias lies; 

PROJECT IMPLICIT SOCIAL ATTITUDES 

Log in or register to find out your implicit associations about race, gender, sexual orientation, and other topics! 

 

Protest safely

How to Protest Safely During a Pandemic 

 

 

Organising your own protest resources; 

The right to peaceful protest

How to organise a protest

 

Articles; 

Navigating Complicity and Social Media During The #BlackLivesMatter Anti-Racism Protests 

The UK is Not Innocent – Police Racism Has a Long and Violent History Here Too 

Put our colonial history on the curriculum – then we’ll understand who we really are 

What to do if you can’t protest on the streets for Black Lives Matter 

 

Books; 

  • Why I’m No longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge 

  • I’m Still Here?by Austin Channing Brown 

  • Natives?by Akala 

  • Dark Days?by James Baldwin 

  • Diversify?by June Sarpong 

  • How To Be Antiracist?by Ibram X. Kendi 

  • Don’t Touch My Hair?by Emma Dabiri 

  • White Supremacy and Me?by Layla F. Saad 

  • The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander 

  • Freedom Is A Constant Struggle?by Angela Davis 

  • They Can’t Kill Us All?by Wesley Lowery 

  • Your Silence Will Not Protect You?by Audre Lorde 

  • White Girls?by Hilton Als 

  • Brit(ish)?by Afua Hirsch 

  • Black and British: A Forgotten History?by David Olusoga 

  • The Good Immigrant, edited by Nikesh Shukla 

  • Medical Apartheid, by Harriet A. Washington 

  • Black Man in a White Coat by Damon Tweedy M.D 

  • White Fragility: Why it's so hard for white people to talk about Racism by Robin DiAngelo 

  • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates 

 

For those of you with children or young relatives here is a list of ages appropriate books for children

Things to also consider are the companies you choose to support eg fashion and beauty, billion-pound industries, where is your money going? 

 

Useful websites; 

Black Lives Matter

Black History Month

Black Past

The Best Websites to Teach & Learn about African-American History

Prevent NUS Campaign

Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Education Resources: UK Black History Resources

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