‘Racism’ is on the World Stage :
And has been from the moment of George Floyd’s tragic death. (2020)
Racism is still present within the UK, England, EU, and USA and many other Countries.
The Black Man George Floyd was “restrained” around the neck with the police officers leg and died as a result.
All whilst struggling to breathe and saying “I can’t breathe”.
This Tragedy took place In Minneapolis a city in USA state Minnesota in mid May 2020.
Anti-Racism groups have been protesting furiously ever since the tragedy, and there have been new movements, left in the wake of Floyd’s death, battling to fight against racism and social injustice in remembrance of George Floyd.
Since then, there has been a unified movement for REAL CHANGE and the Black Lives Matter movement has taken off with real speed given the shocking video of George Floyd’s death in the USA.
The unbearable to watch video almost immediately went Viral across the World.
And in the World of Sports most players and teams take a knee before playing, as a sign to remember George Floyd, Black Lives Matter and The Fight Against Racism.
The debates have been ongoing in the UK about whether or not we should use the acronyms of BAME (Black Asian and Minority Ethnicities) to refer to ethnic minorities.
Zamila Bunglawala, Deputy Head of Unit & Deputy Director Policy and Strategy, Race Disparity Unit, Cabinet Office said about the BAME debate in July 2019 that:
“Personally, I have never referred to my ethnicity using BAME or BME, and I don’t like it when they are used to describe me. Like many ethnic minorities, I proudly refer to my specific ethnic identity – my background is Indian. That’s obviously my personal preference, but the fact that the acceptability of BAME and BME has been called into question by The BBC, The Times and The Guardian, suggests I am not alone.”
The USA was left angry and protests in reaction to the death of Mr George Floyd shook many states within the USA with many weeks and nights of witnessing fires and burning of vehicles, businesses and a police station in Minneapolis where Mr George Floyd was residing.
140 cities in USA saw protests in the name of George Floyd and Black Lives Matter, many of these protests ended similar to the nights in Minneapolis. The National Guard was brought into 21 states to try and get the protesters to calm down and go home.
President Trump did absolutely nothing to help the situation and even drove back protesters at a Black Lives Matter rally which then officially led to the street (leading up to the White House) being renamed to ‘Black Lives Matter Plaza’. And the street was also painted on with big yellow letters, reading: ‘Black Lives Matter’.
Society faces a problem in eradicating Racism.
There is a real demand for Social Change, Justice and Equality; to fight against social injustice and to move away from ‘White Privilege’ and ‘White Supremacy’.
Ethnic and Black people are all tired of being treated unfairly simply due to the diversity of nature. All over the World.
There are many factors that have yet to be overcome as Racism is prevalent everywhere and on a big scale; Racism has become and has been Institutionalised for a very long time now.
People have also become more racist with figures like Trump and Nigel Farage boosting racism and sending the wrong messages to the public.
Donald Trump was elected President, due to his promises on building a wall on the border of Mexico and the USA.
Trump also promised on cutting down on immigration and even tried to controversially ban Muslims from travelling into the USA.
The Politics, of fear, of the other, is the message, that has been used, to spread fear, so far; And has seen a rise in support due to a focus on the difference between Race, Origin and Religion;
Institutional Racism / Systemic Racism is a huge Problem:
Police stop and search keeps happening to more Black and Ethnic Minorities, compared to White people, who are less likely to be stopped and searched, in the UK and USA. Police brutality keeps happening and George Floyd’s death has awoken many to the social injustice in the World.
In Sports; Black Footballers have been targeted in racist attacks and for decades there have been no changes, rather an increase in incidents.
Names such as Raheem Sterling and Anton Ferdinand have been racially discriminated against and yet football and racism are still seen as the norms especially amongst so called fans who bring the beautiful game into disrepute with racist chants and behaviours. Also the lack of Black and Asian players in Football is underrepresented.
Schools and Education need to include factual history and incorporate new Black and Minority Ethnic curriculums to educate generations fairly and correctly about the realities of the World.
And the change that is required, whilst teaching children about others and their lost heritage and culture. And a realistic history of slavery, should feature, on the curriculum. And Children should be taught who is responsible for the slave trade and the racism that exists, still, today.
Even the Governments around the World and the rise of Political Racist parties and many similar institutions such as the BNP and National Front in the UK, and the KKK in the USA, are big and longtime operators in Big Institutional Racism.
The systems in place within these institutions are racist and need to change.
Due to ones differences in colour and creed, ‘Racism’ is being legitimised and the divisive far right hate groups are making a mockery of Human Rights, Equality, Liberty and Justice by trying to make Racism acceptable and continue with today’s norm.
The list of racist organisations in the USA are extensive; White nationalist hate groups in the US have increased 55% throughout the Trump era, according to a 2020 report by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), and a “surging” racist movement continues to be driven by “a deep fear of demographic change”. (the Guardian)
In the USA, there were 155 such groups counted last year, and they were present in most states. These groups were counted separately from Ku Klux Klan groups, racist skinheads, Christian Identity groups, and neo-Confederate groups, all of which also express some version of white supremacist beliefs. (the Guardian)
Racism has got to the boiling point and is overflowing with Protests taking place all over the World.
The KKK has been around since 1865 and still has members in groups around the USA and is still active to date.
In England influential Protests have occurred at Hyde Park (June 2020) with Black Actor from Star Wars, John Boyega, voicing his concerns on the rise of racism and his disappointment in Institutions.
Racist groups in the UK have been dated back to as early as the 1940’s. The list of racist groups/organisations in the UK are too many to mention here.
On 3rd June 2020: Boyega made a rallying speech through his megaphone at a Black Lives Matter Protest which was held recently after George Floyd’s death.
John Boyega said at the rally : “Black lives have always mattered. We have always been important. We have always meant something. We have always succeeded regardless. And now is the time. I ain’t waiting.” The Star Wars actor went on to say “We are a physical representation of our support for George Floyd. We are a physical representation of our support for Sandra Bland. We are a physical representation of our support for Trayvon Martin. We are a physical representation of our support for Stephen Lawrence.”
John Boyega concluded by saying: “Today is about innocent people who were halfway through their process. We don’t know what George Floyd could have achieved, we don’t know what Sandra Bland could have achieved, but today we’re going to make sure that won’t be an alien thought to our young ones. “I need you to understand how painful this s*** is. I need you to understand how painful it is to be reminded every day that your race means nothing and that isn’t the case any more, that was never the case. And Racism should not be acceptable any more.”
Many large and influential Racist institutions are still being racist and are preventing progress on a cultural shift/change towards fairness and equality.
Society has entangled itself so long in notions of white supremacy and their racist views towards colour/race/gender/religion and sexuality that we are only now starting to try and untangle and break these remnant invisible shackles of slavery/colonialism/and racism. There is still much to do in the fight against racism. And of course no one should be in shackles of any sort or ever kept from their right to freedom.
Samuel L Jackson stars in a documentary called ‘Enslaved’ and he recalls the lives of slaves on ships from Bristol, USA, and other European ships where approximately 12 million slaves were brought and sold within the Trans-Atlantic slave trade which went on for several centuries.
In this documentary they mention Edward Colston who was a slave merchant and his statue was toppled and thrown into the Bristol Harbour, by anti racism protesters who only recognised him for his involvement in the slave trade whilst others argued he had been a very rich and charitable man for Bristol and England.
Monuments all over the world have been targeted due to the racists connections they hold and governments across the World are confused as to what to do about this particular issue of statues and monuments that are offensive due to their racist contexts.
Edward Colston’s riches’ came from the slave trade and there is still a lot of controversy in the UK about monuments like Edward Colston (his statue was recovered from the Harbour) and Winston Churchill’s statue who is seen as another figure who had racist views and involvement in racism through comments he has made has been targeted next with anti racist protesters graffitiying his statue.
Hate in the form of Racism has sadly been a reality for everyone all around the world for a very long time and people want a Change to happen Now! REAL CHANGE! No more Racism! No more social injustice!
Countries like the UK and USA have a role in bringing about this change;
As before the abolition of slavery;
There were lucrative fortunes made from the slavery business. Countries were robbed of their riches and citizens’ their freedoms and human rights whilst often being taken from their homeland Africa/West-Indies/Jamaica and for example Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Gambia, Senegal, Congo, Ghana, Nigeria and Cameroon to name a few, of course there were other countries/islands too which have not been mentioned. (As the list would be exhaustive.)
History shows that the UK/USA/Europe, all exploited mass amounts of Black people throughout a 400 year span that slavery lasted, possibly even longer and was abolished in the UK in 1807 and 1865 in the USA.
Slavery was so lucrative that it made the UK and USA rich and the economies came to be based mainly around slavery; And countries like the UK/USA were subsequently built by slavery and its unfortunate victims.
Therefore primarily they should take responsible action against tackling racism and racists who spread hate in the name of White Supremacy and often glorify figures like Hitler and the Nazi Flag.
In the UK political scene the BNP has been gaining more support, evident from vote results. There are also a lot of members of groups such as the National Front who are notorious for Racism.
BR-EXIT was also a major dividing point with most of the ethnic groups within London voting to remain in the EU which exemplifies the need for multiculturalism and diversity within society.
Instead the UK left the EU at a loss and plans to halt and stop immigration into the UK.
Over 80% of the UK population is White. Racism has been on the rise since the BREXIT vote to leave the EU and this has been happening since the decision to have an EU Referendum, each year the rise in racist crime goes up and a recent report shows that racial discrimination has gone up even further since the EU exit.
Pro racist groups and Far right groups’ demonstrators protested against the Black Lives Matter movement and many other hate groups. A sad but true reality. Making the Black Lives Matter, an even more important, voice, to keep, on the agenda.
In the USA President Trump has been popular amongst those with Nationalist and Racist views – usually the two go hand in hand – and during his presidency he has caused a divide between Hispanic, Black, Asian and Oriental people by alienating them through comments and policy against them.
President Trump has caused his supporters to become dangerously confident and has referred to the Corona Virus as a Chinese virus and went about the handling of George Floyd’s death all wrong sending in the wrong signals to the World and the USA.
Racism is on the rise in America and this is evident with the distancing of the US Administration of the Confederate flags.
In stark contrast to those who have ‘confederate flags’ a symbol from the days of civil war and unrest in the fight for freedom and abolishment of slavery, where many lives were lost in battles on both sides, Black and White.
The White Confederates eventually lost the Civil War and the once enslaved people gained freedom, a human right, on June 19th 1865 when USA President Abraham Lincoln used the Emancipation Act and ratified the 13th Amendment of the USA constitution.
Much of the USA are trying to ban and remove the flags although some are still visible as people are claiming to have the flags as part of their heritage.
Coronavirus has effected many people around the World and is Racist for many reasons. Chinese people all over the World have been subjected to Racism and Discrimination and even President Trump referred to the virus as The China Virus.
Also Black and ethnic minorities have been subjected to the virus which is intrinsically linked to the World of racism we live in:
The Corona virus has bulldozed its way into our lives and has drastically changed the way we live; The number of deaths has just surpassed two – million at the time of writing.
Current graphs show that Black and Ethnic Minorities in the UK and USA are dying more than White people. (This has been the situation since the beginning of the Pandemic.)
The main contributor to the virus link with racism is the factor of inequality due to the way the system was, is, and has been designed, to keep the Black and Minority Ethnics poor and the White rich.
Many Black and ethnic minorities do not have the standards of living that they would need in order to fight off a challenge from the Corona virus.
The significantly poorer Black and Minority Ethnic communities are often in a poor housing situation, and this makes it easier to contract the virus in closely housed accommodation.
The system that is at fault is the system that has slowly and carefully been put together over time with a clear divide in wealth and opportunities and senior positions.
In the UK and the USA, Black and Minority Ethnic are still in considerably lower wealth and lower income and lower positions than the White demographic. The virus is thus inadvertently intertwined and linked with Racism.
The Black and Minority ethnics are dying as a result of less income and less wealth than the White people who can afford proper care and well spaced out accommodation, many others can’t and end up dying from the virus, due to, being unable to manage, especially with lockdowns and job losses. The current climate of racism along with the virus is unhelpful at the least.
We’ve seen examples of explicit racism above, also to mention is unconscious bias this is when people have underlying attitudes and unconscious stereotyping going in their mind about others and is a pre-conceived way of thinking or pre-conceived attitude to others.
These are pre-formulated ideas in the mind and can be corrected by being aware and self conscious of your unconscious stereotyping and learning through practice to remove these thoughts.
This article also discussed Institutional Racism/Systemic racism which is present in Prisons, Education, Policing, Politics, History, Sports and other fields/departments/categories.
The racism is wrong and is coming in from every angle in many ways subtle and discreet and overt and extreme at times as well as intrinsically patterned into society through racist agendas. Structural racism.
This article also discussed the Racist statues/monuments around the UK. And instead of remove statues that are offensive and have their past in racism the UK government is looking to find further ways to protect these statues / monuments through law in parliament.
Racism is still here, which is the sad truth, hopefully and through being educated and aware and anti-racist we can unite to see the end of this disease called racism. Let’s stand against social injustice and racism!