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  • Writer's pictureCamara Inglis

BLM

One of the categories I'll be writing posts under is "What's Occurring" and this is where I'll be sharing some thoughts on different things I know about, or matters that seem to be very prevalent in the news.


A cause close to my heart that has recently been in the news is the Black Lives Matter movement. I never quite understood how this phrase became so politicised and interpreted as only black lives matter, but this is absolutely not the aim of the movement. The movement is simply pushing black lives to the forefront for once after being abandoned for so long.


Performative action has plagued this movement though; just look at the millions of black squares posted on #blackouttuesday, yet there are still many petitions unsigned. Had every single person that posted that black square, signed all of those petitions on that day, perhaps media coverage of black lives would not have dwindled so quickly. Many people that posted these squares on Instagram to show their “solidarity” have not been vocal since, which is why performative action is so dangerous. BLM isn’t a trend and black people haven’t stopped facing racism just because you posted a square a month ago and never looked back now it’s no longer on the news.


Talking deeply about race and understanding someone that is different to you can be an uncomfortable experience; but it is so necessary if we want to live a world where all human beings can be equal despite any differences in skin tone.


Recently, the Grime artist Wiley made a string of anti-Semitic tweets and whilst I believe his behaviour is disgusting, because we must be anti-racist and fight all forms of prejudice, I think media reaction to this has been blown out of proportion. Boris Johnson condemned Wiley’s tweets as “abhorrent” and Wiley has had his social media accounts suspended. Where was this same energy when Tommy Robinson said he doesn’t care if he “incites fear” against Muslims with his hate speech? Or when Katie Hopkins tweeted blatantly racist tweets against black people? Or wore a Burka just a few days ago pretending to be Shamima Begum?


Wiley should be ashamed of himself for his tweets, but why is it that whenever a prominent black person acts in this way, their actions are magnified and very publicly condemned? However, when such actions are committed against black people, excuses are made, political discourse ensues and we are often gaslighted into believing we have acted dramatically. Constantly, I saw posts across Facebook saying black people kill each other so why do their lives matter now, and that England isn’t “that racist.” Being the “least racist” is still racist and there should be no room for it in a progressive society.


It blows my mind that my grandparents tell me about the racism they suffered when they came from the Caribbean, that my mum describes the racism she faced working in a law firm and that I too have experienced racism, and have many friends with similar stories. Clearly we have not progressed enough as a society, but I genuinely believe change can happen if we all work together and have those uncomfortable conversations and go out of our way to educate ourselves, instead of relying on others.


Notably, however, black lives aren't the only ones currently under threat and it is pretty hard to stay up to date with everything that is going on when it isn't covered by the mainstream news. I have definitely been guilty of not actively going out of my way to educate myself on matters if I haven't seen them on mainstream media and usually wait for the information to come to me. BUT, this attitude certainly doesn't help anybody, so I think it is important to stay educated and up to date with these matters because if enough people pay attention, it is the only way change will occur. Therefore, whenever I share a post under "What's Occurring," I will highlight a matter that may not necessarily be covered by the main media but should be given our attention anyway; turning a blind eye in situations like these is just as dangerous as the actions of the oppressor.


I came across a link of petitions that have not yet reached their goals so if you have the time, I’ll attach the link at the bottom and it would be great if you could sign and help make a difference!


Here is the link https://pendingpetition.carrd.co - I hope it works (please let me know if it’s doesn’t).

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