I’m not normally one for getting involved in politics especially through my blog, but today I feel it’s important to talk about George Floyd and the emotions his death has stirred up in so many of us.
First of all, let’s move the politics to one side. This is about humanity, and our acceptance (or lack of it in so many cases) of the human race.
I woke up yesterday morning and posted my normal pre-work Instagram post.
As soon as I posted it, I found myself mindlessly scrolling through the other posts from that morning, and noticed a friend had posted a black square using the hastags #blacklivesmatter and #blackouttuesday.
I continued to scroll, and soon realised that I had posted a reasonably cheering instagram post right in the middle of a Black Lives Matter campaign.
I withdrew my original post and replaced it with the now familar black post using the above hashtags. Although for once, inclusion of the hashtags wasn’t thereto help grow my followers. They were there to show my support, and to show solidarity in standing up to racism.
So, this is where we get political. It’s time for our government and our police force to make sure appropriate action is taken against those who unlawfully arrest, kill, punish innocent citizens because of the colour of their skin.
As many of you will be well aware, violent protests have taking place across America over the last few days as a result of the unlawful killing of George Floyd. Over the weekend, protests began to pop up across the UK too, especially here in London. Even from my flat, I could see the police helicopters flying over the US Embassy over the weekend as protesters made their way from Trafalgar Square to the Embassy.
I had mixed feelings about this at the time. I’m not always sure that protesting is the answer when we are hurting about things. What can start as a peaceful protest, can quickly turn heated, taking away valuable Police resources when they could be dealing with other more sinister crimes.
But if we don’t protest, then what do we do?
Sitting here silently cursing the Policeman who knelt on George Floyd’s neck for 9 minutes, isn’t going to prevent disgusting acts like this from happening again.
Yesterdays social media campaign felt like the right kind of message to send. It felt powerful. I found myself getting quite emotional. Even as a white woman, the black images increasing in number across my screen, made me well up. I just hope the powers that be see this message of solidarity and do something about it.
We can’t afford to sit here and do nothing anymore. It’s time to show our support anyway we can.
On a personal level, I’ve discussed George Floyd’s death with my partner a number of times over the last week. Sitting here as a white woman, I have no idea of how it feels to be black, and to be targeted in this way. I am however in an interracial relationship, so spending time talking to him about how this makes him feel is important to me.
I will never be able to fully understand, but by at least having the conversation, it opens peoples eyes and makes them more aware.
Even the other day as we headed out in the car, my partner grabbed his ID before we left the flat, just in case we were to get pulled over. He always makes sure he’s dressed in his work clothes when driving around London (even sometimes at the weekend), so he looks more professional, and therefore less likely to get pulled over by the police. These are sad facts of life, and I’m all to aware that as white people, we don’t even have to stop to consider these things.
As a couple we try to keep our relationship low key and away from social media. Not because either one of us has anything to hide or be embarrassed abut, we just like to keep our private life private. But I‘m incredibly proud to call him my boyfriend. Not because he’s black, but because of the human being he is.
Although the current campaign is linked to the killing of a black African American, for me the issue is wider than that. Why can’t we all be seen as equal? In every community we have our bad eggs, but let’s not paint everyone with the same brush.
Since moving to London, I haven’t dated one white man, and sadly I’ve had to endure comments from ‘friends’ about my choice in men. Friends who were worried about me falling in love with a terrorist or a gang member. For me the colour of my partners skin doesn’t matter. It’s what’s in your heart, your mind and your soul that really matters to me. It’s a sad reality, that we live in a society where not everyone feels the same way.
As I said at the beginning of this post, I’m not normally one to publicly talk about political issues, but as always, writing my musings down helps me to process things, and to try to make sense of it all.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post 🙏🏻