Today, and every day, it’s important to be anti-racist. I wanted to press pause on my usual planned content (you’ll be able to read that next Thursday), and write a more direct post. Something more clear and firm than my other race and identity posts.
I know that almost every person that regularly reads Daisybutter sides with me, supports me and can be shocked by some of the experiences I share here. This post is not about that.
It’s a wider conversation that, to my own embarrassment and detriment, I hadn’t felt in a position to talk about or even address because I’m not black.
But I am non-black, and I’m also non-white.
And it’d be remiss to ask you to stand up for me and my community, without also standing up for and with black communities. I truly hope this doesn’t tread on any toes, but instead helps some of you to begin to understand, unlearn and self-educate.
Black lives are at a risk much greater than other races. This is due to years and years (I’m talking hundreds) of systemic, or institutional, racism. What does this mean? In layman’s terms, it is racism that is perpetuated by and thus constantly cycled in social and political institutions. As such, it has a halo effect on myriad factors, including: ‘wealth, income, criminal justice, employment, housing, health care, political power and education’. Black people have an incredibly different experience of all of these aspects. Otegha Uwagba, Nicole Ocran, Stephanie Yeboah… these incredible women have shared brilliant examples that perfectly tell us their realities. I know I talk about them constantly, but if you haven’t already, get them on your Instagram newsfeed. Get uncomfortable, process it, learn and take action.
Right now, the pressing issue is justice for George Floyd, who was mercilessly murdered by a police officer in the US. Protests and riots are taking place across the country. But what can we do if we’re unable to protest too?
How to Be An Anti-racist Ally
- Speak out when you hear/notice any and all racist behaviour and rhetoric. Don’t hide behind ‘I don’t want to be involved’, especially if you are white. You have such privilege; I’d love to retort when I’m being racially abused, but as a person of colour, I don’t have that privilege I’d be putting myself at even greater risk. Think about that and apply this thought elsewhere. Having said that, I’m a light-skinned, non-black PoC with a UK education. That right there is my privilege.
- Donate to the bail funds that help those wrongfully arrested. Here’s a list of places you can donate.
- Petition for justice in your local area, as well as in the workplace, health care, and education. Here are some petition links to get you started.
- Support causes that support black lives and amplify their voices.
- Talk to your friends and family offline. Get uncomfortable; it isn’t a patch on the experiences our black communities have and face daily.
- Learn about what it means to be anti-racist over Not Racist. This article by Yomi Adegoke is absolutely brilliant. I have a number of posts you can read afterwards, if you’d like. On my social media channels, I regularly (but not to any sort of schedule) share resources about racism, being anti-racist, and stories of going through life as a PoC.
- Still unsure how you can be impactful? Use your white privilege to 1) get black and PoC voices seen and heard, 2) campaign/report/call out racist behaviour and rhetoric (because they won’t listen to us), and 3) do take time to process things first. The message to communicate is black lives are the heartbreaking, unneccessary cost of systemic racism, and all non-black people need to do more.
- Chinese and other Asian friends: let’s continue to vocalise our experiences and have them heard. We cannot voice our own worries without amplifying and standing with our black friends. Struggling with language barriers as a fellow first-generation immigrant? I found this Letters for Black Lives resource really useful. Address the anti-black racism that is rife in Asian communities. I know it’s there, you know it’s there. Have the conversations with family members, using the resources here.
As you self-educate, be mindful of the hardships that black communities are going through on personal and societal levels. Don’t slide into their DMs asking for advice. Read between the lines of the stories that they share. Feel uncomfortable about something? That’s your cue to look inwards and take action.
And, a simple action you can take right now? Diversify your social media feeds. Follow at least five PoC content creators. Don’t be alarmed that we share normal content, for we are humans too. Write to your local MP and demand they share their actions to support black people in the community.