I'm white, middle-class, have food placed on my table, a roof over my head, don't have to worry about my safety from day-to-day, receive a good education and have a family who love me. A lot of you reading this will either relate to the statement I just made entirely or to just parts of it. What I can also say is that I can feel the pain to an extent of what people of different races are experiencing, more so in this last week than I have ever felt before, even when I've witnessed racial abuse towards the closest people to me firsthand.
I'm white and feel guilt. I'm white and feel the mistakes of the older generations. I'm white and I am sorry. I'm white and I care, I'm white and I want to believe that there is no societal difference between people of any race, but as all of you know, the fact is that this is not the case and is probably the stupidest thing I could ever write.
I'm white and I'm a hypocrite.
With this movement of #blackouttuesday as a social media community we have come together to 'take a stand' but what you'll find is that many people are actually obliviously taking a stand against themselves. I'm white and have witnessed other white people say the N Word amongst other white people with pleasure, laugh after saying it, and I'm white and have awkwardly chuckled and told them not to say that, looked down and shaken my head, looked at someone else reacting in the same way as me and shared a subtle look of discomfort and unknowing.
For this I am sorry.
But there are white people, who as I said earlier are merely looking to root themselves out without even realising they are quietly part of the problem. The UK is not the USA when it comes to the significant racial divide and inequality, but that doesn't mean we do not have a horrendous issue of racism in this country.
The million dollar question: How do we stop it?
I can't answer that in full, but I can answer the minor first stage. We need to start small to expand. We need to address and adapt the mindsets of the general population (especially the youth) on the unaddressed normalised issues before trying to fully-attack (without giving up on attacking institutional racism by all means, because fighting the large issue must continue) of casual racism within this country. Take a look at yourself first, ask yourself if maybe you're guilty of enhancing this issue in the subtlest of ways, and then post about it.
I know what I have to do; I have to get pissed off next time someone does that, I have to get vexed to the next degree and I need to unleash a lecture upon someone who lives in a world of blissful ignorance. I know that I and people like myself need to be stronger. I need to do this in order to play my role in pushing forwards with that first step of change.
I strongly believe that significant change comes about when an event occurs that shakes society to its core; makes everyone involved rethink their decisions, associations, and their own past actions. I pray that 2020 is the last straw, and that we as the next generation, the next leaders, can take this and say no, enough is enough. I pray that this is what exterminates institutional racism that has devoured nations; I pray that this is the event that speeds up the rapid and urgent race to equality, and outs the ways of the vile leaders at the top of the food chains. I pray that at the bottom this shows that white person that it isn't funny to say the N Word to get a laugh, and I pray that this horrific and taxing time forms a glue that puts us together as a nation, realistically for the first time ever.
I know that inevitably this article will irritate some, offend others, or maybe just cause people to scoff. I do know that, but just know that I write with a genuine pain and unfathomable desire to see people being brought up to match the same level, not some being pushed down so others can go higher. I'm doing this because i care and have this platform to let you know that on behalf of the White person who's let things slide, we're sorry.
(YouTube videos and shows)
When white supremacists overthrew a government
Get comfortable with being uncomfortable | Luvvie Ajayi
How to deconstruct racism, one headline at a time | Baratunde Thurston
Is It Ok For ANY Race To Sing The 'N' Word?
‘Black Lives Matter did not hold a protest yesterday': BLM Utah addresses SLC protest
'Dear White People' - Netflix
I Am Not Your Negro (2016)