Well, what a blasting past couple of weeks!?
And all on top of a mind-bending few months!
Some may even add that it’s been an unbelievable set of years, decades, centuries.
So much, it appears, is coming undone.
And I don’t mean that as a negative thing.
The cruel murder of George Floyd, in amongst a devastating and racially discriminating virus, has truly crescendoed, hasn’t it?
Although undoubtedly there is still a very long way to go.
But this entire dire situation has become a cranker of the issue of racism – splitting it open.
Raising the questions.
Stirring the debate.
Undermining the policies and behaviours that have led to so much racism, and so much inequality – across the globe, and for many creeds and colours.
Is this, finally, the time in history when we, all of us start to say, out loud, and every time: “No. Enough!”?
Populations across the globe have demonstrated. They’ve vocalised their anger. They’ve stamped out their outrage. They’ve demanded change.
Those who haven’t protested in the streets, because of the virus, have used their online platforms to galvanise their followers, and many more have silenced their hashtags in a bid to create space for the voices of black people; to try to reset the algorithms aligned to white supremacy and white privilege.
It has taken my breath away.
Watching the video of George die I felt that I, as a human, could not breathe either. I heard him call for his mother and, as a mother, it broke my heart. But George didn’t get a chance to defend himself. George didn’t get a chance to be outraged. Hence the outpouring of emotion across the planet.
Feeling this way, and still, I can only imagine how it must be to have this situation in communities happening at a sustained and unrelenting pace. Generation after generation. It must be horrendous. Unspeakable.
My experience of all of this has been, on the whole, a privileged opportunity to hold my in-breath. To listen. To feel. To lean into the outcry, and the discomfort, before I breathe it all out.
I intend to actively and supportively stay quiet, and to listen, and I am committed to standing beside those who are paving the way so that I may try to also vocally back-up their (non-violent) actions to encourage change, and I also echo the call for more unity and less separation.
My life, because I am white (and thus can hide my otherness – which is my Irish ancestry, as and when the need has arisen – which it has, at times, but that is another story) means that I have been gifted with a life of privileges that I shall never be able to understand or fully appreciate, never mind being able to compare with the experiences of my black and brown friends.
What Black Lives Matter does, for everybody, is by calling-out racism, opens the flood gates to exposing all injustices and inequalities. It calls out malice. It exposes hatred. It shines a light on the cruel and unfair domination of all sorts of people of this earth, as well as the earth itself, by patriarchal societies in the name of progress.
This is very much a time to say “Black Lives Matter”. Because until they do, and until the lives of others who are deemed inferior – and the earth, which is viewed as ours for the taking – until all are respected and valued, nobody and nothing is.
As my sister recently reminded me: we all bleed red.