Because #Blacklivesmatter

May the fire within you

Light the path before you

On the road to change

People are tired and want change. Or more specifically, BLACK people are tired and want change. We’re tired of seeing on a regular basis black bodies plastered on our social media timelines.  I sincerely hope leaders are wise and remember once again why they are in power.

Yes, all lives do matter but we want to reiterate that BLACK LIVES MATTER simply because in world where that should be obvious it is clearly not. Unarmed black citizens are dying at the hands of the police; an institution tasked with protecting them. Powerless, in pain and with no dignity; no one deserves to die like that.

It is important to note that although George Floyd’s death was the tipping point for the unrest and protests currently happening the problem reaches far wider than police brutality. From the criminal justice system, to healthcare systems and the job market, black people face institutional racism at every turn.

For example, when it comes to police it is likely that the way they are trained coupled with personal biases plays a part in dictating how they perceive threat. This means that saying these incidences are caused by a few ‘bad apples’ is not correct; all officers are trained this way and are made to follow these practices. This means technically they are all capable of committing many of the so – called isolated incidences we often see go viral.

I’m excited about the current surge we see – black people uniting for a common cause and a hunger for change. However, I will be more hopeful once I see those in power being more proactive and helping to accelerate the cause. I sincerely hope this is more than a moment and that we continue to push and be persistent. The UK is yet to see as much breakthrough as our American counterparts; partly because we live in a society that is very stubborn when it comes to the subject of race. However, I remain hopeful; since without hope there is no change.

For my fellow Christians, keep praying – God is in control and the giver of ultimate justice. It’s important that our hearts hate oppression as much as his did.

We are called to speak out against evil when we see it. Whoever said Christianity shouldn’t go alongside political activism lied to you. Yes, we should pray but that shouldn’t be all we do!

Lastly, I would just like to say we need CHANGE. Actual CHANGE. I’m tired of performative gestures, they’re very cute but literally last a minute in the grand scheme of things. Adding the hashtag and blacking out your IG last Tuesday was very nice but we’ve already seen plenty of incidences of companies and influencers who have done this insincerely. I remember randomly seeing a video of some white police officers kneeling before a group of black people and apologising. Once again, very nice but ultimately meaningless. You are part of an institution and therefore have the power to create some REAL ripples within the police force. Start an internal movement, gather like minded officers and place pressure on management – think smart, people!

Education is your friend so keep reading and educating yourself; KNOW what you’re campaigning against and if it isn’t your lived experience then find out – read some Malcolm X, MLK Jr, Audre Lourde, bell hooks etc. and discover how life looks through a black lens. What forms discrimination takes and how it affects lives.

Netflix recommendations: When They See Us, Seven Seconds and Fruitvale Station. Also episode three of Trial by Media which focuses on a police brutality case.

Donate. Sign Petitions. March if you can. Share and amplify black voices and work.

A link to some resources are below:

Great article on what UK citizens can do:

https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/how-to-support-anti-racist-charities-uk-black-lives-matter-a9545986.html

Resources card kindly created by someone on Twitter (likely to be more US based):

https://moreblminfo.carrd.co/

Ways to help the UK #BLM movement:

https://blm.crd.co/

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