The Black Card Talks: The Second Pandemic
Written by The Black Card Talks on 04/10/2020
On the 25th May 2020 George Floyd, an African American son, father of 5 children, grandfather to 2 children and community organiser was abhorrently murdered by 4 police officers, following an allegation of him passing a counterfeit $20 bill in a store. Due to the global pandemic, the world had no choice but to watch on as these officers, explicitly or implicitly, caused his death by exercising their privilege, power and bias for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. Thus the world began to reflect on the grave inequalities that exist in our institutions. However this was not the only murder of an innocent Black person during the global pendemic, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Aubery, and plenty more before the world went into lockdown; Elijah Mclain, Treyvon Martin to name a few.
The publicity of the many murders or black men, women and children, compelled the world to virtually show where they stood with regards to racism with what became the international campaign of #BlackOutTuesday. Following the thundering outcry of support socially, it became clear that there was an overwhelmingly deafening silence from institutions, thus soon after, came calls for organisations to do the same and depolicise the notion that Black. Lives. Matter. In the want for these displays to be seen as progressive and not performative there were calls for institutions to assess themselves and define where they were on the road to being anti-racist – “an ignorant well wisher” or an “active ally”. But more notably to put processes in place to make lasting change. Thus what started as a conversation about the overt racism of the policing and crime culture in America, soon became a conversation about the covert racism which exists across the globe that equally contributes to the fragility of black life, by creating an atmosphere of merely surviving rather than thriving.
So what do we need to do to create this shift in the atmosphere? How do We (big W, community at large, all races and peoples) move towards a world where this is not only possible but actual? How do we ensure change is not performative?
Well, we at The Black Card Talks are here to support you in navigating this conversation – until we all win!
One thing is clear, we are all playing in different arenas, there are different social expectations and norms that we have to carefully navigate in order to progress the conversation of racial equality; we cannot all have the same approach. There are many roads to change and everyone’s lane is valid, one is not more important than the other. Whether you are working in a school, raising black children, a political commentator, MP or activist or a football coach, we all have a part to play to ensure Black life becomes sacred. We’ll be supporting the conversations and drawing the picture of the nuance situations we need to navigate using one another’s experiences to help contribute to the path of change. Now, whilst this is ongoing, conversations are happening and change is coming, we want you to know that there is something you can do daily.
Want to know what it is? Well, we are going to tell you anyway! It is….
Call it out, EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.
If it is a microaggression ask – “was the person’s race relevant to that story”.
If it is a form of harassment ask “am I the only person you have been given a mandate to follow around in this shop”.
If it is an attack on your civil liberties ask “is there a reason you are stopping me officer, there are plenty of other cars here and Black people only make up 4% of the population”.
We need to become comfortable making people uncomfortable, because for too long the marginalised have allowed the conversation of racial equality to happen within our communities, our music, our households and religious buildings. Where relevant, We must take this conversation to every single street! No longer should anyone feel comfortable accusing anyone of “playing the race card” and no longer should that force someone to suppress their truth.
We have an unhealthy culture in the UK that calling out racism is more offensive than racism itself. We need to change this! So at The Black Card Talks we say play your race card every single time, from your front, breast and side pocket and do it with your chest! The burden of not being racist finally on the oppressor, so do not allow the burden of being accused of being too sensitive to dull you into silence, this is our moment.
CALL IT OUT! Chasing racism into the shadows starts with YOU. ME. THEM. US!