Thursday, 7 July 2016

But do all lives really matter though..?

So after watching Jesse Williams very powerful speech at the BET awards and the increase in police killing black people in the US and people in the UK coming forward to tell stories of racist abuse they have suffered over here (especially since we voted out of the EU) it got me thinking about the 90s when racism was just standard. Now I should add racism was a lot worse waaay before I was even born, but since I’ve been alive the 90s was the worst era for racism for me. Now I’ve also seen a lot of comments of people complaining that all lives matter and not just black lives and are baffled as to why black people are so affected by all this shit that’s happening. It’s because most of us have suffered some form of racism and hate in our lives. So before you go and sign that petition to get Jesse fired from Greys Anatomy for his 'racist speech'  I want you to  see what we have to go through from a young age and why #BlackLivesMatter
Here is the speech, please listen very carefully to what he is saying as there is a lot of facts in there:
Just so you get exactly what Jesse is saying, I'm gonna tell you two stories of memorable times I’ve suffered racism.

At primary school, I was around 7 or 8 and this scruffy little blonde boy at school called me a stupid nigger and kicked my hand so hard it broke my finger. So as most people who grew up on an estate, black and white, you are taught that if someone hits you, you hit them back 10 times harder. So I beat him, and guess who got in trouble... me! Although I told my teacher what he called me and what he did, apparently beating someone for attacking you and being racist makes you the criminal, how ironic....  Which just goes to show how racism and stuff like that was norm in the 90s so wasn’t taken seriously until the black kids reacted to it. I remember actually running out of school to my mums workplace (she only worked 5 mins away) and she had to leave work and come to school and sort it.
Now although I was around 7 or 8 I was very aware of racism from a very young age and would ask a lot of questions so knew what words were totally unacceptable and I should tell my mum if a white person called me it.  Now imagine that, instead of being a carefree little girl I’m being exposed to a lot of stuff that a lot of non black people may not realize until they’re a lot older. Even now I’m very weary of going to unfamiliar places and being the only black person as I straight away start to think why are there no black people? Am I not welcome here? I’m like this with pubs for that same reason. Even certain countries will never see my black ass because of what I see and know about them.
OK 2nd story, I was a lot younger like maybe 5ish. So my mum always used to work in the community at clubs or family centres. So this particular time she was working at some kinda family centre and obviously I came along with her. I was happily playing with this little white boy who was around my age. I remember we went outside to play and a group of white boys who were older started being racist pricks and calling me the usual ‘Nigger’ and saying how they were gonna beat me up because I was black. So as anyone in my fam or even my school friends will tell you I’ve always been gobby and not afraid to stand up for myself so obviously I told them a few words and went back to playing with my little friend. Now although I was quite young, as I mentioned previously I knew what racism was as I had encountered it before (yep I’d encountered racism before 5, pretty fucked up huh?) So they obviously didn’t like the fact that I had something to say and the same group of boys started following us around taunting me with racist comments.
So anyway the little white boy I was with knew these boys (I’m sure one was his brother or something bizarre) and wasn’t amused at all and kinda went for them. So there was a little scuffle and he told them to leave me alone and that he was my friend. Then after that he was like my little security guard, we were like joined at the hip. My mum actually has a pic of us two together, I should go dig it out.
What I find amazing is that from that young age this little white boy knew that racism was wrong; particularly the word nigger as he told them not to call me that, yet his brother didn’t. So for people who were around in the early 90s and suffered racism, watching everything that’s happening around the world now is very worrying. It’s even worse for me because I have a son and know that black boys/men are a target and am scared of how much worse it will get for them as they grow up. It also makes me sad that my 7 year old noticed how black people are treated and has been asking me questions since she was 4. I remember her even saying to me ‘Mummy I wish I was white because life is easier for them’ do you know how heart breaking that is when your little girl comes out with something like that. I remember actually having a word with her reception teacher after Cali came home repeating some racist bollocks some child had said to her. I mean she notices a lot and will ask me about it, RD doesn’t notice and hasn’t experienced anything yet. But why should my kids have to grow up forever watching their back and being judged, attacked and treated like shit just because of their skin colour. Why do they have to work 10 times harder to achieve the same position as a white person. I remember at school the teachers trying to make all the black kids take the foundation GCSE paper so that no matter how good you did you would never get above a C/D and then set you up for failure when your shit grades can’t get you in a good college or get a decent job. Obviously I kicked up a big fuss so I sat all the higher papers as I refused to do foundation level when I was in all the highest classes at school.
Now this post isn’t an attack on white people because I know there’s a lot of white people who get what I’m saying and have seen how black people are treated and are disgusted by it. There’s also white people who will happily do big demonstrations in London about these kinda issues and genuinely care about equality for black people, although they will never know how it feels to walk a mile in our shoes. But I’m just trying to show you that although all human lives matter, you need to realize that black lives do matter and that they matter just as much as any other race. It is also black people who are getting killed off like it’s some fun video game without absolutely no consequences. So you need to realize when we are being pro black and outraged and posting certain things it doesn’t mean we have a chip on our shoulders, although technically we do as we have been carrying the weight of the world forever, it just means that we’ve had enough. Being pro black also doesn’t mean we are racist and don’t love white people, it just means we love ourselves enough to stand together and try to make a change that will benefit everyone.


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