Black Lives Matter – Sustainability ‘Delivers’
By: Brunhild Abrahams Integrative Counsellor
Virtually witnessing George Floyd’s death was horrific! With a Police Officer’s knee on his neck and him shouting that he’s unable to breathe, gruesome! It was too much for my being to handle but I knew the importance of watching the video clip to the end and acknowledging the cruel reality of systemic racism, still existing in 2020.
I feel, and with the outmost respect to Mr Floyd and his family, his death has woken or sparked or caused that fire that has always been within us on justice and diversity, to ROAR! As a mixed-race South African, growing up, I’ve experienced racism first-hand.
We as mixed-raced or black children were not allowed to attend the same schools as white children. We were brought up with the mindset that they are more advanced/better than us.
It makes me really angry not just because it exists but because I am still allowing it to affect me. Life in the UK, allowed me to break mentally free from the ‘racial handcuffs’ I was forced to wear in SA, becoming more confident of my voice as a person of mixed-race.
Like we’ve heard so many times on the news and social media, after 400 years+, we are still dealing with systemic racism. I can still hear the sadness and loss in our grandparents’ voices every time they would tell us how they’ve been forced to relocate from their homes of generations only because the white people have decided they wanted to live there. So, the question is how are we going to keep that torch roaring from generation to generation?! How about starting with the present?
Can you hear the beginning of that change?… the ‘fire’ of so many white people are currently roaring because they are chanting with us, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!! IT’S TIME FOR A SUSTAINABLE CHANGE!! Why not bring all the ‘fires’ of the law, households, friendships, schools, work places, communities together, gather around one mighty bonfire and strengthen our links/threats/foundation?! That is why the world came together to protest and fight for justice and is unapologetically demanding for transformative policy change. Starting with basic human needs (Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs), respect, inclusion, compassion = Equality, Diversity, Justice = Unprecedented reckoning of the ongoing legacy of slavery economic reform for equality. THE POWER LIES WITH THE PEOPLE.
By doing that, we would be able to strengthen even the weakest links, who would then also be able to pass their torch from generation to generation, making the impossible, possible. Teaching our children that we are one human race and what it stands for. Not to accept discrimination and unfair behaviour from white people because our parents had to, killing the ‘seeds’ of hopelessness, helplessness, the sub-conscious belief that we are incapable of standing up for ourselves or being leaders of any kind etc.
It should be simple right? If racism was learnt, it can be unlearned because no-one was born with it = NO EXCUSE FOR CHANGE so let’s have a serious chat and demand that change now, not later! Not just racism but also the impact poverty, Covid-19, lost of employment and healthcare has on Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups including Native Americans and the LGBTQ+ community. Sadly it was at the cost of George Floyd’s privacy when he passed away for the world, the BAME & LGBTQ+ community to metaphorically see how systemic racism has its ‘knee on all of our necks’. WHY??!! Wouldn’t that be exhausting, painful, cause enrage in anyone if they had to live in fear only because of the colour of their skin?
I would recommend everyone to watch an Anti-Racism Exercise called the “Blue eyes/Brown eyes” experiment illustrated by Jane Elliott, a teacher of 25 years teaching race relations https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebPoSMULI5U&t=1062s.
I get emotional and have a sense of relief every time I watch it because it’s the way Jane highlights, as a white woman with blue eyes, how racism is engrained into society.
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” ― Nelson Mandela
Racism can happen to anyone at any time and it has already, sadly, happened to my son. Thanks to my parents, I am able to look at humanity with an eye of equality, respect and understanding not just by words but first by emotion and deed. So, let’s uncover the hidden prejudice that shapes what we see, think and do to make sure we, our children and future generations will be treated with justice and dignity because all that we are really seeking for at the end is equality and not revenge.
“The time is always right to do what is right” – Martin Luther King Jr.
- Biased – Jennifer Eberhardt, PhD
- How To Be An Antiracist – Ibram X. Kendi
- Our Time Is Now – Stacey Abrams
By: Brunhild Abrahams – BACP Registered Counsellor – My Solution Wellbeing
To find out more about me please click here and it will take you to my profile. https://www.mysolutionwellbeing.com/team-member/brunhild-abrahams/