The ripples of rebellion have reached our shores.
I had been disappointed that people in the UK hadn’t been having enough conversations about what was going on in the US. It was like we thought it was terrible, sure, but we couldn’t see how it applied to us. As things developed, there were black squares and shared tweets and circulating slogans, but little in the way of real conversation. We were still holding our cards close to our chest, because the ramifications of revealing them didn’t seem worth it for a problem an ocean away.
I wanted the conversations to happen, because I knew they would get ugly. I knew that the majority of us here, just like in the US, have been poisoned by the stories and ideas of systemic racism to the point we can’t even see it a lot of the time. I wondered if I was wrong, and I hoped I was wrong.
But I wasn’t wrong.
Now that it’s somewhat closer to home, we have started speaking, and it’s not pretty. I think the ugliest shit is the shit trying to be pretty.
And, look, I don’t judge anyone for it. I mean okay, some people are probably gonna stretch my capacity, but for the most part, I get it, and I’ve been there. You don’t know what you don’t know. And you don’t know how harmful your words are. You don’t know how harmful your ideas are. You don’t know how harmful your beliefs are. And you think I’m being a patronising git right now. But if it makes you feel any better, I don’t know what I don’t know, either. I can’t see my own harmful words and ideas and beliefs around this.
Things are probably going to get nastier, but we need to keep talking. Bring the ugly shit into the light, where we can break it down together. It’s not our fault we were raised in a corrupt system. We’ve been breathing racist air this whole time, it’s not our fault that we’ve unwittingly played our part.
Having these uncomfortable conversations is the way forward. This process is going to make all of us better – I really believe that. This process is so very necessary.
I’m glad I can show up for these conversations. I hope I can be of use.