Writing is hard today. I will post my Film Friday later, but it was written for last week. I desperately want to write something to express my own disgust at the racism and injustice on show in the US recently. The death of George Floyd has rightly hit the headlines – but sadly it is not an isolated incident.
The rise of populist politics in many parts of the world has further emboldened racist oppression and aggression that has always been there and is based on fear and ignorance. The schoolyard bullies have aged and taken positions of power and it sickens me. Note the deliberate use of the word ‘aged’ rather than ‘grown up’ or ‘become adults’.
My own spirituality is largely Buddhist in outlook, and this stresses compassion for all living things. But I look at the likes of Trump and his cronies AND the people who voted for them and I have nothing but contempt. What I resent most is that this means these people are turning ME into a hater and that does not sit easily. (The same goes for the xenophobes here in the UK who voted for Brexit or our shambolic and malevolent current government.)
I can’t write with any understanding of the experiences of African-American people and probably my input as a white man would not be welcome anyway. Yes, I was tormented mentally and physically by bullies as a child, and it did lasting damage. BUT I grew up and could get away from those tormentors. I can’t imagine how it must feel to have that continue right through life, for no reason than having been born Black in a country that systematically persecutes you for it.
I don’t understand racism. I really don’t. I fail to comprehend the mentality of demonising people for being ‘other’.
Numerous times I have wanted to fight back or do something tangible to help. I have held back because of fear, I admit it. Those bullies of my childhood have made me fearful of doing anything that marks me as different. Most of my neighbours are openly xenophobic, so I keep to myself. I quietly seethed when the ‘Vote Leave’ posters went up next door, and when the old guy across the road shouted abuse at an Indian wedding procession going past. By doing nothing and being afraid to challenge them I have just made them more bold. I am truly sorry for this – it makes me part of the problem. And it ends now.
I have made several donations this week, read and engaged with blogs, signed petitions.
The link below is the best blog post I have read with regards advice an resources for those who want to help:
For those in the UK (and internationally) this Scottish site is a really helpful resource