We can all play our part to end racial injustice
Events in America over the past week have been truly shocking to observe. Amy Cooper used her white privilege to try and get Christian Cooper, a black New Yorker, arrested when he had not done anything wrong. George Floyd, a black man from Minneapolis, was murdered by a white police officer - denied both of his life and the opportunity to be judged equally before the law.
Clear evidence of police brutality against black Americans and other activists seeking to defend their rights emerged across several US states. President Donald Trump proved there is no denying he is a racist, by refusing to condemn these actions and deploying troops against those demanding justice for George Floyd.
These events, the catalyst for a breakdown in America’s social fabric, were all borne out of deeply ingrained prejudices we have long known exist both across the pond and here in Britain.
It is incumbent on all of us, of whatever colour, to educate ourselves properly about racial inequalities, to call out racism wherever we see it and to demand change.
Sadly, we are not immune from the sickening discrimination that infects America’s society and institutions.
This week we saw the Conservative Government attempt to suppress a report containing data about the disproportionate impact Covid-19 has been having on BAME communities, including Camden residents, then fail to state what it would do to address the socioeconomic and health inequalities that have already led to such a shameful loss of life. The same government has also stayed silent at a time when we need to be showing solidarity with those who demand justice for George Floyd.
The ballot box is the place to demand better from elected representatives, but outside of elections we can all do more to tackle discrimination in everyday life. Let’s use this moment to give George Floyd and so many others before him, and since, the justice they deserve. Black Lives Matter is about more than a trending hashtag on Twitter: it’s about the fight for equality. It will take a long time to rectify the historic and ongoing injustices faced by the black community, but we can all play our part.
Let’s start now and not finish until the work is done.
This article also appeared as a letter in the Camden New Journal on 4th June 2020, signed by Cllr Luisa Porritt (Belsize), Cllr Tom Simon (Belsize), Cllr Flick Rea (Fortune Green), Matt Sanders (Parliamentary Spokesperson for Hampstead & Kilburn), and Matthew Kirk (Parliamentary Spokesperson for Holborn & St. Pancras); Camden Liberal Democrats.
For more on the Liberal Democrats' support for the Black Lives Matter movement, see:
George Floyd cannot be just another name. In this article, you will also find links to support for your mental health if you are affected by the images and stories circulating.
Tell Boris Johnson: To remain silent is to remain complicit!
For the Liberal Democrats response to the report on the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on BAME groups, see:
For those seeking to be a better and more effective ally to black communities, see this Twitter thread
If you would like to make a donation to a relevant cause, here are some:
- Black Lives Matter: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/ms_blm_homepage_2019
- George Floyd Memorial Fund: https://www.gofundme.com/f/georgefloyd
- The Bail Project: https://bailproject.org/
But we are also keen to support important organisations here in the UK. As it is Pride month, many events have been cancelled due to the Coronavirus so we would encourage you to spend any refunded Pride event tickets or the cost of a pint to UK Black Pride who do amazing work. You can find out more here: https://www.ukblackpride.org.uk/
If you can’t donate but want to find out more and educate yourself then Londonist has collated a list of other organisations to donate to, a number of key resources, as well as petitions you can sign: https://londonist.com/london/black-lives-matter-protests-and-resources