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What I've learned about the Black Lives Matter Movement this week

This is not translation related but it is important. It is important that my clients, colleagues, family and friends know where I stand.

It is with great shame that I admit that it has taken me until the death of George Floyd and the media coverage surrounding his death to truly realise that to combat racial discrimination we need to be actively anti-racist and not just 'not racist'. My silence of the last week has not been because I have been sitting in my own bubble of white privilege, it is not because I've had more important things to be worrying about and it is definitely not because I don't care. This week I have been educating myself. My silence has been spent reading, watching, and listening. I've been trying to understand how and why in the 21st century, racial discrimination still exists, but I haven't been able to come up with an answer. Although I have educated myself, I cannot and will not claim to understand what it must be like to experience the racial discrimination that blacks are still experiencing in society and in the criminal justice system today.

I am using this blog post to share with you 10 points I have taken away from my research this week, I will also share some useful resources where you too can educate yourself and even help.

What I have learned this week:

  1. White Privilege exists: Acknowledge it, learn from it and use it to help those who don't have it.

  2. It takes more than just #BlackOutTuesday to come together and support the movement. Share things, support one another, sign petitions, educate each other, not just for one day but until the fight is over.

  3. Sometimes you need to stand up to your own family and friends, it doesn't matter if they were born in 'different times', they live in this time. They might not listen to other protesters but they will listen to you.

  4. DO NOT BELIEVE ALL THE HEADLINES YOU READ. The media are good at what they do, they know where to draw your eyes to and how to turn your head.

  5. Do not argue that All Lives Matter. Most people know all lives matter, but until EVERYONE can understand that Black Lives Matter, all lives don't matter.

  6. Educate yourself, don't be ashamed of your own ignorance use it as a means to teach yourself something new and to try and understand.

  7. Don't claim you can't see colour, because you can. That's not what this is about.

  8. There are many injustices in the world, but none should be used as an argument against the other. Don't use another injustice as your reason for not standing up for this one. You can fight for more than one thing at once.

  9. Racism is everywhere. The USA, the UK, in the workplace, at school, at home - just because it is everywhere does not make it acceptable.

  10. It won't stop until we make it stop. Educate yourself and help the movement. You don't have to be standing with a picket to make a difference (although I don't discourage that!) but you can make a difference by signing petitions, sharing posts, talking about racial discrimination and standing up against it.

Here are some useful resources:

  1. Read a book: The Los Angeles Times released a list of 13 nonfiction books to read which includes titles from Ijeoma Olou "So You Want to Talk About Race", "How We Fight For Our Lives" by Saeed Jones.

  2. Listen to a podcast: Black Gals Livin', About Race, No Country for Young Women and How Race Was Made are just a few examples.

  3. Sign Petitions: The UK Government to Condemn US President's Response, Teach British children about the realities of British Imperialism and Colonialism, Justice for Belly Mujinga and Justice for George Floyd there are many many more out there, one signature could go a long way.

  4. Donate: Black Minds Matter UK, National Bail Fund Network, Anti Racist Research and Policy Center and many many more, a simple Google search will help you find a great list of places to donate.

Of course this is an extremely short list of resources but hopefully it will be enough to get you started. I urge you to at least click one of these links and find out something about the Black Lives Matter movement that you didn't know yesterday. Educate yourself and then educate those around you.

and don't forget - Be Kind.

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