How many black teachers have you or your child had in a lifetime? I’ve had 1. How many doctors have you seen that represent ethnic minorities? 1. How many lawyers have you come across who have black skin? 0. What about British politicians or news reporters or TV presenters? White skin is hugely represented over black in these professions too.
As someone of black heritage, I hate that some people are so uneducated about the social inequalities present due to the simple factor of skin colour. White privilege is present all around us, it occurs every day and yet some people are unable to see that their lives are valued over the lives of others just because they are white.
And where does this all begin? Within the education system. Some teachers have low expectations of ethnic groups and therefore this creates a self-fulfilling prophecy for black children. They then ‘live up’ to the expectations of failing and are given no extra support or opportunity to succeed.
The idea of a ‘single story’ mindset is imprinted into a child’s brain from the moment they start looking at/reading books and I think this heavily shapes young minds. Only 1% of children’s books in the UK depict Black And Minority Ethnic main characters. People with white skin are always the heroes and the characters everyone grows to love. Where are the black skinned superheroes? Why are we basically saying that black skinned children would be better off being white as they’d be able to feel represented and valued? Life is not like a storybook, but if we keep showing the same ‘ideal’ representation of what a person should look like or that all good people are white then this is what children are going to grow up believing.
And what about toys. Why are black Lego figures so much rarer than white? What is the deal with barbie dolls being priced differently depending on skin colour? Why is ‘Black Christine’ worth $2,500 because she is rare. Why is she rare!? What is so wrong about black toys being as common as white?
Black lives should be celebrated not undermined and under appreciated. Why is it so hard to understand? How is it so hard to understand?
Schools simply do not educate enough around accepting differences. It is not okay to ask to touch someone’s hair because it’s ‘Afro Caribbean’ hair. It’s not okay to tell somebody that they have big lips but it suits them because they’re black. It’s not okay to bully someone because of the colour of their skin.
And to the people saying ‘all lives matter’. Those of us with decent human values know this, but it’s really not what this movement is about. It can not even begin to be a generalised statement until people are on equal grounds in terms of race, sexuality, gender.
If all lives matter then why are black people falsely accused of crime? Why are missing black people not as much of a concern? Why are they disregarded and not offered the same opportunity as the person next to them who is of identical ability, just with white skin?
What about the clear racial divide within University? 80% of university students are white. There are far fewer opportunities and bias within the application process when it comes to black pupils. Oxford university can be used as an example of this, hugely under representing BME pupils. In addition, rejecting offers to increase opportunity for black students. An example of this would be the offer presented by Stormzy which provided a scholarship for 2 individuals of ethnic background. This was declined by Oxford University and snapped up by the University of Cambridge. https://www.theguardian.com/music/2018/nov/08/stormzy-oxford-university-turned-down-my-scholarship-offer
Racism is present in all public events, even the ones which are meant to show unification. This can be clearly represented by the incident which occurred on the Paris Metro. Chelsea fans would not allow for a man of black ethnicity to board the train and stated ‘here it’s white skin only’. Football supporters are supposed to support one another as well as the team, but clearly racial barriers still prevent this. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-38501033
This has got to stop. The world is diverse. We are all humans and we all have equal human rights. Your skin colour does not change your personality, intelligence, motivation or values. Skin colour should not determine whether you get the job. It is absolutely not a valid reason to bully someone or call them out for something a white person does every day.
It is not a reason to kneel on a person’s neck causing compression and leading to cardiac arrest. The most recent American incident relating to George Floyd is disgraceful and by no means acceptable. Would that police officer had done the same to a white person? Would he have reacted to such a minimal offence by pinning a white person to the floor?
Racial crimes happen every single day and I feel like it takes serious events to happen for people to stand up and speak out. Black lives do not only matter, they are valued. They are special and just as important as white.
My thoughts are with all those who have been affected by racism. Whether indirectly or directly, on a small scale or large, you are all valued so much more than that.
Please stay safe💗 Ky x