Well, isn’t this a pivotal moment.
For me, the deeply distressing death of an African American George Floyd, colliding with a global pandemic crisis, is strangely significant.
Lockdown losing us our liberties, no clue what the new normal is, the global game up for grabs. And, maybe, more time to take in this totally tragic tale , could finally be a catalyst to change the national narrative.
Yeah, yeah, I know we’ve been here before. Rank racism, police brutality, high-profile cases, and public outrage is so sadly not new. But in my view, the mood has seen a severe shift – in Barry, Wales, and the wider World.
George Floyd, questioned over the purchase of a packet of fags with counterfeit cash, had his neck knelt on by a hands-in-pockets cocky cop, who nonchalantly ignored his cries of “I can’t breathe”- and later died.
Christ, I know – read that again, and just let it sink in that little bit deeper.
He did not deserve to die. Nor does absolutely any other person in that way, of course, but let’s be crystal here, we all know this was about the colour of his skin.
So shall we start to do something about it then.
Not enough to just post a black square on your Insta, complete with trendy, trending, hashtag is it.
We need to start listening much more closely to the lived-in experiences of our black friends, colleagues, neighbours, officials, and celebrities.
Truth be told, you could get back swiftly onto the Socials and follow some now – Maya Angelou is one of my personal faves.
Let’s try to educate ourselves everyday, on the past and present, through reading, learning, researching, or any other way that resonates.
We all know there is more we can do, so why not start by supporting the brilliant Black, Asian, Ethnic Minorities (BAME) groups in Wales.
We can amplify their voices, donate to their funds and learn from the lived-in experiences of those they support.
Good old Google is always a goodie, but as a starter for ten, a fellow campaigning crusader friend perfectly posted a list, that I am sharing in solidarity.
Feel free to check these out:
Show Racism the Red Card: https://www.theredcard.org/wales
Race Equality First: http://raceequalityfirst.org
Women Connect First: http://www.womenconnectfirst.org.uk
Race Council Cymru: https://racecouncilcymru.org.uk
Ethnic Minorities & Youth Support Team Wales: http://eyst.org.uk
Glitter Cymru: https://www.facebook.com/GlitterCymru/
The Centre for African Entrepreneurship: https://www.caentr.org
Ethnic Minority Welsh Women ent Association: https://www.emwwaa.org.uk
Oasis Cardiff: http://oasiscardiff.org
For me, to show support as an Ally, it’s not enough to be non-racist. I need to be actively anti-racist – in my personal life, in my professional world, and on my social media platforms.
Black Lives Matter, and simply stating this, isn’t equivalent to saying other lives don’t, but rather that black lives should matter as much as white lives.
Please don’t miss the point, because it’s simple really – when black people get free, everybody gets free.
So come join me in raising your voice against racism, and shouting loudly and proudly everyday, everywhere, everytime.
Silence is never an option.
Sue Vincent-Jones, writing as Mrs SVJ, is a Barry born journalist, editor, and communications specialist. She blogs about Barry – and her life in the wider world, through the eyes of a, quirky and queer, local girl done good.
One of Wales Arts Review 100 Women Writers of Wales, the dedicated community supporter, passionate arts lover, and award-winning queer activist, will keep you “informed, entertained and inspired.”
Mrs SVJ, Barry’s Boldest Blogger, can be contacted here.