BLM Speak Up |Barry|Sue’s View

Well, for me, this pivotal, and historical, moment, is totally turning into the perfect storm.

The Corona Virus chaos continues, and Black Lives still Matter – despite rife racism, supporters’ silence, and the ignorant bliss of those who don’t know…or don’t care.

All we need now is breaking news on one of the most notorious and controversial crime cases in recent high profile history, and the world will really go ballistic.

Oh, hang on a minute, did someone mention Madeleine McCann.

Truth be told, I haven’t got the time right now to write reams on the dodgy disappearance of that little girl from Portugal over 13 years ago.

But what I will say is, if she had been a black kid left alone by a working class Mum and Dad who hit the night clubs, instead of white child with middle class parents tripping off to Tapas, her family would have been metaphorically crucified.

No doubt, Social Services, amongst others, would have been officiously waiting on the tarmac, to whisk them and the twins away, the minute the plane hit home.

I have absolutely no proof of that of course – it’s an educated guess.

I also have zilch hard evidence that Derek Chauvin is a racist either but I’ll take a pop at that one too, and bet my bottom dollar he is.

Beggars belief that someone would even think he wasn’t, and that I actually found myself arguing this on the Socials this week. And don’t even start me on the All Lives Matter lot – that argument really is abhorrent to me.

I’ve made my position perfectly clear on why Black Lives Matter. And, of course, you don’t have to agree, but, for once, if you don’t, then you are no friend of mine – or our wider society, in my view.

I don’t usually believe in the ‘cancel culture.’ But for God’s Sake, this is about fundamental human rights, not a argument over whether the town’s crest should fall on the floor of ‘Spoons, or whether we need a Museum or not.

I’m not going to lie to you, some of our residents’ Social Media stance on the Black Lives Matter movement has shocked me to the very core – and I’ve been around the block…a few times too.

I’m not blotting my Blog with them. But phases like ‘political correctness gone mad,’ ‘there is no institutional racism,’ ‘the racism card is being waved,’ ‘your logic is flawed,’ and ‘you are making assumptions.’

I even got called ‘ridiculous’ – no biggie that one really, as I’ve been called worse – not often to my face though.

Double dilemma for me too – as the day I come out fighting furiously for the Black Lives Matters movement, was the day my perfect penned piece for Barry Magazine on how our cool, often crazy community, always stay cohesive in testing times, was published. Awkward.

Let’s Stick Together, was truly penned from the heart, in very good faith. For me, our community spirit is the glue that keeps this town intact – please let’s make this the lived-in experience of everyone.

But, where did it all go wrong my beautiful Barry?

Our town can be kind, compassionate, and caring, so why aren’t we all visibly and actively standing strong with our Black – and Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) community.

This weekend, (Saturday June 13), there is a #Black Lives Matter peaceful protest in our town where you can do just that.

Click here to find out more, and please email organisers, as requested, if you wish to attend.

And before, I have the torrent of Covid 19 criticism, it is socially-distanced, limited in number, you don’t have to travel more than five miles, and you can wear your mask.

For those who want to support the cause online, why not join the Wales Wide Virtual Pride Panel Discussion, A better community is within REACH on Sunday June 21st at 4pm.

The Panel, will discuss the need to provide spaces, platforms and opportunities for our LGBTQ+ siblings of different Races, Ethnicities, And Cultural Heritages (REACH).

We, LGBTQymru, are also working with Black Pride UK, so watch this space.

Please don’t just be a bystander Barry – get involved…somehow!

Christ, even the Vale of Glamorgan Council are finally showing up by lighting up the Western Shelter – and they’re always late to the party.

Thank you to those brave Barrians, who have already; stood up and spoke out publicly, actively stated support, took time to educate and inform themselves, and put their privilege aside to try to understand the lived-in experience of others.

As for those who have already peacefully protested, staying socially-distanced, of course – respect.

Funny how a few of those kicking off at the crowds didn’t say a word when the Met police bunched up at London Bridge, when Barry conga’d around on VE Day, or when Jackson’s Bay was jammed on many a sunny Lockdown afternoon.

Also, let’s not just focus on the actions of a minority of extremists and opportunists, and get distracted from the real, serious, issues being battled here.

Statues of racist slave traders are no longer needed or wanted. Take them down and place them in our Museums where they belong in the past.

Yeah, yeah, I know it’s history, and I’m in no way trying to erase that – we must know what’s gone before, but do we really need them shoved in our face in every city.

Let’s be honest, you’d be hard pressed to find a statue of Hitler anywhere but we all know who he is don’t we – we know through education not a piece of stone.

I recently signed the petition to remove the Thomas Picton statue from City Hall. And I would urge you to do the same.

It has also been pointed out to me that those most adversely affected by Covid 19, are fighting the virus of racism too.

So, in my view, it was the time to seize this pivotal moment, and take to the Socials, and the streets to say enough is enough.

Now it’s our time to speak up please Barry.

Because, right now, I just can’t hear you.

Speak Soon.




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.

As a founding member of Stand Up To Racism (Vale) she, promotes the Black-led Campaign Group who, with the strong support of Allies, aim to unite our communities. And also acts as Communications Advisor for the voluntary collective.

This Blog is also featured in Sue’s Views – the reboot of her much-loved infamous B&D opinion column from back in the day. Recently resurrected in Style Of The City Magazine, it focuses on the hot topics we are all talking about in beautiful Barry, and beyond – the good, the bad, the ugly.

Mrs SVJ, Barry’s Boldest Blogger, can be contacted here.