Black Lives Matter
The brutal murder of George Floyd at the hands of police officer Derek Chauvin is a disgusting act of evil that once again (and again, and again, and again, and again…) highlights the racist abuse of power and systematic injustice that has oppressed the global black community for hundreds of years at the hands of a white majority society.
As a white British man, I cannot begin to fathom the depths of pain and emotion which has rightly boiled over in communities across the United States, and increasingly the world, that stems from a countless multitude of personal indignities, daily injustices and historic traumas.
I am writing this to say I am opening my eyes and my heart to the lived experiences of so many that are so utterly different to my own. I see your pain, I want to stand with you in your pain and I want to do something about it.
The doing something about it part surely begins with recognising that I am part of the problem. My lack of awareness, my lack of conversation, my lack of historic knowledge and my lack of empathy, sympathy and compassion, are all part of the problem.
If I don’t understand that you are experiencing a world that is mismatched to my own I cannot be a part of the solution.
Please forgive my blindness.
I never thought I’d be writing about the topic of racism, injustice or world events on a little blog entirely and exclusively focused on post production.
Through accident more than intention, this blog is in my name, although it’s not really a personal blog. I don’t live my personal life through social media or on this site. But to the outside, this blog and its associated social media accounts, must appear to be my personal projection into the world. And to a degree that I don’t fully comprehend or prefer, they are.
So in pausing to think through what to say, to take the time to wrestle with the cacophony of voices and opinions, to wrap my mind around the seismic shifts unfolding at speed in our digitised global society, in the past week alone, I hope this perceived delay or a lack of instantaneous opinion hasn’t been seen by the readers of this blog, regardless of the colour of their skin, as silence or complacency on my part.
My default attitude is towards practical solutions and I’m still slowly learning (with a patient wife!) the power and necessity of simply saying something, anything supportive, even if I don’t have any answers. That this is still meaningful and significant.
I have also slowly come to realise that, regardless of how irrelevant I might feel my voice is – on a topic I know so terribly little about – it matters to me and to those in my life – whether close friends or unknown international readers of this site – that they see and hear that I stand along side them in their struggle for justice and the dismantling of the endemic power structures that hold them down and keep them back.
In looking for practical and inspiring leadership on this issue, I found Barack Obama’s essay on How to Make this Moment the Turning Point for Real Change a hopeful and inspiring read.
I hope you do too.
The point of protest is to raise public awareness, to put a spotlight on injustice, and to make the powers that be uncomfortable; in fact, throughout American history, it’s often only been in response to protests and civil disobedience that the political system has even paid attention to marginalized communities.
But eventually, aspirations have to be translated into specific laws and institutional practices — and in a democracy, that only happens when we elect government officials who are responsive to our demands…
I recognize that these past few months have been hard and dispiriting — that the fear, sorrow, uncertainty, and hardship of a pandemic have been compounded by tragic reminders that prejudice and inequality still shape so much of American life.
But watching the heightened activism of young people in recent weeks, of every race and every station, makes me hopeful.
If, going forward, we can channel our justifiable anger into peaceful, sustained, and effective action, then this moment can be a real turning point in our nation’s long journey to live up to our highest ideals.” – Barack Obama