Peer-pressure, protests and social media

Firstly, can we all agree that the tensions of the world have become very overwhelming? I deeply care about making BAME communities in the UK feel safe and included in society. But I haven’t been protesting.

I don’t believe ‘silence is violence’ like some people have been saying. Sometimes we need to be silent to listen, reflect and process the world around us. But I understand why people feel scared, angry, and frustrated.

Not everyone has to be like Martin Luther King, it is OK to be small pieces of a broad jigsaw puzzle.

I just don’t think the pressure to protest is helpful for everyone in the UK right now. However I am not referencing the horrendous police brutality in America when I say this.

I feel like protesting without learning just breeds arguments because people with all ethnicities are fighting to be heard. It’s also not good for our collective mental health.

I’ll say it bluntly. Not everyone has to be like Martin Luther King, it is OK to be small pieces of a big jigsaw puzzle.

People are being made to feel stupid if they don’t understand history, instead of feeling included in the conversation.

My eyes have been opened to ‘white privilege’ this week. And I personally think we need systemic change. But change doesn’t happen overnight.

I’ve been reflecting on some of the opportunities I’ve been lucky enough to have in my life. I went to a predominately white middle and high school in a small coastal town in England.

I had a friend from China, and two friends; one who is second-generation Bangladeshi, and another who is a second- generation, mixed race British/African American. But thinking back we weren’t as diverse as maybe we should have been.

However, this conversation isn’t about me, I can only speak from my perspective. But it’s important to listen during these tense times, instead of instantly reacting on social media.

I’d like to suggest a couple of further information materials that you may want to look at in your own time. But don’t feel pressured into doing this immediately, take your time.

1. A book called Born a Crime by Trevor Noah.

2. A book/ BBC TV drama called Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman.

3. This video about how Leona and her dad were treated in London.

Just to be clear, I’m not saying stay silent forever. It’s important you feel like you can stand up for what you believe in; but try not to feel pressured into reacting instantly.

That’s all for now as I don’t want to bombard you with more information. Thanks for your kindness and being understanding during these scary times.

I’ll end with this quote…

‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.’

Nelson Mandela

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