On May 25th 2020, George Floyd was murdered by the Minnesota Police Department. This act of violence directed at someone because of the colour of their skin has once again brought to the forefront of our consciousness the continuous oppression that Black People of Colour (BPOC) face, including women, non-binary, trans, religious, non-religious, gay, lesbian, bi, disabled… This takes place not only in the USA, but worldwide as in the UK and in Wales, and not only in the form of police brutality, but also in many other overt and covert
racist actions and policies perpetuated by individuals and institutions.
We at Race Alliance Wales (RAW) whole heartedly support the BLM movement and the activism, protests, campaigns and petitions it brings. We stand in solidarity with them and all other organisations and individuals fighting for justice. Individually and collectively, we feel the pain, our BPOC members directly, our other nonBlack POC members with empathy, and our White supporters as our witnesses and allies.
BLM did not start with George Floyd, and unfortunately will not end with George Floyd. However, we are encouraged by the energy this tragic event has brought, the high level recognition by many, many more people that we cannot stand this any longer; that understanding that everyone must join the fight to end racism, to dismantle White Supremacy. The journey may be long, but with more people to carry the fight, we are certain we shall succeed.
RAW aims to act as a collaborative and self-directed platform for individuals and organisations interested achieving race equality in Wales. Through collaborative work, we seek to contribute to a more equal, cohesive and globally responsible Wales, and to making Wales a welcoming place of safety where rights are enjoyed by all and where Black, Asian and other Minority Ethnic (BAME) people can thrive.
As a race equality focussed organisation, we recognise that anti-blackness also exists within other communities of colour. Within the spaces we hold, we vow to not shy away from talking about this, from calling people out, from recognising that BAME people and our experiences are not homogenous. While we fight against all forms of racism, we also strive to ensure a balance is represented in the work we do and our messaging.
We ask all our members and supporters to use their privilege where they have it – step aside or stand up, but no longer be complacent. Actions speak louder than words, and we look to those with power and white privilege to take actions to start the process of dismantling systemic racism that persists in the institutions that run our country – the Police, the Justice System, National and Local Government, Media, Education, Religious institutions, the Monarchy, Financial institutions, NGOs and Businesses, Health & Social Care… and all of their subsidiaries. We ask that these actions do not fade as the media coverage fades. Building on the analogy of a house on fire -while the fire is put out, we ask those with power and privilege to do the work to stop fuelling it, until we rid the combustibles that allow it to take light over and over again. And remember – you may be that fuel.
For POC this is every day, the struggle, the impact, the grief, the pain. We ask for allies to support us if we get weary and be ready to have our back when we once again gain the strength to stand. Do not disappoint George Floyd’s daughter – let her live her life, move into adulthood, knowing that her Daddy really did change the world.
And we are reminded of what Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr said in his letter from Birmingham Jail in 1963:
“the great stumbling block in our stride towards freedom is not… the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to order than justice”
For ways you can help including where to donate (and where not to, or how to without money), petition to sign, text/calls/emails/letters to make and send, and other resources including for Mental Health Support, for Deaf / HoH people, and to educate yourself – follow this link to blacklivesmatter.carrd – SITE translations available in 20 languages