#blacklivesmatter, here comes the difficult part!

Canary in the coal mine

I found this guardian opinion piece pretty apt.

Everyone applauds a movement for social justice until it “goes too far” – when it starts making “unreasonable demands” in the service of its “political agenda”. This moment, where sympathetic onlookers start shimmying away from their earlier expressions of solidarity, was always inevitable. It is easy to agree that black lives should matter. But it is hard to contemplate all the ways the world needs to change to make them matter – and for most people, it’s simpler to say that the goal is admirable, of course, but that these particular demands from these particular protests at this particular moment are just going too far. We project our failures of imagination on to the movement, and we decamp from the cheerleading stands into the peanut gallery. “Defund the police”? How about we come up with a less provocative slogan, for a start? These Black Lives Matter protesters, they don’t make things easy for themselves, do they?

We tend to think that protest is confrontational, and change is consensual – first, a painful moment with marches in the streets and impassioned orations, followed by something less dramatic, a softer path of negotiation and adaptation. But the opposite is true. Protest is the easy bit. More specifically, protest is a smooth part sandwiched between two very rough ones.

The momentum to change things for the long run is always the issue. How do you make sustainable change? This is part of the reason why I’m interested in the public pledges by companies.

You didnt come this far to only come this far
Photo by Drew Beamer on Unsplash

Me personally, I have doing other things in the background. For example I took the opportunity Tech for good put out on twitter to record 3 podcasts with other people of colour.

I along with other noble colleagues have taken up the challenge of reverse mentoring the all white all male senior management at work. I’m taking it very seriously as its a great opportunity to actually make some long lasting changes.

There’s more happening but I need to keep that quiet for now. Hope to have more details to share soon!

Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.

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