More Police brutality in America

I found Trevor Noah was right on the money this week. Especially in the wake of the reaction to the Bristol police’s decision not to stop people pulling down the statue last week.

Warning there are some more shocking scenes of the police throwing their weight around, no one dies (this time).

I also haven’t posted this intense interactive piece on my blog. Its the last 8min 46secs of George Floyd’s life without video or sound. If you haven’t seen the videos including the NYTimes one which I posted about a while ago, this will give you a sense of the last moments of a black mans life, under the knee of the police.

Chief constable Andy Bennett was so right

 

Sorry but Chief Constable Andy Bennett was absolutely right to leave the protestors last week alone as they torn down the statute of Edward Colston.

Any kind of confrontation would have ended up in something far worst. Can you even imagine the police standing in the way of protesters defending a slave owner!

No, Andy Bennett showed incredible cultural intelligence. No matter what anyone else says.

“To arrest suspects would likely to lead to injuries to suspects, injuries to officers, and people who were not involved in damaging property being thrown into a very violent confrontation with the police that could have had serious ramifications for the city of Bristol and beyond,” Mr Marsh said.

“Can you imagine scenes of police in Bristol fighting with protesters who were damaging the statue of a man who is reputed to have gathered much of his fortune through the slave trade?

“I think there would have been very serious implications and whilst I certainly do not condone crime or damage of any sort, I fully support the actions of my officers.

Black lives matters is passing that reflection point into action?

BLM protester uses the knee which killed George Floyd while also giving the black power salute
Powerful pose, using the knee restraint which killed George Floyd while also giving the black power salute

During the Bristol Black lives matter protests on Sunday, Colston’s statute ended up in the docks. I did say there will be larger questions hung around the necks of other slave trade statutes around the UK and maybe elsewhere including America.

A lot of the discussion have been bubbling under but it feels like things are actually changing? Ok so far Robert Milligan: Slave trader statue removed from outside London museum is the only one. But questions are being asked

Cecil Rhodes: Protesters demand Oxford statue removal

The Scottish streets and monuments built on the slave trade

Slave owner statue debate ‘long overdue’ says Sturgeon

Winston Churchill: Hero or villain?

Updated

Bill Thompson made an excellent point to me via another person he knows.

Those statutes were never permanently fixed to the base. Almost like someone knew their day would come one day. So much of what we see seems unmovable but they are built on poor foundations.

Its an analogy which can apply to many different things including the system of racism or the massive tech corps currently in play.

I used to be racist

https://i1.wp.com/www.evangelicalsforsocialaction.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/v6rxbn.jpg?w=840

I can’t tell you how amazing it was to read a facebook post from a friend. It started with those words…

I used to be a racist…

Obviously I won’t say who, as something like this is something them may be ok with sharing with close friends but not the general public. People will judge although they should likely look in the mirror first.

This person outlined how they were not what you typically think of as a racist but rather someone who would have said 10 years ago all lives matter. They had spent most of their earlier years blind to the reality of inequality of women, different races,, people with disabilities, etc.

With a small number of people, I was named as having a significant impact on their world view. So much so, they were very happy to post black lives matter on their facebook timeline and call for the eradication of racism now. Personally this was incredible to see and read completely out of the blue.

I was blown away by this, and it gives me real hope this time we can together make enough of a dent in systematic racism.  That is what we are fighting not police, not the judges, we are fighting a system of privilege which spans centuries.

Reading/Listening to White Fragility again

I had a re-read/listen to Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility again as its been a while since I heard it the first time, I also felt the context and timing was well worth a re-listen.

There is a lot of hate for this book but honestly its one of the books I highly recommend along side Reni Eddo-Lodge’s Why I’m no longer talking to white people about race.

 

Why Im no longer talking with white people about race bookWhy Im no longer talking with white people about race book

Screenshots from my Likebook reader

Theres a few lectures and podcasts for those who don’t have the e/book or audiobook.

Bristol was divided about Colston, not anymore?

BLM protester uses the knee which killed George Floyd while also giving the black power salute
Powerful pose, using the knee restraint which killed George Floyd while also giving the black power salute

I don’t quite know how I feel about the Edward Colston statue which was torn down, dragged to Bristol docks and throw in today.

I’m slightly torn… only slightly

I am very proud to come from Bristol and for to be massively supported (5,000 people!) in a city with 15% people of colour. The protest looked from what I could see of the coverage. I have been aware of the Colston statue while growing up but the worst that ever happened was he ended up with a traffic cone on his head.

Bristol have been debating if it should be taken down for a while and theres been attempts to show the historic horror of the slave trade in the UK.

I’m with the protestors. But I also think about the democratic process and encouraging people to take things into their own hands. This is also what the establishment always wanted, a way to condemn the black lives matter movement on top of the public health risk. Priti Patel is just the start of the torrent of negative press coming. I also imagine other protests in other cities might consider similar?

Positive things to come from this…

“I believe that one candidate for his replacement would be Paul Stephenson. He led the 1963 Bristol Bus Boycott, started because Bristol Post announced in 1961 that black workers were refused work despite a worker shortage due to a resolution from the Transport and General Workers’ Union. The Boycott influenced the creation of the Race Relations Act.

  • Its clear this time black lives matter is going to have some serious legacy with lots of good people and companies standing alongside.
  • The calls to reform history education to include much more about the UK’s role in the slave trade, have been ignited once again.

Are you culpable or a true ally?

Been back and forth about why black lives matter isn’t something you can sit on the fence with. I personally hate binary choices but its clear the middle ground is a problem. Its a problem because silence works in the favor of the system of oppression against the minority. Exactly why the #metoo movement was/is so important.

There’s been a lot of anger at the police and honestly I was crying my eyes out seeing not only Floyd’s murder but other black people’s death at the hands of police officers. I have had enough bad experiences to be weary of the police (Recently I even did the work for them before they would come and help!). I do think all the police involved in the call to the Floyds murder are culpable/responsible for his murder. Not just the one with his knee blocking his airway. But its not just the police, thats just chipping away at the surface.

Think about the courts which hand out police officer short sentences for killing black lives

Its the system of oppression/systematic racism. A system which is built on white privilege and maintains that state no matter what (shootings, throwing as many black people in prison, whatever it takes). Its even the smaller things like the gig-economy, sharing economy , waiting for a meeting, etc.  There is so much to understand and learn if we are going to change it. I say we, because… The only way to change the system is with unity from all.

This is why its been really interesting to see the amount of white people who have also joined the movement. I’m sure they realised this isn’t just a black problem. The system of oppression affects all, the more true alies the better.

I can’t believe it but Cosmo magazine actually has a really good guide to share with parents and friends who don’t understand the problem. While Vogue has a detailed ally guide.

Now is the time to listen…

Thankfully a few friends have reached out to me and asked how they can help or do something in regards to the murder of George Floyd and the systematic racism.

My thoughts are all over the place but I would start by listening!!!

As many of us have said over and over again its not simply this one murder. Its all the others and the systematic racism.

Start with the Daily Tech News show which did a special which had me in tears. Heck it finally got me to sign up on patreon to support them (first time).

We’re taking a day off to hear from black contributors to DTNS and its wider circle.

There has been many others who have spoken out including Clara on BBC Radio 1.

Another powerful piece video is Trevor Noah of the Daily Show, who connects all the pieces together in the way I was trying to explain in my previous post.

No matter what you think… just listen…

Unconscious bias kills black lives

There is so much I have been thinking about in the last few days. I found Baratunde’s discussion with Leo quite relaxing to listen to. While America is on a knife’s edge with Trump once again making things much worst. Thankfully his Democratic opponent Biden is right on edge extending his ears and heart to understand.

On May 29th one of my favorite cities in America, Minneapolis’ police killed George Floyd because he was accused of buying cigarettes with a counterfeit $20 bill. The new york times have a good video explaining what happened using a number of different camera views including security footage. I’m not going to share because its a very difficult watch and been shared widely.

The almost the same day Amy Cooper (white lady) in central park calls the police on Christian Cooper (black man) saying shes an “African American” was threaten her. No one died thankfully, Amy was fired from her job and Christian makes clear its not about Amy but the systematic racism in our culture.

Don't forget white women voted for Trump
(If you didn’t get the Karen reference here is Bill Maher to explain it for you.)

Systematic or institutional racism as defined during the Stephen Lawrence case is exactly why so many black men and women in America have died at the hands of the people who are meant to be protecting us all. Heck even Ben & Jerrys knows its true! Its clear to me there could have been two deaths that day simply by calling the police out to a IC3 incident.

As Baratunde says we need everybody to get involved. This isn’t that tonedeaf all lives matter stuff.  I am humbled to see London, Berlin protest and see a sheriff rejecting orders from the white house.