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you break my heart

All lives matter - and no one ever said otherwise, but if the world was accepting of the fact that non-white lives matter just as much as white ones, then we wouldn't need to spell out the blindingly obvious. BLACK LIVES MATTER. #BlackLivesMatter


Don’t tell me it’s different here. Trust me. It’s not different anywhere.

It's Not That Bad

For all the people out there, who have questioned my experience as a brown woman travelling through a white world - you break my heart. Because you're out there. Friends who've rolled their eyes and corrected me when I’ve talked about racism or bullying, or unconscious bias; who’ve told me “it’s not that bad” or “that doesn’t happen anymore” or worse still, in the case of George Floyd, “but that’s America”- as though having a policeman kneel on your neck until you can no longer breathe, is the only legitimate form of racism; as though paying with your life, is the only credible way to prove it's happening. Because if you can’t ‘see’ it, if it’s not happening on your doorstep, then it isn’t happening – right?

Liar, Liar

A year or so ago, in a drunken mess, I had an argument with two middle class white women – who told me racism didn’t really exist anymore. Who questioned me on my depiction of racism in modern Britain, by stating “that doesn’t really happen anymore” when I relayed a story of something that had happened to me, recently, in modern Britain.

They basically called me a liar.

I was drunk, and determined to make my point, inarticulate and most probably sweaty and annoying; but I was cognoscente enough to notice their eye rolling, to feel their disbelief, to note when another friend of theirs arrived, then left immediately, because I was ‘going on about race.’ Of these people, I ask one simple thing.


Try Noticing

Don’t post a black square on your social media page, don’t devoutly take the day off work to protest that Black Lives Matter, don’t tell me it’s different here. Trust me. It’s not different anywhere. Instead, try noticing when a person of colour has their change placed on the counter, instead of directly into their hand. Try noticing, when you don’t see as many black faces in your middle-class office, as you see when you’re travelling to work on the tube. Try noticing the people who get stopped at the airport, and what colour they are. Try noticing the difference in pay, in job status, in life expectancy. Try noticing the million, insidious micro aggressions that people of colour have to live with, before someone finally kneels on their neck and proves indisputably, how little value the world perceives them to have. Because a journey of a thousand miles, begins with a single step, and that’s no different to the man that killed George Floyd. Who’d have proved his disdain for non-white people in a million tiny ways, before finally killing one.


There is nothing fashionable in feeling the need to discuss the fact the world has branded you as less than.

Don't Tell Me I'm Angry - Even Though I Am

To be clear, I’m not blaming you. Because that’s something I’m often accused of when I speak on this subject. People telling me “it’s not their fault”, as though me speaking about it at all, is an accusation directed at them. I speak with passion, with a desire to be heard and understood. To protect my children from the inevitable realisation, that to some, they will always be considered lesser. Don’t tell me I’m angry. I am, but speaking with passion is not a shortcut to behaving in a way that is uncontrolled and unreasonable. Don’t tell me I’m aggressive, as though a woman speaking with emotion about a subject that moves her, is an accusation. Listen to me. Ask yourself, if you would feel differently about this conversation, if you were having it with my white husband.


You Break My Heart

Because when you don’t hear me, when you tell me we’re the same; even if it’s meant, with the kindest of intentions – you break my heart. When you choose to believe racism only exists in its most extreme forms – you break my heart. When you close your eyes to the reality of non-white experience, by not accepting and owning your own privilege – you break my heart.


Things are ‘happening’ right here, on your modern British doorstep. Please try noticing. Then do something about it. Ideally, not on Instagram.

Black Lives Matter

Black lives matter isn’t a hashtag, or a protest movement, or a way of virtue signalling on your Instagram account – it’s a fucking statement of fact. The fact we have to state it at all, is a tragedy we live with every day.

Please don’t call me a liar. Or someone exaggerating the facts, because its suddenly fashionable to talk about race. Trust me. There is nothing fashionable in feeling the need to discuss the fact the world has branded you as less than.

Things are ‘happening’ right here, on your modern British doorstep. Please try noticing. Then do something about it. Ideally, not on Instagram.

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