The movement has started: are you in?

It's everybody’s responsibility to step up and take action against racial inequality


Image: Istock

Sade Joseph

Consultant, Campbell Tickell

My heart is heavy and I’ve struggled to find the words to describe how I’m feeling after the senseless and brutal murder of George Floyd. I’m outraged that yet another black person is a victim of police brutality. I’m sick and tired of us black people being slaughtered, disrespected and undervalued because of our skin colour. Enough is enough! I demand justice, peace, respect and equality!

Police brutality and systemic racism is nothing new. It has been happening for decades and happens overtly and covertly every day (in the UK, US and worldwide), except now it is being captured on film and posted on social media. This is not a trend or hashtag, it’s a lived reality. Sharing images and videos of racial injustice will be insufficient for achieving black liberation.

Meaningful change

We need meaningful and sustainable change. As a black person, I feel it’s my duty to step up and take action against racial inequality. However, the responsibility to end racism is not exclusive to one race. Rather, the responsibility lies in the hands of everyone to strategically dismantle a long history of systemic racism.

We need to think hard about how we can take action that yields tangible results and brings radical change. This requires multiple change strategies and interventions (big and small) to address the complexities of racism. This includes an ongoing evaluation and challenge of our implicit and explicit biases, which are shaped by and firmly ingrained into cultural practices and institutions, such as the criminal justice system, government, education, health, housing, employment and the media, to name a few.

“The struggle for racial equality has been and will continue to be met with many challenges including resistance, contestation, denial and discomfort. Therefore, we need bravery, perseverance, resilience and unwavering faith to bring long-lasting, positive changes ”

Unity and solidarity

I’m in awe of the unity and solidarity for George Floyd (not to mention Belly Mujinga, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and many others) across the world. While many of us are exhausted, in despair and our frustrations have reached boiling point, we must maintain the momentum to fight racism and channel these emotions into action. We must seize this opportunity to build upon the long-standing work of past and present activists in the struggles for racial justice.

I join my fellow activists in calling for the death of George Floyd to not just be a moment but a movement.

Let’s all get to work.

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