This is not normally how my first sentence in a blog post would be, but the UK NOT institutionally racist???? Says a government that is governed by a bunch of white people! Do you honestly think they will admit to being racist? Call it institutional, or systemic, it very much exists in the UK!! These are the same lies they have told themselves about stealing all the resources from African countries under colonial rule and leaving them in decrepit conditions only to place difficult rules and steep fees for Africans to cross over to the UK. I am from the first generation of children after colonial rule, and I have lived in, and seen the damage colonialism left in its wake; both to the indigenous people’s mindsets and mental health and to the economies.
Let us be VERY CLEAR; Institutional racism IS VERY REAL in the UK; it is that black and white. This country’s riches, stem from acts of racism, slavery, theft, and the murder of millions of African people for centuries. As a black African woman (not mixed race, there is a difference, but that is a colourism story for another day), I have witnessed and faced racism here in the UK, even within the Christian community; so, no social group is exempt. The very first time I faced racism was when I was in high school, I attended a private boarding school, Farringtons School to be exact, where the house mistress from my boarding house, questioned me if I could afford a pair of Caterpillars after the store called the school to inform me that they did not have them in my size. The same house mistress at a separate occasion went on to make remarks about how it was great to have my teeth done in the UK because in Africa we’d have to have a string tied to our tooth, and to a door to have the tooth removed, she didn’t stop there. In another incident, after a water leak on the top floor of the boarding house, she went on to state to me and another black student that we should be used to the smell of the damp carpet because it smelt like that in Africa all the time; I was 15 years old!! Let that sink in!
Those are not isolated incidents, and I and many like myself, have had to face many more in the years from individuals I had a house shared with, whilst working in Selfridges & Co, whilst working as the only black person in the events office of The Big Church day out festival, and the most recent one whilst working at Amazon in 2019/20; Amazon might have made billions more in 2020, but they made it off of the back of a VERY racist work environment. You only need to look on the internet to see the millions of atrocities black people have had to endure due to racism; books on racism alone would fill the entire archives of the British Library, examples and evidence is everywhere. To deny that no evidence was found of institutional racism in the UK is laughable and an insult to our intelligence. One cannot expect transparency from the very people who have spent centuries manipulating their citizens into hating black people for being black, and as an additional means to cover up what they did during their colonial rule. The same reason as to why in history lessons in the UK students do not learn about slavery, or colonial rule and what was done to indigenous Africans in order for the UK to present itself in the manner that it does today.
Overall, when we talk about racism in the UK, It ranges from blatant racism to micro aggressions. We get profiled, we get stereotyped, if our names do not look white or have a “socially acceptable” name, we are likely to get passed over for jobs without our CV’s being looked through. British television epitomises the race disparities in the UK because, most cases than not, black faces; when we do see them; are only seen as a means to pander to the audience so the network/studio is not seen to look racist, to tick the equality box, and for sheer tokenism. If we dare to express upset, or passion about a subject, we are labelled as angry or aggressive. If we are sexually assaulted or worse, killed, little is done to help the victims or their families; the UK press finds ways to make it seem like we were deserving of what happened to us by demeaning our character. The list goes on.
The UK has a huge race problem and consistently refuses to admit, acknowledge, and take accountability for it. As of the white people who say, “oh my goodness I had no idea it was this bad”, I say this to you; if you have eyes to read, ears to hear, and a mouth to speak, pleading ignorance is inexcusable. If you have the time and energy to research and advocate and shout at the top of your lungs for trees, and animals, how is it that you FAIL to advocate for your fellow living breathing human being and the obvious racism you can see they have had to endure for centuries, racism that you have watched on TV and witnessed within your society for decades, racism that you see all over social media and the news(if they decide to show it). We live in a society where people will advocate for everything that exists on this planet except for the rights and equality of black people. So, your reasoning for not knowing what has been happening to black people in the UK and the world, is not because you did not know, it is because you looked at the situation, saw that the people did not look like you, and decided it was not your problem. You CHOSE to turn a blind eye because the people you saw suffering were not white!
It is common knowledge that in an effort to continue to oppress black people society has been placed in a mindset of “if it isn’t white, it isn’t right.” So, for the UK to ever admit that there is in fact institutional racism, they have to acknowledge that they have played a major part in the gaslighting, instigation and segregation of black people within their own society. They forever want to be seen as highbrow, therefore being deemed racist is not a “good look” for them; in other words, they know they are racist, as long as they keep denying it publicly whilst practicing it privately they get to keep getting away with it.
#BlackLivesMatter #UKISRacist #UKIsNotExempt #EqualityForAll #BlackAfricanAndProud