Now, in 2020 I read comments like “racism isn’t getting worse, it’s getting filmed” and they enrage me because they are patently factually wrong.
I was born in London in 1978 and was a teen in the 90s and twentysomething in the 2000’s — in those decades racism was clearly in decline and seen as socially unacceptable in Western Culture. Fast forward to the 2007/8 financial crisis and the failed neoliberal economic response to it of bailing out banks and mega corporations whilst administering brutal austerity on the poor to “pay for the bailouts” thus exacerbating inequality — the rich got bailed out and the poor got trodden on. Austerity policies created problems where before there were less because decades of effort had gone in to addressing inequality.
By the mid 2010’s we could see the emergence of populism, nationalism and xenophobia — Le Pen & Front National in France, AfD in Germany, Farage’s UKIP in England and Trump in America. These various parties/personalities could ONLY exist because of the economic mess and the collusion of the mainstream media who gave these despots a platform to broadcast their hatred and divisionism and of course casual racism. The narrative of blaming the poor for societies ills turning the middle classes against the poor were pernicious lies, I remember reading articles with this intention at the time in 2008 and knowing that mechanisms described in Public Opinion by Walter Lippmann in 1922 were being deployed to turn faction against faction (ping me if you’d like a pdf).
Racism, racial profiling, race based murder by Police have been getting worse; it’s damned scary being a black person in major cities in the west nowadays — staying silent about the racial profiling, mistreatment of fellow humans and murder is COMPLICITY — only WHITE people can do something about this just the same as only MEN can do something about rape. We must demand that white people in all positions educate themselves and behave like decent human beings (that’s not happening too well in many places).
How would I know this as a white person with white privilege? Well I have friends of many different ethnicities and I’m not afraid to ask questions to which I get answers that could make me uncomfortable (they don’t) — following this I did some reading to educate myself about where this psychological disorder called racism comes from — it’s not a natural condition, it’s indoctrinated. It’s based on very poor prejudice-based science which has been shown to be utter nonsense. If you really want to get to the root of this racism psychological disorder as a white person I highly recommend the traumatising book entitled “Exterminate all the Brutes” by Swedish author Sven Lindqvist which follows the Polish author Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness into Africa just 100 years before and bears witness to Genocides against indigenous black people with automatic weapons. Massacres.
Staying silent is no longer an option — just like the Germans who were faced with a choice when watching Nazis taking Jews to extermination camps you are either a Perpetrator, Victim or Bystander/Observer (Book: Täter, Opfer, Zuschauer — Raul Hilberg) — being a bystander/observer and doing nothing means that we are complict with the perpetrators in contravening internationally established human rights laws by our tacit (silent) agreement.
Saying something and doing something is different to sharing videos of brutality against black people — sharing these is not helpful — indeed it just further traumatises black people, and normalises abhorrent violence and the violation of fundamental human rights. This is a watershed moment and we are called upon to stand up and be counted.
If what I say here is offensive, then sorry not sorry, this is basic humanity and common sense. We white people need to take responsibility to look after ALL members of our societies REGARDLESS of their skin colour, accent, race, sexuality or anything else — that means VOTING racists out of office, demanding elected representatives enact equality legislation, putting pressure on Police Forces to be more representative and better trained; racists cannot be Police Officers. I find it embarrassing that these things haven’t been done and that we have allowed shadowy forces to divide and conquer for profit.