This guest piece come from Matthew Wyman.
I am currently sitting in bed, questioning the world we live in and highlighting in my own head the importance of a simple phrase, ‘Black Lives Matter’.
I am a privileged white male, I am someone that does not have to encounter people avoiding me in the street based upon the colour of my skin, I am not someone who has to fight daily battles against a system and a society that is institutionally racist. As a white person I can sit here and tell you that we don’t do anywhere near enough to combat the oppression that black people have faced for hundreds of years, and whilst we no longer enslave them as if they were aliens, it is clear that racism is still here, it has always been here and unless we start to have honest conversations about how we need to change, it will always be here.
Here is a question, how many more times will the same thing need to happen before changes are made? How many times are people like Goerge Floyd going to have to die before something is actually done? Black Lives Matter but right now this world we live in does not support that, so let’s change it.
Speaking as a white person, I will sit here and say that we as a race have failed black people for generations upon generations, and if you do not conform to this ideology then you are the problem, you are the reason why black people are still being oppressed all over the world. Furthermore, the ‘All Lives Matter’ argument falls null and void, yes all lives matter but as white people our lives have always mattered in the eyes of the law and society. The way we are treated does not need to be fixed but the way black people are treated does, in the eyes of certain parts of society it is obvious that their lives do not seem to matter.
To even start trying to change this we need to be honest with ourselves, we need to see that we are not doing enough, we have never done enough and that we owe it to them to change. We need to stop calling it ‘racist’ when a black person stereotypes a white person and we need to stop saying ‘if the shoe was on the other foot then that would be racist’. Black people have been racially discriminated against for hundreds of years and we caused it, so stop labelling it ‘racist’ when they make a joke about white people eating ‘unseasoned chicken’, you have no idea.
I know that as a white person I can never begin to imagine the hardship black people go through everyday as a result of racism, but I do think it is our job to try and understand and to make sure we do everything we possibly can to change things because when it comes down to it, Black Lives Matter.
Matthew Wyman, 19 studying sports journalism at Derby University. Live at home with my mum, dad and little sister. Write mainly on sport but also on topics I feel passionate about. Learning as I go, curious and write from the heart.
Image from the Dr Martin Luther King Jr Centre.