written by Kathy-Zoe Baira, your Vice President Equity & Inclusion
To see life leave you and to know that there is a person on the other end - an actual human - that breathes the air you breathe and coexists in your world, taking that life. At what point is leaving your house for something as simple as a walk dangerous? Imagine popping down to Aldi and being shot down on the street? Imagine getting a call at work that your family member has been accidently killed and for the killer to walk away?
The world is mourning George Floyd and his death has brought an outcry for justice to be served. However, the worst kind of pain is knowing that without that video recording, that racist crime would not have been entered into the history books and we wouldn't have heard Floyd's words "I can't breathe".
I remember reading ‘Animal Farm’ in high school and in that book, George Orwell says, “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” The book depicts a group of animals who rebel against the farm owner, in hope and a bid to create a society where the animals could all be equal, free, and happy. In the end, the rebellion is betrayed when the farm ends up falling under the dictatorship of a pig called Napoleon. I kept trying to figure out what Orwell intended when he wrote the book and until recently, I have always applied it to corruption and the different civil rights and liberation movements. Orwell was trying to fuse political purpose and artistic purpose into one. Politics is a dirty game they say, but you, as a voice, cannot be silenced. There is definitely more strength in numbers. It is never okay to spread hate.
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing” - an amazing quote by Edmund Burke. You can be impartial but what brings society together is when we unite for a common cause. When we ignore and look sideways, when we do not take the time to put ourselves in another person’s shoes, we allow evil to triumph.
Racism is real and we need to become better and rewrite history and stop injustices from happening in the world. You need to represent justice, morals and democracy. No matter your faith, age, race, gender, appearance, you deserve to be treated just as fairly as the nest person. We may look different and have different opinions because that makes us human, but with that same token, what makes us the same, is that WE ARE HUMAN.
In this pandemic, consider America and the UK ignoring social distancing because they are choosing to be advocates for justice, as every person deserves justice. As a young black youth, I would not stand a chance surviving on the streets of America, this should not happen. Being spat on and being told all the racist threats in the book is not okay. Every life matters regardless whether you are Black, White, Asian, or Caucasian. You matter and your voice deserves to be heard. There is a lot of easy ways of getting involved in the movement for reforms surrounding racism. Right now, we are crying out that BLACK LIVES MATTER!
Remember the purpose of the movement: Black Lives Matter campaigns against violence, police brutality and systematic racism towards black people. There are many isolated events happening across the world and just remember that: it could be you, your friend, a family member. Together we can create a positive impact and leave a footprint on the world.
Take action, keep the conversation going, keep educating yourself and others, sign petitions and donate if you can.
Here are some useful links for resources: