How do we ensure we have and promote an anti-racist attitude?

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As part of her role as Head of Year 10 role, Princess is keen to promote important messages surrounding racism. Princess has written a brilliant piece on how we can be anti-racist.

We are proud to share her essay with you here:

How do we ensure we have and promote an anti-racist attitude?

If you use any type of social media platform, whether it be Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, Snapchat or even Facebook then you may have heard of ‘#blackouttuesday’. Black Out Tuesday took place on the 2nd of June 2020 and was an organised online protest to police brutality and in the wake of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor’s murders, it spread like wildfire. By 16:45 pm on the same day, the hashtag had a staggering 14.6 million Instagram posts alone. As well as this, google trends suggest that searches to do with Black Out Tuesday surged by 400% on that same Tuesday morning. As great as this event was at bringing people together and showing a front that was ‘united against racism’, it left us with the big question of ‘what we have done since then’? The answer for lots of people seems to be less than they would’ve liked to do or maybe even nothing at all. In addition to this, it seemed that posting black squares were getting more attention than petitions for certain important events. This shows through as a key example for performative activism, even if it was unintentionally.

As well as this, the events of this year’s summer also had people wondering who around them was speaking out against racism and who around them knew not to be racist but didn’t speak out. This is the difference between being ‘anti-racist’ and purely ‘not-racist’. To be ‘not-racist’ is to understand that racism is a problem but to stay comfortable and avoid any situation such as speaking against racism in order to stay in your comfort zone. To be ‘anti – racist’ is to understand racism as a problem and do everything that you can to help the issue, whether it be protest, educating others or just putting yourself in more uncomfortable situations. Being anti-racist means that you let people now exactly where you stand. So, why is having an anti-racist approach so important?

If everyone were to sit back and acknowledge that things were wrong but not do anything about it, then we would find ourselves in a situation where no changes are being made and those of more oppressed communities who needed a voice, were being silenced. However, by being anti-racist, we allow ourselves to fight against racism and commit to making unbiased decisions which will lead to a society that aims to get rid of the institutionalised racism within it.

But how can we actually promote anti-racism?

There are few ways that we can do this. First of all, and possibly the most important, educate! Keeping yourself educated and educating others is one of the best things you can do, whether it be reposting a post or starting a conversation, don’t take education for granted. In addition to this, work on your allyship. Although you can’t declare yourself an ‘ally’, doing as much as you can and helping to support marginalised communities can go along way.

And finally, commit. Being anti-racist isn’t just a one-day occupation, it’s a lifestyle and we have got to be prepared to live a life where we are willing to speak out and act when things aren’t right.

In conclusion, we can promote anti-racism by educating others but also by being anti-racist ourself. By being anti-racist, you leave an impression on people that many will take a like to and perhaps follow the anti-racist path themselves. Just like John Amaechi said:

“Sometimes, we sit and we look around us and we think, ‘how can I possibly change all this?’ And sometimes you can’t. But what you can do is make sure wherever you go, people know where you stand. They know that you’re an anti-racist. You become a beacon of light that way. You become someone who makes other people want to be anti-racist too. You’ve got tools at your disposal. Learn. Read. And make everybody clear where you stand.”

Thank you for reading this article, to finish off I would like to share a quote from Martin Luther King Jr:

 ‘If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the sides of the oppressor’.

Well done Princess!

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