It is my honour today to give space here on the Thrive In Chaos blog for a short statement from the Women’s Equality Party Race Equality Allies group. I have been working with the group for just shy of a year and we have learned so much in that time. We have worked together under the compassionate guidance and generous energy of Claudia – a member of WEP’s Race Equality Caucus – to identify and unpick our biases, recognise the role we play in the systemic racism that pervades our society and to step forward as allies and accomplices in the work of anti-racism.
This journey is a long one and we know we will make mistakes along the way but it is our hope that the learning and actions we are taking will contribute to a more equitable society.
From the allies:
“Today, one year on from his murder, we remember George Floyd. Today people all over the world will say George Floyd’s name and pay tribute to his memory. His name will be said in sorrow, in respect, in love, in power and anger.
It is important to say George Floyd’s name, in all of these ways. But it is also vital that we do not say it in a vacuum, by rote or in duty; that we link his name to our own ongoing struggle towards racial justice and equality here in the UK. And that we are honest with ourselves and each other about how far we have left to go in that fight. As white people, our job is to make that honesty – painful though it can be – our priority, and the cornerstone of our activism.
When buildings light up for George Floyd, we must ask the businesses inside them what they are doing to fight racism and support black staff. As solemn statements are given by public officials we must ask why black people in Britain are three times as likely as white people to be arrested and twice as likely to die in police custody. Why black women in the UK are four times more likely to die in pregnancy and childbirth. And when our leaders tweet their sorrow, we must demand to know why they deny the structural racism that caused that sorrow and so many like it.
As WEP’s Race Equality Caucus Allies group, we remember George Floyd by saying his name today, and by fighting institutional racism however, wherever and whenever we can.”