We’re asking writers we admire to write for us, and we’ll be releasing their posts monthly throughout 2021.
April 2021 is Sue Brown, a performance poet, TV and radio presenter, and workshop facilitator from Birmingham. Her blog post picks up just after police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of the murder of George Floyd.
A year in a month
April 20th 2021, ONE person was found guilty of a crime that many thousands have been privileged to walk away from, aided and abetted by the law.
May 25th 2020, the world witnessed the death of another Black man, George Floyd, by the systemised enforcement of racism. An act played out daily in various degrees around the globe for centuries.
With credible witnesses, daily protest, the sad truth is that Black Lives is the Matter, a ‘Problem’… and yes, contrary to a commissioned government report, institutionalised racism still breathes today, alive and kicking even within the U.K.
The past year has presented nothing new, and once again, it was televised.
2020 started like any other year;
I was unaware that the world was on the verge of an insidious order of events that would be drip-fed by the mainstream and social media, Western Governments and scientists.
Late February, reports about a virus began hitting the news daily, although… there was a distance between it and my reality.
The West pointed fingers towards the Chinese; a plethora of conspiracy theories flowed.
As the COVID-19 crises took shape, I got a sense that something untoward was emerging. WhatsApp messaging ‘ramped up’ subversion with creative facts. Public health responses to the outbreaks on cruise ships belied what was coming to the shores of Britain.
Boris led the charge with; hands face space – which became one of the pandemics mantras, spoon-fed between mixed messaging, confusion, and blatant lies to the nation, directing the focus to a new world order.
Imagine my surprise when Black folks, like myself, were identified as ‘highly’ susceptible to a so-called ‘Chinese foreign’ virus. Mainstream media drew attention to N.H.S. workers dying, particularly African, African Caribbean and Asian workers. Somehow, we had become a distraction, a dangerous proliferation of the pandemic.
Diverse communities now herded into a BAME description, while the rhetoric by officials only subjugated our already marginalised identity, and blame became linked to BAME.
Government and health spokespersons ‘ramped up’ the campaign in trying to ‘coax’ the vaccine to the ‘vaccine hesitant’, those who reflected their lack of trust in the ‘powers that be’ based on hundreds of years of apprehension and suspicion.
Cultural appropriation dominated the nation, yet our voices weren’t narrating our story, our experiences, our concerns, fuelling the fear that spread faster than the pandemic itself.
I felt the usual disdain, patronised by misinformation and lack of transparency in this hegemonic system.
Ultimately racism is an inherent power – driven by fear and greed for control. It’s an ideology woven into a social structure subtly, savagely and ominously perpetuated only to remain an active justification of superiority.
Until we can identify the facts, the CORE of racism for what it is, and the many levels on which it operates, we will not be able to make the real change necessary for each person to live their purpose without fear of being ‘Hue-man’, while celebrating and expressing origins.
Written by Sue Brown © April 2021