How To Use Your White Privilege To Be Anti-Racist

June 5, 2020
Lavinia Jury

By Lavinia Jury

           

Following the harrowing murder of George Floyd by a white police officer in the US, the Black Lives Matter movement has gained huge momentum. Despite the common misconception that we have had equal racial rights since the abolition of slavery, the modern world is seeped with deep-rooted, institutional racism. Here in the UK, you need only to look at our history to recognise that we are far from innocent. 

Here are some statistics show that it is not enough to post a black square for #blackouttuesday on Instagram. We must empower the Black Lives Matter movement in the UK in order to eradicate systemic racism. I have compiled a list of tips and resources to help you to be actively anti-racist.

YOU ARE A PART OF THE SYSTEM. BE A PART OF THE CHANGE. 

1.     We in the UK have a greater disproportionality of black people in prisons than the US according to The Lammy Review.

2.     Black people are 54% more likely to be fined for breaching coronavirus restrictions than white people.

3.     Black academics at top universities earn 26% less on average than their white colleagues.

4.     Only 1.5% of all offers from Oxford and Cambridge went to black British candidates in 2015.

5.     Black people are 3 times more likely to be kicked out or denied entry to a club, restaurant or bar for no reason.

6.     76% of 103,379 hate crimes recorded between 2018 and 2019 were race hate crimes (78,991 incidents).

7.     Diane Abbott was the first black woman MP to be elected into Parliament in 1987. In the run up to the 2017 general election, she received 45% of all abusive tweets against women MPs and 10 times more abuse than any other woman MP according to Amnesty Global Insights.

This disproportionality will not go away on its own. I have compiled a list of tips and resources to help you to be actively anti-racist.

EDUCATE YOURSELF

  • Understand your white privilege
  • This short video explains systemic racism and white privilege in the US, but applies to the UK too
  • Learn about colonialism and its suppression of black people
  • Listen to black authors, activists and podcasters
  • Watch films and documentaries about racism and black oppression
  • Analyse how the media portrays black people
  • Read about anti-racism and black history
  • Choose one of these books for your book club
  • Follow influencers for change on Instagram
  • @theconsciouskid
  • @rachel.cargle
  • @teachandtransform
  • @mspackyetti
  • @marclamonthill
  • @antiracismctr
  • @colorofchange


USE YOUR WHITE PRIVILEGE TO TAKE ACTION

  • Engage in discussions
  • Challenge people when you feel they have said something racist
  • Talk to your family about racism
  • Write to your local MP
  • Use writetothem.com to contact your MP
  • Read this article for guidance on what to write
  • You can find their email addresses here
  • Sign and share petitions
  • Sign here to stop the UK’s export of rubber bullets and other riot equipment to the US
  • Sign here to petition for justice for George Floyd
  • Sign here to demand racial data on COVID-19
  • Sign here to support the #WeCantBreathe campaign
  • Sign here to make Boris Johnson to speak up against Trump’s response to George Floyd’s murder
  • Sign here to make British imperialism and colonialism part of the school curriculums
  • Sign here to update GCSE reading lists to include Good Immigrant by Nikesh Shukla and Why I’m No longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge, two books that highlight our society’s social inequalities.
  • Sign here to introduce mandatory reporting of the ethnic pay gap
  • Sign here to ban the use of police horses in protests
  • Support black businesses. Finimpact has outlined proactive tips to show your support. Read them here.
  • Support anti-racism movements and go to protests
  • Here is a list of UK protest dates and locations
  • Donate to cover the costs of bail for protestors
  • Stream this video to donate to Black Lives Matter for free
  • Black visions collective
  • Minnesota freedom fund
  • The bail project

As we enter a post-pandemic world, let’s ensure we go back to better and not back to normal. As students and young people, we have a duty to drive change. We must increase diversity in our schools, universities and later employment to begin the process of unlearning implicit racial biases. We have a responsibility to ensure that our children can grow up in a safer and more accepting world.

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