Does the term “white people” provoke a negative reaction in you?
It did for me, the first time I heard of the show with the same name (see Dear White People on Netflix). It felt confrontational and uncomfortable. I almost wanted to peak over my shoulder in case anyone was offended by the term, afraid of potential repercussions.
We would like to believe we have evolved beyond the colour of our skin, but if that were the case then there wouldn’t be global protests happening right now, demanding that black lives do indeed matter.
And why would they believe they do not?
Putting aside the many (many!) cases of police brutality in the US, looking here in the UK, black British mothers are 5 times more likely to die in childbirth than white women.
There are many contributing factors to this horrific statistic, but the underlying truth is that we, as a society, do not take black people’s pain seriously. Particularly black women.
We call them strong and resilient, and believe that to be a compliment rather than realising we are part of a system that forces them to be strong in order to survive.
Dear white people, you are part of this system, and you have the greatest power to effect change.
It’s time for you to do the work.
To see the many ways you have been complicit in this injustice.
To see what you can do to make it better.
To make the world fairer for everyone.
Not just for us, but for the generations to come.