Siobhan Harper-NunesEquality

I’m mixed race, attractive, educated, well spoken, ie the acceptable face of a strong black woman. And yet I’ve known arrests, beatings, being excluded, spat on, ingnored in certain circles, sexism from close family members, nasty name calling from supposed loved ones, I’ve denied opportunities because of my youth, colour,gender, denied opportunities to progress in my chosen career, and the many privileges I expected of a woman from my family status & socioeconomic background…

That said all my life I’ve always totally believed that my personal experience must wake me up to the experiences of others: transphobia, misogyny, islamapgobia, homophobia, antisematism…

I always translated personal experience to mean, if I’ve known discrimination I surely have to empathise with the discrimination of others? Isn’t that just basic common sense?

My knowledge, understanding of history, and my personal values tell me there is no time in history when mans stupidity, ignorance or hatred has taken its toll more on one race, gender or sexualit more than any other.

And I stick by that.

Also my understanding of history & economics has also made me wise to the fact that humanity and equality is not in the best interest of those who profit from war or hatred. You can’t sell guns to a community at peace…

No one race, gender, sex, ability is worth more than another.

We all deserve a good life, fairness, we all deserve equal opportunities. But we won’t find any of that if we keep addressing old issues with broken solutions.

Black lives matter is not telling the world that black people are more important than whites. It’s a movement to protect us from the worst atrocities, unfairness and ugliness in our society today.

And the reality is that it’s disgusting how racism is still so systemically entrenched in our laws, policies, practices and everyday conversations.

I’m a positive human but there are days when other human behaviour upsets me to my core and I wonder if I actually want to live in a world where those crazy people live.

I’ve had to manage my outrage and focus on my positive life, if I’d not done that I’d have left this world in my teens, when I first realised just how nasty, some people can be.

Here’s a recent story from my daughter whose words made me so proud and who like so many other young people protested today about our society’s brutality:

“I am light skinned, my father is white and my mother is mixed raced. Because of this I do not have to worry about myself.

But as a mother of children with a black father, I have to worry about them. My eldest daughter is fair like myself but she has hair that she could be told she can’t wear out naturally. Or in certain styles! My youngest daughter is the darkest out of all of us and someone could easily know racism towards her because of her skin!

Regardless if I will never experience racism because I am white, I am not blind to it nor deaf to it. I see it. I hear it. And I don’t stand for it. No one should.

If you are white and date people of colour, you should not stand for it. If are white and support black artists and actors, you should not stand for it. If you are like me and have pale skin or more white then black, you should not stand for it.

Because one day that could be your son, your brother, your friend, your boyfriend.. it’s not fair and it’s not all lives matter. Right now BLACK lives matter and I’m sick of being told otherwise.”

Don’t know what the answers look like today but if we don’t wake up, we are all totally fucked!