There is no single strategy that will rid our society of racism in its covert, overt and institutionalised forms. I emphasise on covert and institutional forms because these are the ones that build up to the overt forms, and thus have the greatest impact and influence within systemic and systematic structures that form racist sentiments; notions, ideologies and in turn hierarchies that affect individuals and collective groups socially, economically, politically and geopolitically. With such overt forms that are ‘so in your face’ such as police brutality and violence perpetuated unto Black bodies, and shared and reposted at the hands of our finger tips, there is a tendency to focus on those because they are so graphic and society has a fetish with sharing specific types of trauma inflicted onto specific groups of people. One must realise that an individual doesn’t perpetrate violence and racially led hate crimes on another individual in society overnight. One doesn’t just wake up one day and decide they want to ‘kill a Black bastard.’ Indeed, racist rhetoric, racist notions and sensibilities within different forms such as but not limited to: colonial mentalities, saviour complexes, superiority complexes etc are learnt and built over time.
Racism is very dynamic and complex, and yet time and time again, the narrative and sub narratives surrounding racism are reduced to and seen through simplistic lenses. Racism is so much more than just the social. It is so much more than social policies, social injustices, overt acts of racism which we can all clearly see and label as racist. Racism is embedded within the school system, it’s refusing to teach British history holistically within the curriculum. Racism is institutional within universities, across all boards, it’s having less than 1% of Black professors in the UK nationally. Racism is subjective, it’s members of British society reporting to Ofcom, angry that the dance group Diversity led a dynamic performance on Britain’s Got Talent to shed light on Black Lives Matter. Thereby showing that society will benefit and profit from Black culture but they will not fight for Black causes. Racism is learned, it’s socially conditioned. It’s Shukri Abdi losing her life at the hands of racist teenagers and Broad Oak Sports College changing their name to Hazel Wood High School, rebranding their school as a means to maintain a sound reputation, rather than actually address the bullying issue and racist sentiments that lead to a young girl losing her life. How many years has it been since Madeline McCann went missing on the 3rd of May in 2007? And yet time and time again, every single month, this White, blonde haired, blue eyed girl makes appearances within the media whilst the same sentiment isn’t applied to other children and young teenagers who are Black and Brown. Racism is the media imposing local lockdowns the night before Eid, and Andrew Pierce, a journalist for the Daily Mail tweeting: “If families gather for holy month of Ramadan will there be a huge spike in Covid cases. Doctors are very worried” whilst this same sentiment is not being applied to nor will be applied to the upcoming celebrations of Christmas. Note that though Muslims are not a race, Muslims have become racialised whereby society associates Islam with a tanned and brown identity.
I am going to do a series of blog posts where I explore, deconstruct and analyse different forms of racism prevalent within the UK and the wider world from the contemporary to ancient history. Stay tuned.