It’s another new day, and another new post. And to be honest I started writing this post and kept closing down the laptop. What right do I have to discuss race and racism? What right do I have to write about White Privilege? What right have I to try and talk to you all about something that I personally am only properly teaching myself now? Well my friends, this whole site came about from me trying to figure out life. So settle back and grab a drink, because this might be a hard pill to swallow.
Tuesday 2nd June 2020. Blackout Tuesday. Hashtag “The Show Must Be Paused”. That day I said goodbye to quite a few followers. Why? Because I decided it was well and truly past the time to sit back and let other people speak up when we can and should speak up daily. So some people decided to unfollow me. Others I decided to block because of the racist slurs they were throwing around online. Honestly? I need to check what sort of people are following me more frequently. On that…
Over 12000 of you follow me. That’s twelve thousand. Whether it’s here on my blog, over on Bloglovin’, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest. Twelve THOUSAND of you from all over the world. Males, females, non-binary. Caucasian, Asian, Black. Wherever you hail from, there’s most likely someone sitting on the opposite side of the world to you also reading my posts. And so, when George Floyd was murdered by a man who the majority of us would expect to protect us, the straw broke the camel’s back, and I felt I had to start speaking out.
Actually, when writing this post, I started reading up to see exactly what oaths police in the USA swear. Did you know at no point do they swear to protect and serve the people of the United States of America? Rather, they swear to uphold the Constitution. In fact, an article from Barnes Law LLP clearly states “the United States Constitution does not require law enforcement officers to protect you from other people, according to the U.S. Supreme Court” ¹. I have included a link to the full article at the end of this post. But that’s rather terrifying, is it not? In fact, the oath of office for the state of California is as below:
I, ________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I (Print Name) will support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of California against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of the United States and the State of California; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties upon which I am about to enter and during such time as I hold the office of ________.²
I shouldn’t only be looking at the USA. There’s racism everywhere. In fact, you probably wouldn’t have to knock on too many doors in my neighbourhood before you’d come across someone who is stuck back in the 18th century with their opinions on race, gender, sexuality, religion, you name it. But as I was saying, George Floyd was the tip of the iceberg. And as the iceberg ripped open the Titanic and destroyed her from within, people are no longer willing to let those above them, the people in politics and positions of power, stay above the waterline.
Before anyone says anything, I appreciate that was a bad analogy. Especially given it was the lower classes that suffered the worst. But at the time of writing, that was the best I could do. I’ll maybe update this post when I can think of something better.
Sorry, I did my usual there and got side-tracked. As I was saying, many of us took a long hard look in the mirror. Why was I relying on the media and celebrities to say something? On other politicians and police forces and influencers and authors and musicians? I caught myself thinking “I don’t know enough to know where to start” – and that was when I realised that was the big problem. Sure we learnt a little about racism in school. We learnt a tiny bit of history through the years. But there was so much stuff we were never taught in school. However that isn’t an excuse. I left school in 2014, aged 18, and ready to start into the world. Never once did I think about educating myself. And so watching the news as they showed footage of George Floyd being murdered by a police officer, and seeing Amy Cooper threaten Christian Cooper by saying she would phone the police and tell them a Black Man was threatening both her and her dog, I realised it was about damn time I checked my privilege and ask myself what right I had to not learn.
I started reading. Searching online. Watching videos. I saw posts being shared on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and other people’s blogs. All with resources to read and watch and listen and learn. The phrase “I understand that I will never understand. But I stand.” was being shared by so many, and it was the first time I read something and thought yes – that is exactly what I feel. I was (and still am) signing petitions left right and centre – to the point I now don’t know which I’ve signed and which I haven’t. I donated to organisations both here in the UK and in the USA. I followed accounts on social media in an attempt to begin to re-educate myself. I emailed my local MPs and MLAs. I shared every piece of information I possibly could. I started conversations with friends and family. Hell, I started looking for protests near me that I could join!
And that just isn’t me. Wait. Strike that last sentence. That wasn’t me. But I am trying to improve. To be able to understand how to use my privilege to help.
So over the next few weeks and months, I hope to have a few new posts for you to read. They’ve been sitting waiting for the right time to share. And I hope to continue with them. You’ll notice a new tab in my menu – “Serious Stuff”. Because while I love taking part in blogger tags, and sharing reviews, and just general rambles, I realise what a waste of 6 years of Life With Ktkinnes it has been to not be trying to use my platform for good. Please do keep coming back. I’ll try to update as much as I can. But for now, why not take a second to think:
Thirty years from now, your kids, nephews, nieces, grandchildren, whoever, are going to ask us what it was like living through this year. It will be remembered for all sorts of reasons. So ask yourselves this. Do you want to be able to tell them you helped pave the way for change, or not?
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