I’d rather be talking about cycling or writing. I’d rather be talking about the moon in the midday sky or the birds singing outside my house. I’d rather be talking about my love of languages.
I’d rather be laughing and dancing or singing and joking.
I’d rather not be talking about another Black death or negative interactions between Black and White people. I told myself I wasn’t going to talk about this. About another Black death. About overt and covert racism.
But I can’t block my ears or close my eyes. I can’t bite my tongue until it bleeds.
I can’t stay silent for risk of offence.
I could have stayed silent. Heck, I would have stayed silent if I’d not read some of the negative comments about Black people which I stumbled across in the wake of George Floyd’s death.
If I’d never experienced violence as a result of my race or had never heard derogatory comments aimed at my race. If I’d never had the N word thrown in my face or heard stories from Black friends/family about their experience of racism. If I wasn’t convinced that covert racism is more prevalent than overt racism in modern society and if wasn’t fed up of beautiful Black women being likened to men by some white women and men, then perhaps I would have stayed silent. But racism, fear and violence thrive on silence.
I can wait for violence to come to my front door before I speak. But it might be too late by then. Alternatively, I can speak before violence comes to my front door.
It saddens me that in the year 2020 I’m writing about racism. I am sad but not surprised. As the French say, plus ça change. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Like I said, I’d rather be laughing and dancing or singing and joking.
But this is not the time for that.