The recent horrific events in the USA have once again bought this topic to it’s rightful place, at the fore. Our whole school community has been deeply affected and our Wellbeing Prefects have something to say.
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
As many of you know, there has been an ongoing issue with police brutality against black people in America. One of the recent victims of this is George Floyd. On the 25th of May in Minneapolis, George Floyd was killed by a white police officer. He said “I can’t breathe” as a policeman knelt on his neck and he sadly died.
Racism has been an ongoing issue for hundreds of years. People have suffered because of prejudice against their ethnicity. Sadly this is not just an issue in America. It is happening in the United Kingdom too and the recent news coverage has ignited a huge desire in people to educate themselves.
Many individuals are sharing examples of “everyday racism”. Language and experiences that many do not consider to be racist, but are actually damaging to members of the BAME community. They make individuals feel that they are “different” and unwelcome in society. The analogy of colouring crayons is one example. For instance, in a set of crayons, people may refer to the peachy colour as ‘skin colour’. This demonstrates that inadvertently, many children are exposed to “everyday racism” from a young age. Other examples include under-representation of ethnic minorities in children’s books, TV programmes and dolls or toys.
We may not be racist. But are we actively anti-racist?
This is a question many are posing on social media. It is a call to people to ask them to be anti-racist, not simply non-racist. It is only by everyone using their voices to tackle racism that positive change will take place.
The first step is to educate ourselves about racism. It is our responsibility to teach ourselves about topics such as the effects of British colonialism, a range of cultures, legislation. By doing this, we can understand, share our learnings, raise awareness and stand against it in an educated, empowered and peaceful way.
Many of us understand the history of the slave trade. We are taught that at this time, black people were not seen as equal to white people. Many people like to think that the world has changed since then, and thankfully it has. But we still have challenges that need to be faced.
Society is currently seeing a powerful drive to educate ourselves on the systemic racism. George Floyd, Bettie Jones, Tiara Jones, Trayvon Martin, Micheal Brown, and Ahmaud Arbery are recent victims. It is truly appalling that prejudice still exists today, but with improved education and communication, we feel hopeful that things will change. As young people we are using our voices to drive this change.
There are many resources such as books, films, podcasts, and documentaries that are available and address racism. As a year group, we have produced a list of resources that look into racism which can be found on the podcast here.
We have also attached a short video produced by Yvonne Foujour which discusses the current situation in America. We aim to help educate ourselves and others, and to open up discussion about this important topic.
Please have a look at the list and watch the video. It is really important to teach ourselves about this issue and overcome the systems which are built on inequality. We feel that every one of us has a duty to educate ourselves and spread this knowledge to live in a better world where we are all treated equally.
If any of you feel overwhelmed or anxious about the upsetting images and content currently in the news, please don’t hesitate to contact a Wellbeing Prefect or any member of the NGHS Staff. NGHS is building increased education into its school strategy, from History to PSHE and extra-curricular clubs. We are all working together as a community and will support each other.