The widespread protests at the killing of George Floyd by a white policeman in the early summer of 2020 have cast the glare of attention on racism across the world. Racism is not just acts of violence or hate against Black people or other people of colour. The statistics on health, education, employment and income show that racial inequality permeates Britain – and Witham.
While those of us who are white might readily abhor overt acts of racism, it is not something we are likely to have experienced directly. That lack of experience can make it difficult to properly understand racism or to be fully supportive of those who endure its impacts – large and small – every day. The day to day experience of Black friends is against a backdrop of micro-aggressions. These are less obvious and often unintentional, but have the cumulative effect of creating an environment which is more challenging and draining.
But we can help by being white allies. The suggestions below can help us to understand what it means to be a white ally and give examples of positive actions that we can take to combat racism; in its explicit or subtle forms. They are drawn from many different sources. Although they focus on ways to support our Black friends, equally they can help us to support all people of colour within our community.
Text originally written by Professor Stephen Curry, Assistant Provost (EDI), Susan Littleson, Deputy Director (Organisational Development and Inclusion), and Kani Kamara, Head of the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Centre (EDIC).