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SPEAKING OUT: Student from Northwood hopes to spark anti-racism conversation in town

 Published on: 21st June 2020   |   By: Jake Levison   |   Category: Uncategorized

A young Northwood resident has expressed her views on the fight against racism, in the hope that others will join her and speak out.

Thousands of people across the UK have attended Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests since a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on the neck of George Floyd for over eight minutes, until he died on May 25.

Bethany Hardy-Elliott, a 22-year-old student from Northwood, has aired her views on the fight against racism.

She said: “Ending racism should not be up for debate. It is not enough to not be racist – you have to be anti-racist.

“I’m saying this as a white woman. I’ve never had to think twice about opportunities being taken away due to the colour of my skin. Or whether my education will be damaged, or if I’ll be stopped and searched, or cause unintentional fear just because of how I look.”

Bethany also responded to BLM counter arguments, that ‘All Lives Matter’ and that ‘racism doesn’t happen in the UK’.

“They do,” she said. “Every life matters. But right now, our white lives are not in danger. That’s not saying every life isn’t important, but in this instant, the black lives movement really needs your help.

“‘But, racism doesn’t happen in the UK’ – I wish that were true. Unfortunately, racism in the UK runs deep in systematic and inherent manifestations. 

“If you’re bored after seeing the result of racism for two weeks, how do you think the black community feel after thousands of years?

“How can you be an ally? You can make your neighbourhood a safe space for the black community, and aid in the movement against racism by thinking about these steps: self-educate. There are so many books and podcasts you can use to understand the complex that we need to stand up to. 

“Change the curriculum: Make sure black history goes beyond the token month of October. Support your local curriculum change petitions.

“Take responsibility: It’s okay to reform your opinion, to apologise for something you didn’t know was wrong. But learn, none the less.

“Call it out: Calling out racism can make life more bearable for others. 

“Donate: If you have the funds, donate to some of the hundreds of campaigns or charities that need help. 

“Be Positive: Your voice, no matter how small, helps.”

Picture courtesy of Sally Masson

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