The recent release of the Race Report was nothing more than unsurprising. There is not an ounce of outrage within me. My energy and yours should be better spent elsewhere. The reason being that we live in a world founded on the genocide of people of colour.
Whether it be in the context of America, where the country was stolen from the Native Americans and built on the backs of enslaved Africans. Or the UK where the idea of race was conceptualised to legitimise the enslavement of Africans, for the development of the new world.
Colonisation played its part in harming, suppressing, and ruining the livelihood of people of colour, with any and everything from conniving trading of teas, herbs, and spices to mass murdering civilians for their land and resources.
The Race Report is a deliberate form of abuse. Gaslighting. It is in the UK’s interest to pretend the experiences of non-white people can be simply explained and reduced to nothing more than exaggerated opinions and experiences.
Before getting riled up, it serves better to consider and understand why institutionalised racism should be disproved.
The UK in many areas is directly responsible for the creation of the world as we know it. Colonisation and capitalism would have no place had it not been for the creation and sustenance of white supremacy.
Removing the fancy terms helps to create a simpler and easier understanding of the purpose of the Race Report. Its purpose is to nullify and attempt to falsify the daily experiences of people of colour. This allows the UK to absolve itself of any responsibility. The report serves to state with supporting ‘evidence’ no foul play towards non-white individuals throughout their lives. Therefore there’s nothing to be done or fixed. The oppressors can continue to subjugate the oppressed without consequence.
Like in the days of slavery. The law was in favour of white slave owners and so wrong and harmful behaviours towards enslaved Africans during slavery were mostly unaccounted for. Their humanity was unrecognised and so their mistreatment was viewed as deserving.
Race relations – where have all the good men gone?
However a good thought by Dr Joy DeGruy author of ‘Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome’, explained that the decedents of enslaved Africans are living today, those in America and the diaspora. Literally the black friends, family and individuals you see today from such backgrounds. This can also be extended beyond slavery to include all people of colour subjugated to colonialism, again living today, all of which make up our communities.
Where did the descendants of slave owners and white society that facilitated and/or benefited from the slavery and colonisation go?
Did they just disappear? Of course not, they became your neighbours, police, boss, teacher, friends, etc. They became a part of society also.
We then must consider where those heinous thoughts, behaviours, and attitudes to non-white people went. Did they also just magically evaporate with one chorus of Kumbaya? Again of course, not that would be ludicrous.
Thoughts, behaviours, and attitudes are taught to us, learned, and passed down from generation to generation. From our families, friends to those in authority. We then take what we’ve learned and proceed to treat and interact with others based on how we’ve been taught. Regardless if they are our friends, colleagues, or even family.
So the Race Report is not incorrect. If in the past people of colour’s humanity and rights were seen as less and removed. Why would the decedents of those people think or act any differently? Racism didn’t leave unannounced. I’m sorry to say you’d be a fool to think that.
Interracial coupling didn’t fix anything. Integrated schools didn’t fix anything. Having a black or non-white friend didn’t fix anything. People of colour in this country and across the West, still live and die in worse conditions than white people, because white supremacy is alive and kicking.
If society as a collective and on an individual level hasn’t put in the work to recognise its history and undo the ‘wrong doings’, to put it lightly. How is change meant to happen? It’s not, and the Race Report confirms that the UK is not in any way inclined to grant its non-white members of society their humanity. Even in the most harmless ways. From calling your friend by a self-appointed nickname instead of their actual name to racial slurs.
So I suggest we reclaim our humanity. My sister wisely introduced me to this concept as it defies all reasoning. Yes, fight for change, laws, legislation, etc. But also choose to live. Disengage from relentless harmful news, from time to time. Prioritise your health and wellbeing. Do things you enjoy, hang out with friends, treat yourself regularly, laugh a lot. Recognising your humanity is the most powerful form of resistance that you can do for yourself, your ancestors, and future generations.
It’s the one thing they tried to take unsuccessfully, because we’re still here, thriving through surviving.