Rest in peace George Floyd...and may your aggressors (the men directly responsible AND the institutions behind them, that created them) be continually harangued until they are adequately, fully punished by all of us who are angered, hurt and exasperated by yet another black death at the hands of this ugly, institutional, structural and pandemic racism that still, in fucking 2020 persists...

I am sick and tired of having to write about shit like this and it's taken a lot for me to gather my feelings and strength to do so. But here goes. Being black has ALWAYS mattered, to those who inhabit that identity. It shouldn't have to . It should be about as relevant as eye colour but it's not is it? Can you imagine a world where people with blue eyes were more likely to be murdered, living in poverty, more likely to be treated severely in the judicial system, more likely to be discriminated against in the educational system, healthcare system, politically, financially, more likely to suffer from poor mental health (from that constant drip drip of othering) AND more likely to be treated severely within that system; more likely to be sectioned, taken away from their families, drugged, seen as aggressive, a threat. Basically, in this world we live in, whether you live in the US or the UK, Europe or even Africa, if you are black, you will struggle more than your white peers, you will have to constantly struggle with the perception that you are lesser in regards intellect, beauty, value and more in regards being a threat, dangerous, untrustworthy. Your life will ultimately be in part dictated by the colour of your skin. And in too many situations seemingly, your death will be a direct result of it. This point brings me back neatly, albeit upsettingly to George Floyd's untimely and deeply upsetting, angering death.

I read 'Why I'm no longer talking to white people about race' by Reni Eddo Lodge last year and it affected me deeply. It resonated, with how hard I have found it over the years to have proper discussions with people not of colour about what racism is and often isn't, without either an overt or subtle edge of fragility coming through.

Comments like; 'are you sure they were being racist' to 'i think it's just a small group of people who are racist nowadays' to 'i don't see you as black, I don't see colour' (which btw TOTALLY disregards my experience as I move through the world and is as ignorant and entitled as it is a lie) to 'but...there is a huge issue with black violence, I mean, just look at the statistics'... I could continue but it would be arduous and upsetting for everyone. The point I'm trying to make is that most white people, in my humble experience, do not understand what racism is and isn't and only react when they are presented with a big incident. An incident like the murder of George Floyd. Yes, I am pleased to see so many white folk taking to the streets to protest and speak out. White silence is indeed violence and it does fill me with comfort and hope. But still. The murder of black people at the hands of the police has a) been going on for, just EVER and, b) does not, has not happened in a vacuum. It is a result of all the micro aggressions that black people suffer day to day, hour to hour. In their places of work, at school, in literature, art, the media etc etc. It is a result of the acceptance of the structures that uphold racism, the acceptance of racial bias in society, the acceptance of the reality that pretty much all Global North countries' wealth is based upon slavery and the lack of true and proper reparations. It is the lack of self reflection in people when they don't investigate their own racial biases. THESE THINGS ALL MAKE WHAT HAPPENED TO GEORGE FLOYD (et al) SO FUCKING NORMALISED AND INEVITABLE!!!

Yes, I'm angry and just beyond tired. I feel sick to my stomach with exhaustion because with caricatures like Trump and Boris at the helm, i fear sometimes we have no hope. And not simply because of the power they exert but because THEY WERE ELECTED. Boris Johnson and Donald Trump have both proved themselves to be disgustingly racist but yet, they were voted in. To me, this says that when it comes down to it, the vast majority of people DO NOT CARE about the genocide of black people that is happening in America, about the overwhelming statistics that prove that you are more likely to struggle in life if you are not white and more so the further from white you present; think pigmentocracy, i.e., I know that I, as a light skinned woman of colour inhabit a position of relative socialised privilege because, like in the good old days, where I would be given the luxury of being a house slave (due to being easier on the eye to the white slave masters) I now have invisible doors opened to me by virtue of that genetic lottery draw. I've been told (in all earnestness) before, by an employer that my skin was beautiful, it almost looked like I was a tanned white person - like that is a bonafide compliment. Told that I'm apparently 'really well spoken', the subtext and omission of 'for a black person' hanging in the air like a threat. Told by white lovers (and black ones - because black folk have internalised racism too (a gift from the slave masters)) that they prefer mixed race women because they don't find dark skinned women attractive. Told that I could almost 'pass' for Italian, if I got my hair straightened!

This white is right sentiment is EVERYWHERE and totally underpins and informs all of these heart-breaking and abhorrent incidents we see around us. Comes directly from that (now seemingly offensive and archaic) eugenics ideology, which is not only a descendant of but also in essence the parent of slavery; black people are seen as sub human; intellectually inferior, less able to feel pain, lacking in emotional and cultural depth, so therefore their lives are worth less. My life is worth less. Derek Chauvin evidently had that dogma ingrained within him. Perhaps so deep that he doesn't even understand it, doesn't even recognise it. But that knee he placed upon George Floyd's neck is a metaphor for the system of white supremacy we are STILL living amidst. No, we can't breathe. You can hear us but you don't interpret our words as valid expressions because racism is such an ugly word and NO ONE wants to admit that they could be guilty of that social ill. So ashamed of it that they refuse to deal with it, instead push it down, internalise it, till it is fully automated from within, justify their instincts, ignore their ignorance. Silence their silence. Silence our discomfort and fear because... it's better than having to go through the pain of change.

Yes. I address this to all of you, my beautiful white allies. Thank you, thank you, thank you for fighting for a fairer world. For fighting for us, for me. Keep up that fight but please, please, please, dig deeper...think harder... keep digging, keep thinking, keep fighting for us cos you know what, we need you... The reality is, we all need each other, but in the here and now, in this particular fight, we need you to stand up and say no! Then back that up with consistency long after this has all faded...which we all know it will...

I also address this to all my black brothers and sisters. My message to you is simple... In the words of Martin Luther King;

“A riot is the language of the unheard.”...and we will be heard...we will be, but please everyone...stay safe this weekend. Black people are already disproportionately affected by Covid 19. Let us not add our lives to the numbers already growing beyond our control. Let us protest. But peacefully. I will be out and adding my dissent this weekend. Again, to quote another great black poet...Marvin Gaye... We will be out fighting for a brighter day and I will be wearing my red, black and green liberation jumpsuit, that I saved for just this occasion...

Peace and love always and out...



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(S)llew la Wulf
(S)llew la Wulf

Yet another artist screaming (colourfully) into the void. I like to dance. I write. I do self portraiture and i draw... I cover topics ranging from racial bias to female sexuality to capitalism to rape culture and of course, love ❤️


Some of my more political writing and art...

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