Last week I featured as one of the contributory Black Lives Matter messages in the TED talk by my good friend and Human Rights Lawyer, Dexter Dias QC.
His powerful talk captured the moment.
His headline message was clear. Racism wants your silence. It’s time to speak out.
We all know racism exists. I knew it in Hounslow when I grew up. I see it today.
We’ve seen it in the data.
In health inequalities
School exclusion rates
In career prospects
In the justice system.
BAME communities – hit hardest by COVID, and now hit hardest by the economic crisis.
A double whammy, with the Government to slow to get the facts and to find the truth.
This is a time to stand together.
So if you agree Black Lives Matter – ask yourself – What can I do – peacefully, but persistently – to change things?
Change must come.
Change must come – first by changing what we know is wrong. The recommendations in the Lammy Review, the Wendy Wilson review – with her message just a few days ago, that there is a grave risk of a Windrush style scandal happening again unless the Home Office takes action.
Action. Not words.
It’s time to look again.
At which voices are making the decisions in our public services. At which voices are heard in our schools through our history books. At which voices are heard at the top of our companies and in our politics.
Racism wants silence. But what was silenced is now being voiced.
The memory of George Floyd will always be with us. And as Al Sharpton said in his eulogy: When the media moves on, we will continue to stand with the family of George and others until there is change, and until there is Justice.
Dr King taught us: The time is always right to do the right thing.
So as Dexter Dias also said: Now is a historic moment for change. Now is the time to take action – in the spheres of influence we all have. We have the power to call out racism.
In standing together today, you stand together for future generations, and for a different world in which those not yet born will grow up together knowing the best of each other, valuing each other equally, and saying no to racism, discrimination and knowing the voices of those who have to date been silenced, will be heard.