Tuesday, 2 June 2020


I've been wondering whether or not to write anything about the current horrific state of affair in the US following the murder of George Floyd. I'm not there, I'm not directly affected, I've already lost friends who are directly affected by the riots and who disagree with my stance.

But I feel it's important to make my stance clear. I've posted about it plenty on social media and I think anyone who follows my blog will know where I stand. I stand with those protesting against the oppression of black people in America.

Am I happy that there are riots? That it's come to violence? Of course not. But every form of peaceful protest has fallen on deaf ears. The system of justice and government in the US is intrinsically against anyone who isn't white, straight, rich and male, but black people are treated the worst. When society is systemically so against you, the only way to fight is to fight.

Still, the vast majority of protests have been peaceful, even in spite of this. Most of the property damage has been by white supremacists or undercover police intending to incite anger against the protesters. There are reams of footage, easy to see online and being reported around the world showing the brutality of the police. Against protesters, against medics, against reporters, against bystanders, against people in their own homes surrounding the conflict. Yes, there are some good cops standing with the protesters and engaging with them, which is wonderful. Yes, there are bound to be some violent thugs and opportunistic looters amongst the protesters. They are the minority. If the violent protesters give the rest a bad name, what do the violent police do to the force? What do the ones who have murdered black people with impunity done to the force?

Now, with Trump ordering the tear-gassing of peaceful protesters in Washington, DC, in order to co-opt a church for a press op, then ordering police and the military to retaliate against the protesters, his presidency has finally tipped completely into a dictatorship. He has declared Antifa - not an organisation, merely a like-minded cloud of people who are opposed to fascism -as terrorists. You are supposed to be against fascism.

A lot of us in the UK have been saying the US is heading towards a civil war, and I'm of the opinion the nation won't exist by 2040. This would seem to be the start of it. It's going to get worse before it gets better, and I am very, very worried about my friends in the States.

And no, I still don't blame the protesters.

REMEMBER: Riots and protests got your your rights. Stonewall was a riot started by a black woman of colour, without which queer people would have few of the rights they have today.

REMEMBER: Just because you don't have it easy, doesn't mean you are not privileged. I've dealt with some difficult things, but my skin colour and racial background has never been the source of that. It is always going to be easier for me in western society than it would be if I were black.

REMEMBER: Yes, Asian, Middle Eastern, Native American, Hispanic and other minority ethnic groups suffer from systemic racism as well, but not to the terrifying degree that black people do.

REMEMBER: Trans women of colour are the single most mistreated group of people in the US, suffering a hugely disproportionate  number of murders and miscarriages of justice.

REMEMBER: We are not innocent in the UK. Our police force is less dangerous and less racist than in the US, but unpunished murders of black people in custody still happens far, far too often.

REMEMBER: It's not about black vs. white, it's about good people vs. racists and brutes.

REMEMBER: There are violent people of all colours and backgrounds. There are good people of all colours and backgrounds. Anyone can do something wrong, but the police should be, must be, held to a higher standard. They should be the best of us, not the worst.

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