The new decade – which was envisioned to be a fresh start and a renewal of hope – began with and continues to be marked by suffering.
2020 was seen as an invitation. To start afresh and build on last year’s bitter experience. Not to bombard our society with more controversy and division.
Beginning with the crucifixion of Asian people, an entire minority was blamed for the spread of COVID-19. It marked a renewed sense of vicious hatred towards minorities, in the midst of a deadly pandemic.
The ‘Chinese Virus’ was only the beginning of it.
It didn’t help that Donald Trump propagated this discrimination. Allowing for the stigmatising of the Asian community. Even the WHO advised against using terms that linked the virus to China and the city of Wuhan.
An entire race was blamed for the deaths of thousands, forgetting that this is not a new testimony throughout mankind.
The West is guilty of perpetuating myths of the Asian villain. Government leaders encouraging hate crimes and playing into the stereotype that minorities are lesser isn’t new.
However, minorities are easier to break down and beat. It’s become obvious that white people still see people of colour as lesser than they are.
Racism never vanished, there is just no media coverage to expose the hateful treatment. It was only a matter of time before police brutality was called out.
It’s a vile reality that another innocent Black man’s death is what it took.
George Floyd’s tragic murder was the spark that ignited the inevitable revolution this decade. People are now rioting and engaging in the protest for equality.
All sects of society are standing in solidarity to uplift black people and protest against unjust killings of unarmed people of colour. They demand all members of society to be held at the same respect, yet, this is not how the world works.
Those who stand against white oppression are regarded as the enemy. Journalists are being shot in the face with rubber bullets. Peaceful protesters are treated as terrorists and are being physically assaulted by those who we trust to be our authorities.
It has dawned on society that the police are not always the protectors, and that the war against police brutality is not new.
Now the world is understanding why Black lives have always been at risk. Because they are not the only ones suffering anymore. All races who are standing up for Black lives are feeling the beat of oppression.
And multiple deaths have followed that have not had nearly as much coverage.
It’s not only the pandemic taking lives. Racial prejudice is the world’s most unjust killer.
One that Black people have been calling out for years. Though, it is only now that it’s being broadcasted across the world.
Right now the world is being educated on what it means to be black. To understand that only a few can hide behind a shield of privilege. It is the perfect moment to stand up against these injustices in the fight to end discrimination wherever you are.
However, don’t be fooled into thinking this is an American issue.
The UK certainly isn’t innocent of racism. We have streets named after slave owners and statues built in their honour. The difference here is that it’s been so normalised that people are blind to it.
Racism has been beaten into microaggressions that Britain feeds off, unrelenting to acknowledge it.
There is no talk of the racial injustice within Britain. We do not confess to the systematic racism integrated into our society. We need a strong leadership against racial offenses. Too many crimes have been left unpunished.
Significantly, the tragic death of TfL worker Belly Mujinga. She was spat in the face by a man who claimed to have coronavirus. As a result she contracted COVID-19.
There has been no justice for her. Only the significant revelation that the Tory party is unable to effectively diminish racial attacks in our country. There needs to be acknowledgement of the impact of racism to fix the system.
Citizens of the UK ignore it. Anything racist is considered a miscommunication or just playful banter gone wrong. It is not acknowledged as offensive. Because anything racist in our society is argued as humour taken out of context.
Yet, no one can explain the joke.
Racism has always been part of our society. It is our duty as the next generation to eradicate it. To assure and secure the safety and protection of all members of our society. For that to happen, the violence needs to cease and make room for conversation.
Nobody is out there enjoying it. Violence is not being celebrated; because the movement isn’t violent. It is peaceful protesting that is being made violent by oppressors.
People are being blinded, people are being choked to death, people are being assaulted. Not to fight for violence but to fight against it.
Because Black lives do matter. Yet, they are treated as if they are nothing. Black people are being murdered in broad daylight. There is no justice unless it is being fought for. If protests and riots didn’t happen, there would be no progress.
These actions are for liberation. For the world to see past how Black people are portrayed in the news. For us to stop allowing Black people to be “viewed” as anything other than human beings. To let them simply live their lives without the stereotypes societies cast them in.
We need to do more by educating ourselves beyond the expectation we will be led to answers. Facing the harsh realities of the past can be uncomfortable, but we must be willing to face all parts of history if we are going to make a real change.
If it hurts you to see it, imagine how it feels to endure it in silence for so long.
Featured image credit: DailyExpress.co.uk
Deputy Editor of Brig Newspaper. Fourth year journalism and English student at the University of Stirling. Lover of covering social issues and creator of 'The Talk' column for everyone who needs to hear it.