Black Lives Matter
Posted on 2020-06-04 by Benjamin Brake
This blog post isn’t related to podcasts / audio dramas, writing, or anything we’re currently working on. But it’s the best platform I have for saying what I want to say.
Normally with large social issues such as these I’m aware that everything I could possibly say has already been said better by somebody else. I grew up in the South West of England and racism was never something I had much exposure to nor a nuanced understanding of besides the de facto awareness that ‘it’s bad.’ So my perspective on this issue isn’t insightful or revolutionary but I know that, in the case of this movement, that’s not really the point. If you have anything at all to say in support of the Black Lives Matter movement it is our obligation to say it. Because it’s people like myself who have had the privilege to not have had first hand experience of it who are letting this pass.
I have never in my entire life believed myself to be racist. I’ve always thought myself open and accepting and I’m sure the majority of people feel the same way. I believed racism a trait of villains and scoundrels. I thought it something overt and purposeful. In fact, before this movement truly took off it would have offended me if someone accused me of being a racist. But the truth, as so many white people such as myself are realising far later than we ever should have, is that that’s not the case. Racism is far more complicated than that and it should never have been the victim’s job to show us that. Truthfully, we live in a racist society – a society which by its very nature subjugates its minorities. And by living in a society like that, by having been complacent for the duration of our lives, we have ourselves been racist. In much the same way that by living in a capitalist society we are indeed capitalist unless we actively strove not to be. It’s simply the case that unless we protest them and act against them, we can’t say we don’t hold the views and prejudices of our society.
The truth is it’s hard to hear that our complacency is harmful to others. It’s painful to be told that our way of living is victimising our peers. And, frankly, it’s difficult to make changes to the way we live. But morality should never be affected by the sunk-cost fallacy. We should never say ‘well it’s always been this way so why change now?’ Our comfort is not worth innocent people dying and it saddens me that it’s taken this much for me to even to do the necessary research to realise my white privilege and fragility.
The system isn’t broken; it’s loaded. It was designed to be oppressive. And it’s the obligation of everyone who’s in any way benefited from it to make sure it continues this way no longer.
Maybe my voice and my words won’t make much difference. I don’t expect to have opened anyone’s eyes or changed anyone’s minds. I also know, however, that I can’t remain silent or inactive on this matter. I know I’ve reflected upon myself as a result of this movement and I hope that other people can say the same. We don’t need to have said anything new or insightful to show our support, we just need to be willing to listen and willing to act.
I’ve attached below a link to a webpage I found useful for educating myself and finding places to donate, as well as a link to one of many YouTube videos which are donating their ad revenue to Black Lives Matter so you can support the cause even if you’re struggling with money yourself. I know there are thousands of other helpful sites and resources, please feel free to send any to me or anyone you know to help with the cause. I’m sorry it took people like myself so long to listen.