A man whose name has dominated the headlines amid the global public health crisis of 2020. Since his death on the 25th May, the circulation of horrific videos online showing him being held down by a knee of a policeman have sparked anger and widespread social unrest.
Martin Luther King Jr.
A man who's unforgettable ‘I Have a Dream’ speech was delivered in 1963. Despite his demands for civil and economic rights as well as an end to racism in the United States, these issues are clearly still prevalent on a global scale almost 60 years later.
As we watch in terror as COVID-19 decimates through our communities and we collectively use all of our resources to confront it, many have realised that we must respond to the array of social injustices with the same level of urgency. Young people are taking action to confront the ways in which racist rhetoric has permeated our society, hopefully allowing for future generations to not feel the discrimination that so many others have felt as a result of the perceived ‘superior race’.
So, how can YOU, a young person living in Trafford join the fight to tackle racism on a local scale?
1. Sign Petitions. blacklivesmatters.carrd.co have a range of petitions that will only take a few minutes to sign. As we are international, the website has provided American zip codes that you can use to sign the petitions with. Not only will the petitions have to be addressed if enough signatures are collected, it is completely free!
Please only do this if you can! Even £1 donated by 1000 individuals is enough to make a difference. The Floyd family have set up a GoFundMe page to help cover the costs for his memorial and burial and to support them during this incredibly difficult time. There are also many other donation points through the blacklivesmatters.carrd.co webpage that support similar causes and more victims of racial injustice.
3. Participate in protests (safely!).
Protests in the UK have emerged despite social distancing rules, with activists marching through our city centers holding signs demanding justice for George Floyd whilst chanting “Black Lives Matter”.
In Manchester, there is a protest planned to kick start at 1pm on the 6th June in Piccadilly Gardens. If you are planning to attend, ensure you comply with distancing guidelines with many protestors staying 2m apart from one another.
4. Educate those around you.
Although social media is undoubtedly the easiest way to raise awareness, some of our friends and relatives may not have a social media account meaning that helpful links are not as accessible. By encouraging them to sign petitions will catalyse the rate at which racism can be tackled once and for all.
While we live in times of uncertainty with a vast range of social, economic and political issues, there are still things that we can be certain of.
It is now, more than ever, crucial to work with one another rather than against each other. We are all human beings with a common goal of wanting to enjoy life. Skin colour should never be perceived as reasonable suspicion and should never give someone the right to behave in a discriminative manner.