Racism Is Everyone’s Problem

The video of George Floyds murder is not an easy watch, nor should it be. It’s the latest in a number of videos we’ve heard from the US about an unarmed black person being killed by the very people who should protect them.

Racism is alive and well – it never went anywhere.

I am aware that I’m writing this as a white woman. I’ve never had to fear for my life because of the colour of my skin. I cannot tell you what it feels like to be treated different because of my race and I’m not going to try. We need to listen to people who live the experience every day.

Listening is one part but also we need to recognise our privilege, now, some people have a problem with that statement. If you are oppressed or are living in difficult conditions it’s hard to feel privileged but realise that none of your problems are made worse or caused because of the colour of your skin.

When I was younger, I naively thought that we didn’t have a racism problem in the UK. I was so incredibly wrong that it brings me shame now to admit it. Racism is alive and well and we have our own history to recognise as well as what people are going through in this country today.

Claiming that there’s ‘nothing you can do’ about racism or that it’s ‘not that bad here’ is part of the problem. Not knowing doesn’t make you a bad person but living in ignorance does. Take the time to learn about the issues, have an understanding and change your own thoughts and behaviours. It’s not easy and you won’t be perfect but you can do your part.

We need to work together, listen and understand.

Book Review: You Can’t Touch My Hair And Other Things I Still Have To Explain – Phoebe Robinson

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I’ll be honest, prior to picking this as an audiobook I had no idea who Phoebe was. It just sounded like a funny book with an important message. What I ended up with was a great new comedian and writer to follow and a new appreciation of what it’s like to be a Woman of Colour.

It’s not a surprise to any of you who visit my blog or any of my social media that I’m a White British woman. I fully admit that I have no idea what it’s like to live as a Woman of Colour and I never will. Phoebe’s book isn’t just about race but she really gave me insight in a firm but approachable way and made me consider things I hadn’t before. I didn’t expect that from a book that marketed as being funny.

Don’t get me wrong, Phoebe is hilarious. It’s like listening to that awesome friend with all these crazy stories that you can’t believe are true. While doing this though, she talks about Feminism, about being put down creatively, about casual racism. The bottom line is that Phoebe is fiercely relatable, I think to the majority of women. I absolutely ADORE her.

One of my favourite parts of the book (which I can guarantee works best as an audiobook) is Phoebe’s letters to her niece. Of course, they’re funny a little inappropriate and meant for when she’s older but there’s just a wonderful sense of care. That Phoebe is talking about all of these issues, not for her, not for us, but for girls of the future so the world is a little bit easier for them to navigate.

I gave this four stars. This is a brilliant, well written and hilarious book. There’s just the right mix of humour and serious thought throughout. The only tiny reason I haven’t made it five stars, is because there are points I felt dragged on a bit too long for me. It definitely is a great read or listen though! Make sure you check it out!

5 Muhammad Ali Quotes to Live By

As well as being a star in the ring, Muhammad Ali was incredible with words, and a poet too. While I’m not a boxing fan, he is a inspiration to me. Not only did Ali stand up for what he believed in, no matter what the cost (such as his stance against the Vietnam war), but he also wasn’t afraid to talk the talk. Here’s 5 quotes to live by from the one and only Muhammad Ali.

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A lot of Ali’s quotes were about carrying on, this one in particular sticks with me. Struggling sucks but trying to remember why you’re struggling and what the end game is makes it a lot easier to deal with.

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Again, you fall down? You pick yourself back up again. I completely agree with this, everyone goes down sometimes but it’s picking yourself up that shows strength.

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Ali risked so much when he opposed the Vietnam war and stood up to racism. IT could have ended his career but he still stood up for what he believed in. If this isn’t a reason to see Ali as an inspiration, I don’t know what is.

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Who doesn’t know this phrase?!

Right now Islam and the Muslim community need our support. We need to remember the peace that Ali reminded us of after 9/11 and people should know the ‘real truth about Islam’. One of the world’s greatest, and by all accounts nicest, men reminding us that it is extremism and hate of a minority that causes such devastation, not a book.

Rest in Peace Muhammad Ali.

All of these images and videos belong to the lovely people of Pinterest and Twitter.

I’m Loving: American Crime Story

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As someone who doesn’t have a hooked up TV in their flat, it’s rare I get excited about TV programmes. Over the last few months I’ve kept seeing reports about the OJ Simpson trial, I knew nothing about it but I knew about the name. Nicole Brown-Simpson was murdered the year I was born, so while I have no memory of the trial being on TV I’d heard it mentioned before. The more I read the more interested I got and of course this was all build up to the new FX show, American Crime Story. This looked like it was going to be a great show.

I read and watched a lot to understand background and know the fact before watching the fiction, I wasn’t disappointed. I cannot wait for next week and the next installment, the acting so far has been incredible and I love the angle. There hasn’t been an overwhelming sense of O.J’s guilty or O.J’s not guilty in the first episode which was a relief. I didn’t want to watch something that was incredibly tainted with one person’s view. The fact that the case focuses on those around the case and how it changed their lives is also brilliant to me. Of course, there has been some criticism of the fact that the Kardashians as children will feature BUT the children of O.J and Marcia Clarke are also featured. Robert Kardashian Sr was O.Js best friend, and Kris Jenner Nicole’,s which means that their lives are going to be explored.

The show was fast paced and from what I’ve read is staying close to fact so far. For someone like me, who’s never had an interest in crime shows before to be so hooked they must have done something right. I cannot wait for the next episode and the next and the next. I know I’m going to be clearing time each week to sit down alone and watch, no matter what’s happening that week.

The show also brings up some big issues. The race element is still incredibly relelvent today, 20 years later which is a sad truth. Why is the US still dealing with racism and police brutality? It’s something that, in my opinion, took away from the heart of the case. Two people died, but this was turned into another race issue. Don’t get me wrong I agree that there were and still are great issues between police and the African-American community but for this hugely famous athlete I don’t think it was the case. We’re also confronted with the issue of domestic violence, something incredibly serious. Whether or not O.J Simpson killed Nicole and Ron Goldman, he did assault her. Domestic violence is something that is never ok, towards a man or a woman and from this terrible and shocking murder hopefully there is room for education about domestic violence.

Overall, I’m very excited about this series. It’s going to be a fascinating look at ‘The Trial of the Century’. I’m already thinking about next week and how the famous chase is going to be shot.

How about you guys? Have any of you been watching? What do you think so far?! I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.