Showboating on #BlackLivesMatter - #BLM

Are you appeased by an image of a Black Lives Matter (#BLM) banner outside of a Council building?  Are you appeased by a photograph of Councillors elected from BAME communities?  Is that all it takes to win your vote?  More fool you.

These kinds of platitudes have been continually carried out over decades.

Some people are naive enough to think that publicity stunts like this underline a commitment to racial equality in the UK.  They do no such thing.

They merely point out that we have Councillors that are people of colour.  It says nothing about their voting records - which should be publicly viewable;  Nottingham City Council have a facility on their website to make this happen but they chose not to populate that part of their Councillors' profiles online.

Placing a banner before a civic building just means that there's a #BLM banner in front of a building - it doesn't mean anything more that that...but because the issue is central to many of our lives as people of colour, we can unwittingly choose to regard it as a positive move, when such moves are nothing of the sort.

If you haven't seen politicians bring about the changes you hoped for, sometimes it's because some people get very comfortable in positions of power and influence.  They don't want to rock the comfortable lifestyle they have built for themselves.  They would rather turn a blind eye than actually go against their peers to make positive changes.  People are bought off in the halls of power all the time...one way or another.

Real progress would bring about changes in law and policy in areas of education, affordable housing, policing, jobs with good prospects, employment rights and practises, mandatory discrimination awareness training etc; but we haven't moved forward on those issues - even with the fighting that some of us have done over the decades.  It would also mean re-writing the history books and teaching the truth in our educational establishments.

There's a new 'Black' or 'BAME' interest group popping up nearly every week...but there's no common puprpose, no unified agenda - even though they profess to be going for the same goals.

The age of social media has made campaigning for BAME rights accessible to all that want to be involved.  It's also removed main stream media manipulation because people are telling their own stories...which is why our freedom of speech online must be protected too.  Today's most effective journalists are people recording videos on their mobile phones.

BAME means Black Asian Minority Ethnic but as people of colour, we are all 'politically black'.

Make your Councillors and MPs accountable, especially those from BAME communities that have promised to work towards eradicating racism.  Challenge them...give them the agenda and make them fight your corner where equality and anti-discriminationis an issue.  If they don't - simply vote in someone else next time that will.

Above all else - don't get blinkered, keep your eyes wide open.  This isn't just about Black people.  The issue of racism in the UK is about our Foreign Policy attitude towards a number of countries, including those affected by the Windrush scandal,  Palestine, Syria, Yemen, China, the USA and Iran amongst many others ... as well as at home.

Let's see some unity of the different groups coming together please - the more we unite, the greater the pressure towards the Establishment to change.  We will never succeed if we don't because we're currently helping the system run their 'divide and conquer' campaign.

What if we all campaigned under one banner?  'People of Colour'?  What if every thrust in the political arena was made that simply and encompassed us all comfortably?  Or what if we all accept that we're 'politically Black' and just campaign under one title - #BLM?  The momentum is there already.

Villayat 'Wolf' Sunkmanitu

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