Growing up in Central London up until the age of eleven, I went to a school with children from over 75 different nationalities.
I was wholly fortunate to be brought up within a family and community where race was introduced to me no differently to being told that some people have blue eyes and others have green, I studied Martin Luther King's speech aged seven and wrote extensive school projects about Mary Seacole, part of my 11+ entrance exam was to plan a campaign to abolish racism within young football clubs.
Nearly 50 years into laws against public racial discrimination within the UK being put into practice, this should be a natural and obvious common place, in the same way I was given extensive knowledge on white political leaders and white iconic figures through history.
Moving out of London in my early teens left me faced with an absurd amount of discovery into how ignorant and futile other people of my age were towards those who differed in colour and heritage to them.
It seemed as utterly ludicrous to me then as it does now and whilst some might ignorantly claim the innocent naivety of youth upon those I encountered, you most certainly can't do that with what we're facing now.
Earlier today the news in Ferguson broke out that the white police offer that shot a young innocent black male dead was not to be charged.
Whilst I, like everyone else bar the two people involved, have no real understanding of what actually occurred, it's the lack of knowledge surrounding the case that is both insulting to the loss of a life and the misrepresentation of racial violence.
Michael Brown's death is not a social anomaly and doesn't out lie statistically.
It's received an incredible call for justice, citizens of war torn countries and international protestors took a moment out of their own issues to send messages of support and solidarity across all forms of press and social media.
Where as for the most part, white people have been noticeably more reluctant to make a statement.
This is obviously hugely generalised, I am by no means suggesting that whites have been silent, but it only took me a few moments to scan my Twitter and Facebook feeds to notice that over 85% of the posts put out weren't by my white counterparts.
I truly believe this is because a large majority are scared.
I tend to write most of my blog posts in twenty minutes and press publish as soon as I've thrown my eyes over it half heartedly for spelling mistakes, but this one has had me push for extreme care and concern over all of my vocabulary and phrasing in fear of saying something remotely offensive even though I know in its genuine core and indeed my own, I'm not capable of doing so because my intentions are by no means to do so nor would I really know how to.
But the thought has still left my fingertips wavering over each key a little terrified.
This is the issue.
A lot of people are worried they might offend others with their phrasing, they struggle to see the opening for meaningful conversation upon the issue because they themselves have not been directly involved with racial offence.
Nor do they see an opportunity to speak out and for it to make a positive impact or any impact whatsoever.
The majority probably also struggle to see their role in the fight of racism because they themselves aren't racist, they worry that addressing race in the first place might even make the situation worse and more uncomfortable.
These fears are real and I understand them, but by accepting and not pushing through them, essentially results in the justification of white silence and inaction making the oppression and death of black people a serious real world issue.
We need to start taking an active role as white people to fight and dispel racism as it's something that is destroying our communities and our brothers and sisters.
Whilst it wasn't you or I who personally created it, we have a huge part in undoing racism because our heritage did and a large portion of our people support and maintain a serially racist system that benefits white people to the extreme detriment of those of colour.
We should be using words that speak the truth about the disempowerment, oppression, disinvestment and racism that are rampant in our communities.
Janee Woods recently wrote -
'Black people are dying and it’s not your personal fault that black people are dying because you’re white but if you don’t make a purposeful choice to become a white ally and actively work to dismantle the racist system running America for the benefit of white people then it becomes your shame because you are white and black lives matter. And if you live your whole life and then die without making a purposeful choice to become a white ally then American racism becomes your legacy.
The choice is yours.'
The choice is yours.'