#blacklivesmatter has become part of my daily life over the past eleven days since George Floyd was murdered by a policeman. There has been much written about that event and the subsequent protests. For eleven days my Twitter feed, my facebook account and my Instagram has been filled with the hashtag and one of the things that has appalled me almost as much as the systemic racism that makes murder of an unarmed, jnnocent black man seem acceptable is the idea that the UK is better than that.
It saddens me we know so little of our own history that we believe the white myth of British superiority. Britain has a long history of believing in our own superiority. And more, the superiority of our upper class. We have a truly appaling record that continues to this day. Yes we abolished slavery but we also paid out vast sums of money to the slave owners to recompense them for their loss. Yes these slave traders were wealthy men of business who did generous deeds of philanthropy, but only to help the white poor. And nearly 200 years on we have things like the Windrush fiasco that shows us how little has changed in the treatment of people of colour.
As Christians we should be on the side of the downtrodden. God made all people in his image, ALL people. We should be raising our voices and taking a stand with Black Lives Matter, we should be standing with carers who get a clap and a thank you for the government but are left unsupported to sink or swim on their own. We should be standing with Muslims and refugees and LGBTQ+ and trans people because we are against the abuse they receive on a daily basis. We do not have to agree with them about anything except that racism and abuse is wrong. That is more than enough reason to stand shoulder to shoulder in protest.
I’ve heard complaints from people about the destruction of statues and disruption. I’ve heard complaints to that people of colour should be more circumspect in how they protest. They’ve been trying that for years and we haven’t listened. I’ve heard people say this is the end of the world. You know what, if it’s the end of this world and the start of a fairer one then I feel fine.