I have thought about whether or not to post anything on the topic. I don’t think the world has been waiting for my opinion. No-one would notice if I said nothing. And as a white middle-class middle-aged man, it is hard to know what to say.
Anything I think of can sound trite or patronising.
I could change my profile background black, or tweet a hashtag. And that would be fine. But the things I have seen and read have been so shocking that I think each and every additional voice is needed.
I feel uncomfortable writing about this, but I should feel uncomfortable.
I think I am not racist.
But racism isn’t a binary thing. Not everyone either is or is not a racist. And so I run the risk of saying something that is unintentionally harmful.
But that’s better than saying nothing. And I am learning and listening.
If I were a black parent in America how would I teach my kids about authority and respect?
‘Respect the police even though you are far more likely to be arrested than your white friend’.
It is not as simple as saying that the police in America are racist.
Some will be racist, some will not be racist and the majority will be somewhere in between. But there is no doubt the system is fundamentally racist. There is no other explanation for what we are seeing. Appalling brutality and not in isolated incidents.
Not just ‘bad apples’.
There are a lot of ‘good apples’ standing by and turning a blind eye. And people are right to be angry. And the angrier they get the more the system fights back. Be that in the form of police or even Donald Trump.
I don’t know what the answer is, but I do know I need to challenge my own beliefs and prejudices. Saying ‘I don’t see colour’ isn’t true or helpful.
I also see my own privilege. But I don’t know what to do with it. Other than add my voice in support.
So with this in mind, I am looking for and reading anything I can that will help me to understand what it’s like to face the threat of brutality when protesting about the murderer of a man at the hands of authority. And the many murders and beatings that went before and have happened since.
I really hope this doesn’t come across as self-indulgent, but I know it may do, so apologies if that’s the case.
So in summary, black lives matter.
Ewan Maule is a pharmacist.
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