Ordinarily I would be posting my latest YouTube video today, however in support of #blackouttuesday I have decided to postpone it until next week.
I've always been a believer in equality and so was as shocked as anyone by the murder of George Floyd last Monday in Minneapolis. Although it has sparked outrage and a lot of anger, debate and protest, the sad reality is that this is not an isolated, one off event. Unfortunately racism and inequality are still very much a reality in 2020, not just in the US but across the globe.
While progress may have been made, clearly it is not enough and just one example of racism would be one too many.
I usually do not get involved in any political, cultural or societal debate online, choosing to just focus on my area of expertise, what I am knowledgeable in and trying to bring people some form of joy and inspiration through my photography and videos.
I also don't think that you have to prove anything on social media. Just because you don't get involved in such posts and debates online does not mean that you can't possibly be doing other things which might actually be more helpful. Similarly just re-sharing someone else's post isn't necessarily the best thing you can do to tackle an issue and certainly isn't enough.
Also though, if I feel quite unknowledgeable about a topic I would prefer not to start shouting about it online, knowing that my comments may not be entirely accurate, may be out of context in some way, or might not be helping in the way I intended. Particularly as a white man in the UK I sometimes feel uncomfortable or unsure of what to post or how to get involved.
I certainly did not feel comfortable posting my video today though, selfishly promoting myself and ignoring the #blackouttuesday movement.
It is great that people are now taking action outside of the US too and I realise that if I truly do believe in equality I should get involved and take action. This isn't the responsibility of black people in America to tackle, this is the responsibility of everyone if we are to truly tackle racism and inequality once and for all.
Deciding not to upload my video is not enough however, nor would posting a black square to my Instagram feed. As I said, I often don't know how I could or should be dealing with an issue online - an issue I have no idea what it is like to be the victim of, as someone with so many privileges.
So I wanted to know what I could do as a white person in the UK to do something which might actually help in someway and so I began to do some research online and found some very useful articles and resources.
I think we should continue the momentum that seems to be building across the world right now: the fact that the shocking events in Minneapolis last Monday has awaken so many people to an important issue, and realising that enough is enough. If you want to do more than post a black square on Instagram however, please check out the resources I have found below which offer advice on how you can help.
From It's Nice That: A list of resources for supporting the Black Lives Matter movement
Also check out this Instagram account by psychology student Das whose last 3 posts are particularly interesting on this issue.