As a white person I can never understand the world from any other perspective.
This does however allow me a position from which to speak to other white people and challenge them to recognise their role in racism, and the systemic privilege they have and benefit from.
Despite my commitment and life experience, I without doubt have my own bias and blind spots. However, I am clear that if I fail to act then I too am complicit.
Sadly during these last few weeks I have witnessed numerous occasions when white people have been unable to see the role they play in allowing racism to continue.
For example, seeing individuals from white minority groups being unable to identify the privilege that being able to pass as white affords them on many occasions
Others have wanted to focus on the very few incidents of aggressive behaviour being played out, due to a sense of powerlessness and frustration of those involved, rather than focus on the real issue of the entrenched structural racism that they are complicit in allowing to continue.
Racism is not an issue for Black people to solve – but they have a central role to play in speaking out regarding the experience and white people must actively listen.
What is said will be very difficult for many white people to hear, since for many it will challenge both their own belief that they are good morally upstanding people who are ‘not racist’ and it also begins to ensure they identify that they have benefited from their white privilege and therefore they enjoy a disproportionate level of resource, which needs to be given up to balance things out.
What I know that is to do nothing is to allow the current system of structural racism to remain – that isn’t an option for me, what others have to decide is if it is for them.
Sherry Peck, Chief Executive
You can watch Sherry Peck discuss these issues and how white executive run organisations should ethically respond to the Black Lives Matter movement on Lee Jasper’s Drive time here