Black Lives Matter is no longer a black issue. We've asked. We've told. We've marched. It's up to non-black people to respond.
As recent events in the USA continue to draw media scrutiny, our attention turns to ourselves. The UK's Black Lives Matter protests this year have mostly been run by younger people, organising and mobilising through social media. The campaigns are eloquent, passionate and factual. Hard to ignore, and harder to disagree with. And yet. And yet.
Frankly, the question is ridiculous. 'What do you, as a black person, think about black lives mattering?' Do you, non-black reader, consider your life to matter? Have you ever considered that a majority group of people don't agree with you on that? Do you get the feeling, often, that a lot of people feel your life doesn't matter? That it wouldn't be a problem if you died brutally? That's our reality.
I'll shout it louder for the people in the back: It is not the job of the minority population to advocate for the minority population.
I am tired. All day every day I have to endure micro aggressions from friends, neighbours and passers-by in the street. I have to work twice as hard to get half as far with my career. I have to buy my make-up and clothes from one specific shop on the far side of town because 'normal' shops don't carry my colour or shape. And on top of all that, at any given moment I have to drop whatever emotional weight I'm carrying and answer banal questions about where I'm from or justify my existence in white spaces. Of course, getting angry isn't an option because then I'd be just another angry black person. The frustration is constant, inescapable and oppressive. You cannot imagine it. You cannot empathise. You don't understand.
So, I am finished talking to white people about race. Either you will take the time to learn, understand and change your behaviour, or you won't. I am not going to argue, or discuss academic points of view as Quakers are so fond of doing. Keep your statistics, your philosophy quotes. I don't care how many degrees you have.
200 years ago, Quakers took a stand against slavery, deeming it unlawful in the eyes of God. But what have we done since then?
Be honest with yourself.
Are you the person you believe you are? Are you truly following the advices and queries from the big red book?
Some of you aren't. And that's your problem, not mine.
*BGM stands for Black Global Majority. We're not a minority and we never were.