Lockdown Diaries: The R, staying motivated and the United fight against Racism
It has been a while since I did a post, and wrote an update about life under lockdown. To say the world has become loud again, is an understatement. However, this time the world is not loud because cars and lorries and trains, but people speaking up for what’s right. Before I state my thoughts about that, another reason why people are loud is because of the gradual plan to ease lockdown. Many people could see this as a great time, finally seeing the end of the lockdown. But, at the same time, the virus is not gone, far from it. Deaths are still in the 000s, compared to single digits elsewhere. The so called ‘R’ number is still teetering on the edge of 1, which means it is spreading, and not dying.
It can be said, the most people have been following the rules since the start of the lockdown, which is now edging towards three months, and as can be expected, people are becoming more and more restless. Also, regulations stating that shops can re- open before people can move between and see their loved ones is also a little strange, but I will leave that for a dedicated lockdown post.
Motivation is another thing that can be sparse in these strange times. I have felt myself being drained of creativity some days, and brimming with it in others. It’s quite odd, but also again to be expected. Being stuck in doors all day everyday, can take its toll. Something I have got into is running, I try and run three times a week, using the couch to 5k app, with the lovely Sarah Millican guiding me through the runs. When she says “Ok, time for your next run!” In her lovely soothing, northern accent, I sometimes hate her, but at the end, after the torture of getting me run five times, she concludes with calling me ‘Pet’ or sometimes ‘Flower’ which has been lovely and unexpected!
However, something that has happened recently, and I think personally due to the lockdown pressure and unrest, is a unification. Unification of people across the world to condemn something together. Racism. Obviously, the killing of George Floyd was not due to lockdown, but I feel because the world has been paused, the distractions have all been stopped, and for the first time the world seems to be awake (ironically whilst it sleeps!). Such a killing happens more times than I could have ever imagined in America, and here too, everywhere. People have been silent, and people have not really united in this way, ever. The killing of George Floyd horrified the world, and thank goodness someone filmed it because it highlighted such a tragic event and awoken the world.
I was horrified, and it made me angry. I was angry at the officer, angry at America (well the American law enforcement and the justice system) for letting this continue after years of civil rights movements and unrest. Angry at the top (we don’t need to mention his name) and angry at the whole situation. Something I will forever thank this moment in history for, is awakening me. I feel I have been naive of where I stand in the world compared to others who may differ only in skin colour. I had always dashed the idea of ‘White Privilege’ as growing up, and even now, I am far from privileged in financial terms. But this has opened my eyes, through conversations, reading, watching, and I have finally come to realise that the privilege does not lie in wealth or monetary value. Privilege lies in first impressions, peoples perspectives. If someone was stabbed in the street, police would favour me as innocent over someone black. Being employed over someone else, with the same exact skills and qualifications as me, but only because I am white.
Lately, I have been slowly getting through the ‘When They See Us’ documentary on Netflix. It showcases the true story of what happened to five falsely accused boys in the 80s, who were accused of beating and raping a jogger in Central Park. The ‘Central Park Jogger Case’, which had boys all under the age of 16 (when arrested), falsely accused, violently interrogated, and found guilty, purely because they were black. They served years and years in prison, and only when they were released where there signs of punishment being made on the system that accused them. The prosecutor got off scot free, although she knew full well they were not the ones who commited. The city paid them off, $1million for each year they served in prison. Yet here we are, in 2020, that was 2002. The same is happening, the same white vs black, the same oppression and systematic racism that has been at the foundation of the American justice system, the British Justice System, globally, that forever favours white over black.
Only since educating and using this time of Lock- down and slowdown, to really delve into these sto- ries for the first time, and realise the horror for which lies within. How can such a progressive society today, still be so backwards in their ways of thinking. After so much history of growth and fighting for rights and equality, can this system still be so riddled in racism. It is upsetting, and it’s hard to comprehend.
I think this is the first time I have written about this issue, but it won’t be last. I will continue to educate myself, and continue to delve into these stories, because only when we become educated in these matters can be act appropriately, and hopefully, finally break the racist culture that still lies with- in the very systems that run through society.