What George Floyd’s death has taught me?
This tragic event has shifted the spotlight to global racial inequality, and quite frankly, we are tired.
TIME FOR CHANGE
George Floyd’s death was traumatic for many of us in the Black community and we have had enough. Not only did it lead to a global protest against racial inequality & police brutality, it brought forth some constructive thoughts. Here are some themes that stuck out to me:
Injustice & Police brutality: Rates of prosecution and sentencing for Black people were 3x higher than for White people. 14% of the UK population is from an ethnic minority background, but only 5.9% of judges were ethnic minorities. Police use force disproportionately against black people (who make up 3.3% of the UK population). We are involved in 26% of incidents involving armed police guns and 20% involving tasers.
Diversity and Inclusion: It is all well and good posting Black squares on social media but how diverse is your company? In the UK, significantly lower percentages of Black people are in senior positions (5.7%). Black workers with degrees are paid 23.1% less on average than White workers with degrees. The potential benefit to the UK economy (alone) from full representation of BME across the labour market is £24 billion. Ask yourself, does the maths add up?
Brands & Influencers: We demand more from influencers and brands that we buy products from and expect them to care for our rights as human beings, which we rightly should. Many try to be allies, but do it completely wrong. Examples include; influencers exploiting the George Floyd’s protests and L’Oreal Paris joined #blackouttuesday but previously fired staff for speaking against racism. The truth is many brands want to say enough to tick the “I’m Anti-Racist” box, but do not want attention drawn to themselves. Quite frankly, it is boring.
Black-owned businesses: As victims of systematic racism, buying from Black-owned businesses can help level the playing-field and economically empower the Black community.
How? Buying from Black-owned businesses can drive demand for retailers to stock Black-owned products. Could drive VC and Private Equity investments to our entrepreneurs.
Invest in Africa: There has been emphasis from the Black diaspora to build and invest in Africa. $551 billion has been sent to Africa through remittances (money sent as gifts) over time, and has been growing significantly. By 2030, Africa will be home to 1.7 billion people and $6.7 trillion of combined consumer and business spending. The African diaspora (me & you) can invest in Africa in many ways. For example; stocks & shares (ETFs, mutual funds), a young & increasingly educated workforce to create a business around, properties etc.
THE HARSH REALITY
These three incidents below are regular facets of life as a Black man in the UK.
- High chances of a White person calling the police on you unjustifiably.
- High chances of being randomly stopped by the police, again…unjustifiably.
- High chances of being racially abused, no matter where you are.
I have personally experienced all three of these incidents. The Black community are still playing with the socioeconomic cards stacked against us, but we need you to join us. If you are tired of hearing about racial inequality, imagine how tired we are of experiencing it.