George Floyd passed away on the 25th May 2020.
I’m not American. I’m not black.
For the last week my heart has hurt regardless.
I don’t feel educated enough to discuss much of what’s going on, or why. I don’t understand how it feels to be black, let alone black in America. I have no fear when I walk down the street, or wander into a store that I’m going to be followed, or assumptions made about me because of my skin colour, and the closest I can come to that is being followed around the Co-Op by a security guard when my daughter was still in a push-chair, it’s not the same.
When I was Twelve, I was friends with the only black girl in my class. We walked home from school together every day and one of those days as we were passing the local park, I described her as “Coloured”. It was a word used by my parents, a word that I thought was a polite term for Black. She grabbed my hand and she pulled me to the side and said to me.. “I’m not green. I’m not a rainbow. I am BLACK, Laura.”.. and we kept on walking. I don’t know how it feels to correct people for their ignorance, but I am grateful for her patience. I’ve since learned that Black is the “polite” term for Black, and that my parents are occasionally old fashioned in all the wrong ways – and sometimes my ignorance is sky high.
I haven’t been vocal about things on social media, because I’m concerned that my words will be misconstrued, or I will be seen as bandwagoning… or worse. I’m not silent because I agree with the horrors and atrocities the black community face on a daily basis, I’m silent because there’s so much to say and so many other people who do it better. I know this is still my privilege speaking, and I’m working on it. My heart and my thoughts are with everyone in the BlackLivesMatter movement, I might not understand, but I stand with #BLM and I’m willing to learn.
Stay safe, Spoonies. xoxo