Today's blog is written by congregation member Naomi, who reflects on the last year of the Black Lives Matter Movement and the role we have as Christians to help those who are discriminated against.
Today marks a year since the horrific death of George Floyd and the revival of the Black Lives Matter movement, although its a movement which has always been going on. I was aware of racism before last year but it was only due to the death of George Floyd, the subsequent protests and the flood of stuff on social media that I became aware of my white privilege and the extent of that white privilege. I'm a 19-year-old white woman, who has grown up in a middle-class household in a very un-diverse town and county, even the University I'm currently going to isn't that diverse, or at least my department isn't.
Through the last year I have read books, and researched, and prayed, shared things on social media because I think and believe that as a Christian I have a role to play in this, in fact we all do whether Christian or not.
Slavery was abolished in the UK in 1833, and here we are almost 200 years later, still seeing minority ethnic groups being treated unfairly. For example - some companies now have quotas in place to ensure that there is a more even split of men and women employed, however when asked to do the same thing with race and ethnicity there's a problem. Black people are 40 times more likely to be stopped and searched in the UK, and minority ethnic groups make up 25% of the prison population despite only being 14% of the general population.
We as white people are scared, scared to be told that we are doing something wrong, scared of being inferior. But minority ethnic groups just want to be treated the same as us and have the same opportunities as us. They want to be treated with love and respect and as Christians we are instructed to love all - this means that we must love those who are different to us. We must love those who are different to us because in the Bible we are told that God's house is a house for all nations - that his kingdom is for all people. If God's kingdom is for all people then we should love all, and treat all equally.
As a church we have a role to stand up when we see discrimination, to use our platform to raise awareness, to use our privilege to help who aren't treated equally. We shouldn't take the voice of those who are discriminated against or speak for them, but help them project their voice in anyway we can.
We shouldn't take the voice of those who are discriminated against or speak for them, but help them project their voice in anyway we can.
In the Bible Paul fought to show that Gentiles (non Jewish people) were just as equal as Jews. Jews had previously thought of themselves as superior to the Gentiles because they were the chosen people of God. However, Jesus showed his disciples both Jews and Gentiles were to hear the message of God and be welcomed into his Kingdom. As a result the we see the Apostle Paul fighting to show that we gentiles were just as equal as the Jews. Paul fought to for us to be accepted into the early church.
Just as our rights were fought for, just as we are taught to love, just as God's nation is for all, as a church we need to help those who are discriminated against. And that might start with education so that we know how to help. So at the bottom of this blog posts are going to be variety of resources to help educate yourselves with so we can be better allies for people from minority ethnic groups.
Why I'm not talking to White People about Race by Renni Eddo-Lodge
This is a blog series about racism within the UK https://www.bera.ac.uk/blog-series/education-blacklivesmatter-and-racial-justice-in-the-uk-and-beyond
To check out Instagram platforms head to this blog - https://happiful.com/black-lives-matter-accounts-you-need-to-follow-and-learn-from/