November 2019 was the beginning of a stressful journey for me. To think your safe from the mentally exhausting clutches of racism which is only ever aimed at people in the public eye, only for it to personally sneak up on me like a trojan horse.
It was at this point I realised it was time to take action.
I’ve read many stories of black people not getting the justice they rightfully deserve through the criminal justice system. It played on my mind daily, but I knew I had to push to prove to myself that the system works. When you’re put in situations where you have to put all of your faith in people who have no idea what it’s like to walk in your shoes, allyship and empathy is important. It gives you hope.
In times of stress, society has a funny way of solidifying your anxieties. The much-needed Black Lives Matter protests met with anti-protests and freedoms of expression met with complaints, gave me a clearer idea of what it means to be a black man in “Great” Britain. We’re told to stick to the status quo and accept things as they are even though deep down, we all know it’s time to speak up and take action.
I used to think that if I don’t take action, it’s ok! Because someone else more influential than me will anyway and they can handle the pressure, be it Lewis Hamilton or Raheem Sterling. But in my pursuit of justice I’ve now come to realise that when faced with adversity whether it is personal or not, it is always time to speak up and take action.
Change starts with you.