The past few weeks have brought back stomach churning memories of the Pandemic that is ‘Racism’ in my community.
The death of George Floyd another Black man who has lost his life at the hands of a system that is there to serve and PROTECT.
I was born and raised in Lozells a community that can be described as lacking in Community Equity, funding for community resources were withdrawn many years ago, high in gang activity, high exclusion rates for young black boys…issues of Marginalisation and Intersectionality are definitely an issue.
The mainstream and grassroots services are over subscribed and people from BAME groups find themselves the disproportionate subjects of Stop & Search encounters, and in recent times to the back drop of the Covid-19 Pandemic we find ourselves impacted more by death against the virus with a Government that censors the findings, then to add injury to insult disproportionately being fined by the Police? You just couldn’t make it up.
Statistics show that Gang activity, Stigmatisation or Marginalisation of certain groups (Intersectionality) places them at a higher risk factor for dealing with their issues with methods such as self-harm and is the second leading cause of death for 15-19 year olds according to The World Health Organisation. Those who attain lower educational standards, in particular (Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic Groups) are at an increased risk of self-harming among those lacking in formal education. Gov.uk, Gov.uk – CYP, Public Health England.
According to research by (Bridge, 2018 & Kann et al, 2017) “From 2001 to 2015, the suicide risk for Black boys between the ages of 5 and 11 was two to three times higher than that of White boys, according to a new research letter in JAMA Pediatrics (Bridge, 2018). This concerning trend continues through adolescence as reported by the Nationwide Youth Risk Behavior Survey (Kann et al., 2017). The rates of attempted suicide, including attempts that resulted in an injury, poisoning, or overdose, are 1.2 x higher among Black males compared to White males.”
So What Does This Mean For Our Community?
It means we need to invest in our community, our young people and in particularly those most Marginalised and rebuild the Equity. Prevention, Early Intervention and Education are key to making change longer term and more impactful, if we can train up our Culturally Competent Solicitors, MP’s, Youth Workers our policy changers and get them sat at the tables where the discussions are happening, we have the best chance of infiltrating the systemic Infrastructures that have governed Insidiously for decades.
Byron Wilson makes some very insightful points about #Howwefight the Pandemic of Racism collectively as a race. But until then we are here to support and serve our community, with the skills and knowledge that we have.
We remember the names of those that lose their lives to the Battlefield of LIFE and we Salute you.