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  • Black lives matter!!

    What has,will and can the Restless community do at these tumultuous times and respond to the events unfolding around us.

    1-As a community with and for each other.

    2-to show inclusivity and challenge racism wherever it exists.

    3- to build resources, contacts, information and exchange these.

    4-collecting and sharing ideas, stories and initiatives.

    What do you think?Keith

     

    Posted by keithstewart
Viewing 7 reply threads
    • Reply by Richard

      Why black ?

      • Reply by keithstewart

        Hi, can you take time to explain your point. It seems like a flippant comment- what do you mean?

        Keith

    • Reply by Sue

      It’s not just coloured people who face discrimination.

      We should be speaking up for all who are disadvantaged

      • Reply by keithstewart

        Hi,

        I agree – but at this point the message is very clear from one community. Black lives matter. Once the discomfort of that is understood then movement can happen.

        Here is another tip for you to be aware of – my post is about black lives matter. You have not offended me but be aware that some people find the word – coloured offensive because of its connections. In the U.S. it was used in a derogatory way – so black started using the term by black people. In South Africa – you were classified – white, couloured or black. Some people would say – we are all coloured and one race – human beings. Be aware of different people and age/generation. My  mum would have said coloured. My sister would be offended. Me – it depends on the person and the context. Just for your info.

        I was at an LGBT conference once and challenged the LGB organisation Stonewall as to why they didn’t represent transgender people at the time. I am not transgender but spoke up as an ally. That is important now and leads from your good comment. We should speak up for each other- sometimes especially when we aren’t that thing. The ideal is rights for all but now the issue at hand is about the experience of black people.

        Keith

    • Reply by alexandra.graham

      Hello Keith

      I’ve been reading through the emails prompted by your initial email – your call to action as it were – and first of all, thank you for offering to put me in touch with people who could offer advice and support. I think I first became conscious of the responsibility I had to my beautiful granddaughter when I read David Olugosu’s ‘Black and British’ in the year after she was born. As an amateur historian, I took my children to Bristol to an exhibition about Bristol’s role int he slave trade – this would be about 30 years! While living in London 2011 -2019, I wasn’t entirely blind to the issues.  For a time I worked for the Royal Academy of Dance, and in conversation with a dance teacher who also danced with Ballet Black Dance Company, we talked about ‘diversity’ and she replied words to the effect that equality will have been achieved the day a black dancer had a place in the chorus line of a National Ballet production of Swan Lake!  While legislation was well-intentioned, Race Discrimination Act, Equality Act, at best it has achieved tokenism.  Workplace and higher education institutions are required to demonstrate diversity, but there were precious few organisations I worked in in London who had more than a handful of students form a non-white ethnic minority, and they often left/ withdrew. One of the books I’m currently reading ‘The Good Immigrant’ has opened my eyes to much wider discrimination, but also to the way in which the media stereotypes people of black and other non-white  ethnicities, and I cringed when authors referred to cartoons my children used to watch and I had no awareness! But more importantly, the very concept of black and white only came about as a means of distinguishing those being shipped of as slaves – black- and those doing the shipping – white. But the stereotyping of black people has been particularly harsh and this is evident still, through the chanting at football games! Sometimes it just seems so overwhelming – where to begin? I left London to retire back to Scotland and because I couldn’t afford to retire in London. And also because the number of gang stabbings and killings of children by children was really affecting me. Witnessing the murder of George Floyd live on television was shocking beyond belief. Someone asked me about the BLM movement, ‘Why now’? I replied that it wasn’t just about now, but its one thing to read about someone begin murdered, by the law enforcement agencies or others, but to witness it, to say nothing , to do nothing is to collude. And I think that’s the  point I’m at. I won’t collude. I will make myself so aware that it becomes second nature to refuse to collude. Another long email!  I will post notes of any meetings I attend. Best regards

      Alex

      • Reply by keithstewart

        Hi,

        Looking forward to hearing more. I am reading some interesting books with a base around race etc. Sometimes I think it is a bad idea because I get angry. Then I think it is good and o.k. to be angry. Especially as a black man. We are always labelled angry. Then the books inform me and I have more knowledge.

        Kevin Maxwell – Forced out is excellent. About a black gay policeman and his experiences. And the 2 million the Met wasted fighting him instead of stopping racism. I think of young people I know and teach-they will complete the work we start.

        Keith

    • Reply by marina

      I am White and feel strongly about the BLM movement. I agree with c. Mcluckie, in my town the only

      trouble was down to white anarchists intent on starting fights and belittling the message from

      protesters . I listened in horror at some of the stories of discrimination. This is not something

      remote that happened 100 years ago, it has ALWAYS been the case . We are educated enough and advanced

      enough to acknowledge how we can play our part to change this . I am educating myself and plan to include

      black females in my new business plan’s focus. Thanks for bringing this subject up .

      • Reply by keithstewart

        Hello Marina,

        How are you?

        This problem of people stirring it up online and in person creates tension. Maybe it is that thing when we get so angry we stop listening. And using the knowledge and intelligence we have.

        I have some black female friends involved in the arts – Bristol based some. And a few here in Sheffield. Let me know if you would like people to connect and exchange with. Putting tasks into your business plan sounds brave and exciting. Look forward to hearing more.

        Keith

        • Reply by capri888

          No hatred from me

          Keith ever . But thanks I will bear it in mind

    • Reply by alexandra.graham

      Hello Kieth

      I’ve only just joined this community and was both surprised and pleased to see that you raised this issue. I am asking myself the same questions. I am white Scottish, recently relocated back to Scotland from London. I’m missing the diversity of London, living in a small town on the coast south of Edinburgh. I have two grown up children and beautiful granddaughter who will be 5 later this year. Her Dad is Jamaican and her mother Scottish. Following the murder of George Floyd  we all three realised that we needed to make sure that this wee girl was going to need our support as she grew up. Her father is largely absent, and we realised that we all felt unprepared for  the task ahead. We are educating ourselves and sharing what we learn. But it’s not enough. I attended our local Black Lives Matter protest, organised by two young women just out of school. It was well attended by young people but where were their parents? Just one white family, people in my new community are posting unpalatable remarks about footballers recognising Black Lives Matter on their shirts. I was shocked. But I have made myself respond, respectfully, but firmly. I’m planning to volunteer with Edinburgh and Lothians Racial Equality Council both to support and to learn. I apologise for the length of this post and I thank you again for raising this very important issue. I hope others will join in the discussion and that we can contribute to the change that needs to happen.

      • Reply by keithstewart

        Hello Alexandra,

        no apologies for the length of the post. Sadly for me social media has reduced BIG issues to a few words. Write more please.

        I was travelling last year – Mexico and Peru. At times the only black face. It was strange – the people I had something in common with – white tourists. I live in Doncaster and there is some diversity of colour. Too many people speak with no understanding of what they are talking about. Just anger and hate – behind that low self esteem. How exciting for your granddaughter that you are on her side. I imagine your way of being and openness will ensure she grows up open too. If you need ideas about books, resources etc let me know. A couple of friends would be happy to chat with you. One thing I think helps – whether it is about black,gay,female – whatever. Is our ability to explain to others and young people what is happening and the alternatives. Characters in books or movies – we can tell young ones other parts of the story. I find that exciting.

        Will you post updates on the meetings etc that you attend?

        Keith

         

        • Reply by janehodsdenmurray1

          Just picked up these messages. I am shocked and horrified that in 2020 there is still prejudice of this sort. Maybe Alexandra would be interested in listening to Starktalks, a podcast by Edi Stark where she interviews Prof Tom Curry. I was walking and listening to this and horrified of his experience as a black American now living in Edinburgh, of how his fellow Americans related to him. He is now professor in Edinburgh. Hope she listens to this and if she wants to meet up sometime, I would be happy to join her for a chat as I live in Edinburgh.

           

    • Reply by Leslie Christopher Burke

      Spot on Keith, I spoke in a similar vein yesterday at our Lincoln BLM Event! Well said!

      • Reply by keithstewart

        Thanks Leslie,

        How was the event? How do you feel about what is happening and the potential for the future?

        Keith

    • Reply by godschild1957

      All lives matter!!

      • Reply by keithstewart

        All lives don’t matter- otherwise this situation wouldn’t exist. Also the response – All lives matter – is not accepted by because it a response that ignores the pain,problem etc being faced by black people and minorities. It negates the situation that is at hand and is a way to deflect away from the discomfort of the people saying it.

        • Reply by godschild1957

          sorry did not mean to caused offense

        • Reply by keithstewart

          Hello,

          I am Keith – thanks for your thoughtful message. If I am offended by something I am responsible for how I feel etc. It is exciting that we have spaces like this where we can talk and be safe. And look after each other. There are so many things happening and the karma of the world is shaking and regrowing. Exciting times.

          Keith

        • Reply by peterlaw23

          Hello godschild1957,

          You have nothing to apologise for because ALL lives do matter irrespective of Keith’s position on this matter! To say just black lives matter is very wrong indeed in my opinion because it is not only the pain felt by racial minorities – a white young man was, I believe, killed in a very similar way to George Floyd again in America but where is the outrage and outpouring of grief for his family?

          I refuse to bow my head or feel ashamed of things over which I had no control and that occurred a hundred or so years ago as it is history and unfortunately it happened! I would hope, as now that if I had been alive then I would have been brave enough to have objected to such practices as slavery.

          That said I feel equally strongly that mob rule pulling down statues etc for what they represent is wrong, these items are marking history and if now they are found to be objectionable they should be removed by democratic process not mob rule. I equally find the practice of “taking the knee” by sports people and some officials very objectionable and of itself as a practice – racist.

        • Reply by keithstewart

          Hi,

          I do not agree with removing statues. But you have just done exactly what I pointed out. You have taken a black experience – which is constant, fantastically painful,has a vast history, which continues and is a much different experience to that of a  white person. And brought up the white experience.Therefore avoiding the main problem that caused the situation. A white police officer felt he could kneel on the neck of a black an for over 8 minutes until he died. And then thought he, the officer, would escape justice. As happened before.It is a fact the colonial powers turned slavery and the attached racism into a business in order to grow their empires and wealth. The slaves thrown overboard from slave ships did not choose to conquer England. They did not choose to become shark food. Now is your chance to be brave – because you do not know what you would have done back then. You are here, now. Privilege allows you to stand back and say all lives matter. Prove that they do!!

          Keith

        • Reply by c.mcluckie

          As usual people who have never been discriminated against will take this stance not wanting to apologise for slavery etc . I’m 54 my parents  were  not slaves but came to the uk to work jobs the indigenous population didn’t want to do. My mum aged 17 came to Stockport from Jamaica on her own to be told by patients  ‘ don’t touch me , get your black hands off me etc she lasted 6 months and couldn’t go home . 20 years later (im born here by the way so I’m british  !!) I’m working in a catalogue company listening to racist jokes by my manager eg why do black people have flat noses ? There’s  no lights in the jungle . Yes great very funny that’s my manager telling me a young black woman that joke to my face , has that ever happened to you ! Have you been for an interview and been asked why as a black woman why do you have Scottish surname ( Mcdonald) as clearly they were expecting a white woman to attend needless to say I didn’t get the job. I feel that in 2020 we are going backwards and feel that the gentleman from Edinburgh is taking the right stance ensuring his grandson doesn’t grow up listening to racist jokes by his manager . Lastly if you look at the people pulling down the statutes they’re are white anarchists who join causes while their rich parents fund their lifestyles . And I will not apologise for my rant .

        • Reply by keithstewart

          Hello 🙂

          I am 61 – stuff apologising. We don’t have to. We are entitled to a rant.

          My mum worked in the NHS from 1964 and I can empathise with what you say. The exciting thing is now there are many more people well informed. And young people are a future resource. Alongside us. People like our parents changed society and the world from the ground. On a small, local level. I am excited because I travel alot now. More than my ancestors ever could. I was on a flight – Melbourne to Tasmania. And the spirit of my mum was there. But what really hit me was this. Of a hundred or so people, I was one of about 2 black faces. I was in the first seat, the first row. When it came to drinks etc I was first. I was amongst the first off the plane. I thought our ancestors are watching this and seeing that everything they stood for. Fought for. Sacrificed for(ensuring our education). And died for. Was for this and they must be proud to see that part of this world where WE can make a difference. Where WE can travel etc and make the world a better community. I am excited.

          What about you?

          Keith

    • Reply by Stuart

      Hi Keith,

      Thanks for your message on such an important topic.

      Whilst we are focused on tackling age discrimination in society, we want to be clear that we are strongly against racism and discrimination in all it’s ugly forms.  We are proud to have a very diverse member base, and we have always seen it as our mission to champion the cause for diversity and inclusion of all – whether that relates to age, ethnicity, religion, sexual preference, gender identity, or any other aspect of how we choose to define ourselves.

      We see our role at Rest Less as being to support our members. To do this well, we need to continue learning from, and understanding our community and the challenges they face. Learning from, and understanding our members experiences provides us with a stronger platform to educate both ourselves and others, so that we can help in the fight to change attitudes on discrimination.

      Since we launched, we have always been very active in raising awareness and shining a light on the challenges our members face – trying to change both public perception in the mainstream media and also that of business and employers. It is clear that there is much more for us to do here – and we continually welcome hearing stories and experiences from our members so that we can help provide a platform for their voice to be heard.

      We are a small team, but our ever growing community gives us an active voice. We always welcome hearing stories from our members, both positive and negative – so we can help raise awareness of the real issues that people face. We are also always grateful for ideas and feedback on ways to improve, or ways for us to make a bigger impact on the issues that matter. Please leave a comment below or email us at [email protected]

      We hope that together, we can provide a united front, and attempt to tackle discrimination in all it’s ugly forms.

      Thanks for raising this important issue and I would welcome additional thoughts and suggestions

      Stuart

       

      • Reply by keithstewart

        Hi,

        Thanks for the reply. My reply to the other comment on this post is an example of the direction you need to take. All lives matter is a deflection from the issue at hand.

        Many organisations are making statements similar to yours – the question is – what concrete actions are being taken by the organisation?

        Where are those seen – in writing – in action and constantly adhered to?

        To educate yourselves as a a team.

        To challenge the assumption that a diverse readership or members means that we are o.k. There can still be discrimination in diverse teams.

        Also for me – it is exhausting dealing with racism everyday of your life. At 61 years old  I(and many others) do not see it as OUR job to educate people about racism. Individuals need to take a stance and educate themselves too.

        A starting point – articles challenging issues about white privilege and privilege in general by outside experts on the issue.

        Asking yourselves and the readership reflective questions – what are you doing that continues or breaks cycles of discrimination etc

        It is scary and uncomfortable for many people and organisations.

        But an exciting time for change.

        Keith

         

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