Hi. I’m Claire Bale. Welcome to my blog.
A space for openness, honesty, discussion and learning. A space where no subject is taboo and no question’s a stupid question. Where I, as a British, mixed race woman in her 40s, explore some of the subjects whizzing around my head, at a time when I’ve never known so much discourse and discovery about race.
Even as I write “a British, mixed race woman in her forties…” I’m conscious of the assumptions that come with those words. Perhaps some of the following:
Mixed race. Probably had a difficult upbringing. Probably poor. Probably suffered a lot of racism. Probably not very well educated. All incorrect.
Woman. Probably emotional. Probably Feminist. Probably bossy. All correct.
In her 40s. Probably technophobic. Untrue Probably boring. Possibly.
Assumption is one the topics I’m keenest to explore, and I can’t wait to get into that with one of my first blogs. For now, I just want to tell you a little bit about myself and why I’m here, writing this.
I am one of those lucky, lucky people. I’m surrounded by love. I’ve got a great job I believe in and am good at. I’m financially secure. I’m healthy and strong. I’ve been through challenges, like we all have, and I’ve come through them with help, support and a sense that I can do whatever I set my mind to.
If you’d asked me just six months ago if I’d experienced racism I would have said “no”. I went to a school where everyone came out well educated and decent. I’ve always worked for good companies with a professional ethos. I’ve always spent time with interesting and interested friends.
Since George Floyd was murdered by police in Minneapolis in May 2020 I’ve reflected more deeply on the experiences of people of colour across the world, and here in the UK, and inevitably, that’s meant I’ve also reflected on my family and my own experiences. I would still assert that I haven’t experienced racism. But have I experienced prejudice? Assumption? Micro-aggression? Yes. Have I experienced anti-racism? Not as often as I wish.
And that’s what brings me here. Because the whole world is on a journey right now. At least – the whole world has an opportunity to be – there is so much information circulated it’s truly inspiring. And I am on a journey too. A personal journey. One for myself, for my family and for my communities. So welcome to my blog, and a very warm welcome to my journey. I’m glad to have you along with me.