Meghan, the Media and the Mania

I see #MeghanMarkle is still trending on Twitter, two weeks after her visit to Britain for the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations. What a frenzy it caused having a mixed-race woman step back onto British soil after choosing to leave us and our media behind.

I remember the emotional weight of learning Meghan’s story last year. You may remember I touched on it in my post Accepta-black, where I reflected on who is deemed acceptable in British society. It seems the fairer your skin, the closer to received pronunciation your accent, and the less fuss you cause, the closer to “ok” you get as a person who’s not white.

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Gentrifi-take-tion

Take a few moments to imagine….

You’re at home. In the neighbourhood you’ve lived in your whole life. Your Mum lives around the corner. Your old school friends are all within walking distance. The shopkeeper knows your name…..

A new family moves in next door to you. They’re thrilled to have bought a big house in such a cheap area. But they don’t approve of your local shops, take-outs, your skin colour and all the connotations that come with it….…

Ok. You can brush that off. No big deal.

But then, their best friends move in on the other side of your house. They look just like them, and nothing like you.

And then their business partner moves in across the street. Followed by their neighbours from their old (‘it was lovely, pleasant, quiet, safe, you know? But it was sooooo expensive.’) And on it goes…….

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Strong Enough?

Hi everyone. Happy New Year and welcome to 2022. Blimey, 2021 was another toughie wasn’t it?!

How did everyone get on over the festive period? I hope you’re feeling well and ready for this coming year. Whatever your goals I hope you reach them.

In my last post, Self Care Survival, I shared some of my strategies for looking after ourselves. It was prompted by the challenges of the festive season, but we all know that self care is for life not just for Christmas, even if we’re not perfect at practicing it.

Today, I’m collecting my thoughts on how we might define what is is to be “strong”. It’s a follow up from Self Care Survival. By looking after ourselves, through reflection, rest and recharge, we grow stronger. It’s inspired by some of the books I’ve read (always with the books…I know, I know), the things I’ve learnt and the role models I’m surrounded by.

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Self Care Survival

This time of year often gets busy. It can get tricky too – emotions surface about the last year, overwhelm about to do lists and social events rears its ugly head, there might be disappointment about the things you thought you’d accomplish but didn’t…the list goes on.

It’s no wonder there are a lot of articles out there about self care. It’s Important. And it’s not something many of us are any good at.

I’ve been thinking about self care for people who work in Diversity and Inclusion. It’s a tough gig. And it’s crucial we look after ourselves if we’re going to keep treading this long, long path towards equality.

Each time a person of colour delivers, or takes part in, training about Diversity and Inclusion, it’s involuntary therapy. They find themselves having to face into the injustices of life, the trauma they’ve experienced, their families’ history, their children’s futures. Every time they read a news report about racism, they have to accept that we’re a million miles away from racial justice. They’re forced to reconcile with the fact that the work their putting their heart and soul into may only be making the tiniest of differences, if any. Each instance of gaslighting they witness, trolling they experience, or lack of interest is is like a slap in the face.

Yeah, it’s a tough gig. But we keep going.

So today’s post is a quick reminder of some of the fundamentals of self care – the ones I’ve valued the most along my personal journey towards antiracism.

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The Big Five (life skills to make a difference)

Oo! That’s A Bit Racey! is an anti-racist blog. It’s designed to open up conversations about race and racism. But it’s impossible to focus solely on race, because every one of us is human, so each of us has layer upon layer of defining characteristics.

So today’s blog is about how all of us can support individuals.

I spoke with wise friend and fellow activist, Adam Brett, in a fascinating interview. Between us we came up wth what we think are the five key skills we can all develop to support everyone.

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The I and the System

It’s been a big week (again) in the world of anti-racism here in the UK. After the England male football team’s last minute defeat in the Euro final, three Black players received a torrent of racist abuse.

In actual fact, these players receive racist abuse every day, but this week it’s been particularly high profile.

There’s been an outpouring of support with many, many individuals declaring their admiration for the three men. The events have fueled discussions in the media, in the Houses of Parliament and in the streets. It’s inspired a new Facebook profile icon for people to visibly demonstrate their support.

All this is positive, I guess. It proves to the non-believers that racism in the UK is genuinely a thing. It also shows how many people are not racist, and are willing to speak out against racism.

In all honesty though, people being called racially abusive names is abhorent, but it’s the least of our problems. It’s systemic racism that really needs to be addressed. It’s the fact that the framework of the UK contains unacceptable imbalances in the experiences of ethnic minorities versus those who are White.

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Two ears. One mouth.

It’s a quick post from me this evening!

As most of you know, I started Oo! That’s A Bit Racey! for a number of reasons; to share my personal journey towards antiracism, to document the many things I’m learning, to help distill my thoughts and, most importantly to encourage people to talk about race, ethnicity and equality.

For a blog that’s supposed to be about conversation, I’ve realised I’ve been doing an awful lot of talking.

So I’m feeling inspired, and very excited to give you all a rest from my voice, and to give us all the chance to listen to others.

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A week we need to document

I’ve struggled with what to write this week and yet I need to write something.

It’s been a tough week. A week that has centred on women. It’s been painful and I’ve struggled to find the silver lining. Maybe this week will drive more conversation about equality? Maybe it will open people’s eyes to the prejudice perpetuated by the media?

The week started on International Women’s Day. A day to celebrate how far we’ve come in women’s equality. And then…

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