Waiting for the backlash...
Here's brap CEO Joy Warmington on what might happen after a turblent few weeks.
I guess we would all agree that we live in unprecedented times. Actually, times are so unprecedented I’m beginning to think we need another word to describe our experiences of the now. But although I am uplifted by the many people who have joined together in support of anti-racism and the many individuals and organisations that have publicly declared their support - but I wait anxiously for the backlash.
The backlash begins when media stories begin to cast doubts on action taken to protest and demand change. This is often portrayed as balanced reporting, but the media too are part of the system, so being balanced doesn't always come easily.
The backlash continues when the stories become less newsworthy and we begin to forget the cost that Black people pay and their daily experiences of racism.
The backlash takes hold when those who have rushed to show their solidarity realise it's much harder to address racism than they first thought. When they recognise that bending the knee and tweeting hashtags are the ‘easy’ things to do – and that what is now required calls ‘them’ to account.
The backlash settles in when ‘we’ are fed up of hearing about all of this and want different news stories, when our gaze focuses on something else.
The backlash wins when those who are racist exert their right to speak out, march, and retaliate. When we listen to those who say ‘it isn’t all that bad’ and begin to believe once again that we live in a genuine meritocracy. When we launch yet another government inquiry. When this becomes a fight between groups of people with different views, instead of a fight for life and the right to live free from discrimination
The backlash has won when we forget. And resign the last few months to history.
I am waiting anxiously for the backlash...while hoping it will never arrive.