On May 25th 2020, a Black man, George Floyd, was senselessly murdered by Minneapolis Police in a public arrest. For nearly nine minutes, his pleas for leniency and that he couldn’t breathe went unheard and unnoticed, as an officer knelt on his neck, causing his death by asphyxiation.
Tragically, this is not the only Black man to have died at the hands of officers in America or across the globe, but nevertheless, each one of them deserves justice and peace, because #BlackLivesMatter.
Trinity Saint David Students’ Union supports every single student. We as a Union recognise that every single person is important, but until Black lives matter equally, then this statement of ‘all lives matter’ can never be true. Until we start calling out systematic racism within our own institutions. Until we start standing up to racist jokes at parties. Until we recognise and address microaggressions and unconscious bias. Until we start shouting that #BlackLivesMatter.
However, racism and anti-Black rhetoric is not an issue confined to the United States, and to believe otherwise is to be ignorant, and to be privileged enough to be able to turn a blind eye to it. We know that racism is prevalent on our own doorsteps. Black people are dying disproportionately at the hands of the police in the UK, and enough is enough. Across the world, #BlackLivesMatter.
We need to educate ourselves. We have seen outpourings of resources, support, #BlackoutTuesday campaigns on social media and more, and many of you will be engaging with this for the very first time. Do not let this be the end – lift up Black voices, educate yourself through books or films or social media accounts or in any way that you find accessible. Challenge racist behaviour in families and friendship groups. We need to be active and not simply performative allies, because #BlackLivesMatter.
As an SU, we recognise that we too need to be better. We need to reflect on ourselves as an organisation, to undergo race training, unconscious bias and more, to make sure that we live our values of diversity and equality as much as possible. This is our pledge to you: We will do better. This is not a fight that the Black community should take on alone, and your Officer team and SU staff will stand by you and platform you every step of the way.
We recognise that this is a particularly difficult time for our Black community, and we want to encourage you to seek support if you need it through these times.
020 756 67600
To find out how you can help and support #BlackLivesMatter from your own home:
If you know of any good resources, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we can add it to the list.
If you want to do more, we have our by-elections starting early in the next academic year, where we still have open places for our Black Students’ Part-time Officer. This is a role in which you work with the Students’ Union and Black Students’ Officers of other campuses and Welsh universities to represent the diverse nature of our student population. If you identify as a Black student*, please lookout for this!
*Black students embodies students of African, Asian, Arab and Caribbean descent, at a local and national level, on all issues affecting Black students.