By Kay Gouw- Oh 2020…what a year! I remember talking to friends and colleagues about the new approaching decade at the end of 2019 and everyone seemed to think the same thing: 2020 will be our year. A new decade where we can leave our mistakes, problems and worries behind and finally start fresh all over again. And as it stands today, we can all say that we did not foresee our “new beginning” taking the shape it has. If you were to ask me “How would you define 2020?” I would define it in terms of control and change. We lost control over our daily lives to the quarantine measures which limited our movement, social lives and activities but at the same time we are gaining control over other aspects which we felt we had little control over all these years. What I am referring to is the momentum that the fight against institutionalised racism has gained, now this fight isn’t new at all but the momentum it has picked up after the unjust death of George Floyd should not be gone to waste. The disproportionate amount of black people that are being targeted, imprisoned and killed due to institutionalised racism should concern everyone, non-dependent of your race. We have had enough. We are taking control into our own hands by taking to the streets, posting on social media and refusing to be silent because what we ultimately want is change.
A lot of information has been released about this topic and I hope that you all have taken the time to immerse yourself into it. Therefore the point of this article isn’t to repeat the same information but to reflect on how the new decade, with all its turbulences, is the decade of change. Looking at the beginning of 2020 when the world came together to fundraise for the Australian wildfires, where we finally convicted Harvey Weinstein for his actions with the #metoo movement, where we globally followed quarantine guidelines to save lives and where we are now fighting institutionalised racism against black people through the #blacklivesmatter movement, we have proven that we are capable of not only caring for others but also be the pioneers of change. It is therefore so important that we keep this momentum going, unite as caring citizens and push for what is right because we don’t want temporary change, we want permanent change.
To conclude I have a few tips for everyone to follow:
- It starts with you: be proactive in challenging your own stance on this topic, educate yourself and recognise your privilege.
- Understand that silence is violence in this case, as silence is a great factor in the continuation of institutionalised racism.
- Be active: get involved but do whatever you feel most comfortable with, even talking to your friends and family about this topic keeps the momentum going.
I hope you are all staying safe and taking care of yourselves. Keep up the positivity!