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A tumultuous year for racial justice

Category: Student blogs

3 February 2021

2020 was an intense year for everyone. Our routines had to change, and we were faced with many challenges that proved burdensome to solve within the solitude of our homes. People from minority ethnic groups have had an especially hard time during the COVID-19 era.

As if the disproportionate impact of the pandemic weren’t enough, episodes of outrageous police brutality notably and very publicly affected these groups.

So, the real question I ask myself is: did we get closer to eradicating systemic racism and achieving racial and social justice, or did we witness a system whereby under external stressors, the gap between racial groups has grown?

I believe that 2020 exposed some of the failures of our social system and how we often focus on our own needs and desires rather than thinking about the common good. In both the disasters of 2020, ie Covid-19 and the acts of police brutality widely reported across the globe, white privilege has most definitely shown itself. It is evident that the disadvantages of some social groups increased due to the lack of jobs and education being based on online platforms and devices that not everyone can afford. Social classes that were living stable lives continued benefitting from their privilege. At the same time, so many people, more than ever, were exposed to poverty; this happened to such an extent that UNICEF, for the first time, started distributing free meals to UK-based children..

Despite all this, I strongly believe that the differences and injustices that have been exposed have pushed us all to fight for equality. I believe that witnessing a failed system that breaks even more visibly during a pandemic has brought us closer to eradicating injustice. I am hoping that we will see more people who are white and privileged wanting to fight alongside people who are discriminated against, to support them and provide platforms for everyone to fight for equality.

It is challenging to begin the journey of self-introspection and acknowledge that we were born with so much power and privilege. But the hardest part starts later, when we decide to act and use all this power for good. Change will disrupt the comfort that so many of us have been living in for so long. Nevertheless, we must do this for the benefit of the majority, not for the few. To do so, we must start by acknowledging the mistakes that all of us make daily and ask ourselves how we can be better for ourselves and the people that surround us. We are on a journey and often have to face setbacks, but this only must provide us with the necessary strength to get back up and unlearn more and more, day by day.

In the end, all we are being asked to do is to start thinking about what we would do if we were to walk in another person’s shoes. In 2021, let’s choose kindness, let’s raise our heads and help each other as much as we can, to create a world that is more accepting, welcoming, and supportive of everyone.

The time is now to make racial justice a reality. What part will you play?

By Anna Corriero, ARU student and BAME Advocate


The views expressed here are those of the individual and do not necessarily represent the views of Anglia Ruskin University. If you've got any concerns please contact us.