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Striving for care and cross-culteral understanding to combat racism

By: stagedoorscribbler - June 15, 2020

Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Photograph by Hattie Miles

As the repercussions from the brutal death of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police resound around the world, it appears that finally a tipping point has been reached.
After centuries that have seen them enslaved, brutalised, beaten, subjugated and treated with blind prejudice, black people and those who are enlightened and humane enough to regard them as brothers and sisters have said no more inequality.
The sound of protest echoes around the western world as the Black Lives Matters movement mobilises in a largely peaceful cry for social justice.
Of course the far right with its mindless racist agenda has sought to hijack the protests, particularly in London, but has only managed to cause a lot of unnecessary trouble and expose its evil intent.
That’s what happens when your followers are made up of testosterone-fueled racists, bigots, football hooligans divisive politicians and anarchists intent on destabilising  society by whatever means.
If  we fight them with peace and reason they will not win. Enough is enough.
This is what the Tutu Foundation UK had to say last week:
The world is rightly outraged at the killing of George Floyd as they see social injustice played out in front of them. Their outrage restores faith in humanity – but we need to be sure that we channel that outrage into positive change.”
To take the words of our Patron Archbishop Desmond Tutu:
“Racism is the ultimate blasphemy. Racism is never benign and conventional and acceptable, for it is racism that resulted in the awfulness of lynching and the excesses of slavery; it spawned the Holocaust and apartheid and was responsible for ethnic cleansing.”
Bridging the gaps of understanding between and within our communities will not come from violence or throwing our hands up in dismay. Abandoning hope that we can build a world in which all people feel dignified and valued no matter their colour or creed is not an option for a civilised world. This cannot be an incurable malaise. Fixing it requires caring and responsive governments and cross-cultural understanding. It requires people to believe they can have an active role in determining their personal and community destinies.
It requires societies that comprehend that failing to act to narrow the disparities in the qualities and expectations of peoples' lives threatens our very existence.
The Tutu Foundation UK believes we need to create spaces for people to speak to and listen and hear from one another. The Tutu Foundation Ubuntu Roundtables is a first attempt to open that dialogue and encourage conversations between local police and young people who want to create a fairer and more equal society. We don’t expect to turn things around overnight, but we recognise the importance of affording people a sense of hope – in themselves, in each other and in their communities.