Firstly, I want to say a big thank you for all the love and support and that has been showed me over the past few weeks. From the flowers, cards and messages, to the phone calls and uplifting gifts – I would like everyone to know that these were truly appreciated. It has been a nearly a month since we lost Cat and as I move through the stages of grief, I bounce between acceptance, adjustment and life lessons.
Today is Easter, so I send blessings to all of you no matter how you chose to celebrate this day. I feel like Easter should be the beginning of the year. Don’t get me wrong I love New Year’s Eve and will always raise a toast, even last year as I fought Covid-19. As the year starts; our world still feels like its hibernating. With Easter, which takes place in Spring – there is renewed sense of energy, the earth comes to life as bulbs pop up from the ground and seedlings sprout. As the animals begin a new season of life, lambs are born, the days become longer and a little bit warmer. I feel a sense of empowerment associated with this new season and the energy it emanates. Imagine my astonishment when on doing some research, I found out that from the eleventh to the sixteenth century Easter marked the beginning of the New Year. The first of January only officially begun as the new year in 1752. Dates and times are a manmade construction that can be adapted at will or requirement. When I lived in Thailand, I begun to question the calendar I had grown up with, as the Thai New Year starts in April and the Buddhist calendar is 543 years ahead. I can assure you; it took me a while to get used to reading the Thai calendar.
Whether the year is 2564 or 2021, the first quarter of this year has taught me some valuable lessons, challenged my mental resilience and revealed who will show up for me. As I move into the next quarter, I hope that the all the events of the past few months will aid me, on my journey to become the best version of myself and take actions that serve the best interests of myself and others. The start of the season has seen the release of the Government’s Race Report, which documents that institutionalised racism does not exist and the UK can be seen a role model for other countries when dealing with race.
To state that this report is an insult is an understatement, as is fails to acknowledge the lived experience of black people including myself. Have you have ever been followed around a shop because of your skin colour…? I have! Have you been the only person on packed train questioned about their ticket because of the colour of your skin……? I have! Ever had to talk to your 5-year-old son and explain why some people will not like him because of the colour of his skin…. I have! Did you ever have to seek out books, stories or programmes that can show your children that they can be a doctor, or black love exists because it is not shown in the mainstream….? I have! Did you ever refuse to buy your son toys guns because the connation that it brings to your mind….? I have! These examples only touch the surface and do not even go into the depth of the stories I have heard in my lifetime!
Yet, still according the report institutionalised racism does not exist! Racism in the UK is more covert. Lest not forget, our own Prime Minister Boris Johnson referred to African children as piccaninnies with watermelon smiles. He has never apologised for this. This report is a missed opportunity and really makes me question who they spoke to when gathering their information, as I doubt it was Winston down the road whose story is yet to be told.
What’s your view on the report? Do you think it is true reflection of the UK?
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