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Black Lives Matter

Until a few weeks ago, I believed that the story of this year would be the covid-19 pandemic. I had even dared to believe that this time of confinement would lead to a better world, with greater compassion and solidarity. Sadly, this feeling would be quickly shattered...

Like so many people around the world, I was horrified to learn of the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor. How the Justice System can allow such atrocities to continue on a daily basis against our Black and Brown sisters and brothers is beyond comprehension. Then my daughter asked me about George Floyd, as her classmates were discussing it on their chat group, and I found myself trying to explain the systemic racism of the US Criminal and Justice system to a child whose idea of racism was largely limited to people calling her 'la chinoise' (which she isn't, but that is not relevant right now). I have hope that the ongoing demonstrations in the US and around the world will dismantle this system and create something that truly works, legitimately based in humanity, equality and justice for all.

As an Asian American living abroad, I have witnessed the Black Lives Matter movement as an outsider. Like any good-minded liberal, I support the movement, I share links, I 'like' the posts. But I have not understood what it means to be racist, and that the pejorative implications of the word 'racist' have actually allowed systemic racism to persevere. It is not enough to sympathise and stand on the sidelines, supporting others who are taking up the fight. I, we all, need to be part of the change, to become antiracist, and to create a society in which Black Lives Matter will become a fact of life of which we no longer need to be reminded.

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