Allow me start at the beginning. …. I left my country of birth, the beautiful Emerald Isle of Ireland, before my 2nd birthday and was brought up as an expat, as my parents emigrated to Zimbabwe – then known as Rhodesia, with my baby brother and I. After 6 years and two more siblings, we moved to Surrey in the UK for about a year before settling in Dubai, UAE. Throughout my childhood I was exposed to and interacted with other children and adults of different skin colours, religion, social and economic backgrounds. My friends were from all over the world and still are to this day.
We witnessed poverty on a daily basis, saw extreme wealth, and we were regularly reminded of how lucky we are. But, one of the biggest, and most important messages my mother drilled into us was “treat others how you wish to be treated”. No matter what, or where they come from, or what job position they hold. A strong message I have passed on to my children.
Instead of fearing all the changes the world is undergoing at present, we could try to recognise the larger outcome and be grateful for this moment.
I love the photo message from Leslie Dwight that accompanies this piece.
If you are looking to get a better understanding of what white privilege is and educate yourself on racism, I have added a few resources below.
13th – a documentary
I am not your Negro – a documentary
Just Mercy – a film based on a true story
When they see us – a series based on a true story
Girl, Woman, Other – by Bernadine Evaristo (fiction)
Queenie – by Candice Carty-Willimas (fiction)
I am not your baby mother – by Candice Braithwaite (non-fiction)
Why I am no longer talking to white people about race – by Reni Eddo-Lodge (non-fiction)
There are plenty of other resources out there and podcasts too. Sometimes it helps get a better understanding of someone else’s perspective if we drown out the noise, and do our own research.
Calm your fears and check the facts. Listen, reflect and learn.