I stand in solidarity with those who have come together to protest the killing of George Floyd and racist policing.
George Floyd’s tragic death is part of the long history of systemic racism that continues to oppress, brutalise, and kill black Americans. I have watched with horror and disgust as, in the wake of his death, police officers have attacked peaceful protesters with batons, rubber bullets, and tear gas.
In his own response to the protests, Donald Trump, whose far-right rhetoric has fuelled division in American society, has demonstrated yet again that he is unfit to lead. The UK has a responsibility as a close ally to speak up and speak out against injustice, but regrettably the Government’s response has been weak and wrong and has done a disservice to all of us.
Here in the UK, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the inequalities in our own society. In England, BAME people are 54% more likely to be fined under lockdown rules than white people, while the coronavirus death rate among BAME people is more than twice that of the white population and yet the Government has failed to propose any steps to reduce this inequality.
We all have a responsibility to be allies, to stand up against racism wherever we see it and use any platform we have to tackle prejudice. Together let us challenge injustice, inequality and bigotry and stand with our friends, neighbours and communities who still face racism in modern Britain.