I had heard the word BAME prior to the lockdown and to be completely honest, I thought here we go again with yet another completely unhelpful, divisive and unnecessary description of a part of our society. Well, since lockdown commenced we have witnessed some appalling activities, none worse than the murder of George Floyd which was quickly followed by that of Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta, the use of BAME as a descriptor has rocketed. What does it bring to the debate, it’s just another acronym for the press to throw around. People are people, irrespective of their colour; as I have said previously many times, cut us and we bleed, cut us in half and we are all the same colour inside, choke us and we will all die. Notice the use of us as the descriptor; these outcomes would be true for all of us irrespective of race, colour, creed, religion or sexuality, so we need to stop going off down rabbit holes, face the truth and deal with it as human beings.
Bringing people together isn’t helped where we seek to define them as a separate group, so why do it. We will only make genuine progress if we work as a single entity, not in groups that are focused on their “side” winning the argument. If we disregard the racists on all sides and the remaining decent human beings act as one, this blight on humanity can be resolved. I am not saying it will be easy, or happen overnight, but if it is to happen at all it must have the key components in place. It will need Governments to accept responsibility, leaders to commit to its achievement and people in all walks of life to prioritise it. We will need to think about language, we will need to show respect and compassion and we will need to cast aside previous prejudices. Tearing down statues won’t achieve anything, whatever they represent. Nobody can change history, but everybody can change the future, so let’s move away from the model that sees us all show outrage when terrible things happen, protest against it only to see outbreaks of violence which serves no purpose and almost inevitably make promises of change that never materialise.
Black Asian & Minority Ethnic (BAME) is just a title bestowed, in our case, on non-white people living in the UK. To my mind they are British people and need to be embraced as such in order to drive integration, as opposed to being deliberately segregated under a banner. I don’t have all the answers, but I do know that just continually repeating the same old mistakes will deliver the same result, which is failure. Let’s do something different and actually change things forever, it’s in our gift to do so.