The Reflections of Paul Olubayo
The below post is a copy of a reflective piece that Paul Olubayo has sent to Dr Jane Krishnadas and we are proud to share. At the bottom of the post we have put links to some places you can donate to and some links to resources. At the bottom of the post there is also a video of Paul reading out his reflective piece.
Between being raised in one of the historically poorest boroughs of England. Studying for my Undergraduate Law degree at Keele University based in Stoke-on-Trent, a city which at the time became a hotbed for UKIP activists and highly discriminatory sentiments within the wider community.
To being based in San Diego and experiencing first-hand the fear and paranoia stoked in the run-up to, and subsequent result of, the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election.
To now living in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a city which for the second time in my adult lifetime has received global attention for the unwarranted, unjust and unprovoked murder of an innocent Black man.
It has become abundantly clear to me that discrimination, injustice and inequality are constant, ever-present realities within humanity.
It takes different forms.
It manifests itself in various ways, and its by-products and consequences vary in each instance.
But rest assured in all cases, injustice is present.
And if you’re ever in a position where you’re unable to see the injustices around you, I would implore you to stop and reflect on how you may be contributing to the manifestation of injustice and the encroachment and violation of people’s human rights.
May 25th, 2020 will live forever in my personal memory.
A city which for two years had shown me such love, light and hope, came to once again epitomise a problem as old as time.
A problem and a sickness which is by no means exclusive to the city of Minneapolis, the State of Minnesota, nor the United States as a whole. It is a sickness which leaves black people across the world unsure if they can travel on holidays with their friends for fear of being considered a threat.
A sickness that leaves so many feeling less than human in their teenage years due to years of succumbing to the microaggressions of the masses, and leaves many Black people believing they are perpetually in the wrong.
A sickness which causes our heart rates to rise, our anxieties to flare up and our bodies to become unusually tense at the sight of police headlights in our rear-view mirrors.
And what’s maybe most cruel, is that this is a sickness and disease that we in no way propagate or promote, yet we are continually left to address, deal with and unteach.
As a history buff I have always marveled at the winds of change which seemed to sweep across the world within the 50s & 60s.
Those two decades are filled with monumental moments and people who refused to sit idly by and allow the status quo of injustice and inequality to continued unabetted.
I believe that with the recent untimely murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Belly Mujinga and the demonstrations and protests which these injustices have sparked, signal that we have once again entered a moment in human history where change is no longer desired but demanded.
We are no longer in a place where passive resistance and neutrality can be tolerated or passed off as a form of support.
We are entering a space where a failure to actively oppose discrimination, oppression and inequality in all its ugly forms, is a clear endorsement and signal of support for these principles in our society.
With the continued prominence of these heinous racially motivated killings. The growing
constraint and containment upon the rights refugees and asylum-seekers across the globe.
The widening of wealth disparities leaving marginalized communities facing even greater insecurity and resource deficiency.
The onset effects of climate change which continue to wreak havoc in many less equipped communities and nations.
And with the Coronavirus pandemic exposing the crippling structural inequalities within society and our health institutions which routinely leave ethnic minorities being disproportionately affected in situations just like this.
We have entered a time where we can no longer patiently wait, hoping for changes to come.
We each need to take a deep introspective look within ourselves and question whether we’re doing enough.
At every level of human existence, from the interpersonal to the intergovernmental, there needs to be a systematic undoing and a concerted assault upon the discriminatory, unequal and unequitable superstructure and status quo which has been able to fester for far too long within humanity.
We need to be unwavering in our opposition of discrimination and inequality in all its form and we need to unequivocally begin to respect, support and champion one another’s humanity and right to exist within this world.
And please always remember:
Bystanders only ever favour the oppressors.
Women of Keele Educate would like to thank Paul for his work and to send our love and solidarity with the entire Black Lives Matter movement.
Please consider donating to any of the following causes which are supporting protesters:
Reclaim the Block: https://secure.everyaction.com/zae4prEeKESHBy0MKXTIcQ2
Rachel Cargle’s The Great Unlearn: https://www.patreon.com/thegreatunlearn
Black Visions Donations: https://secure.everyaction.com/4omQDAR0oUiUagTu0EG-Ig2
Minnesota Freedom Fund: https://minnesotafreedomfund.org/donate
Guide to Allyship: https://guidetoallyship.com