Over the past few days, many of us will have seen news clips, pictures, and videos from the US. The murder of George Floyd was a tragedy too many, but this is not a problem in the US alone.
The stories of Sarah Reed, Mark Duggan, Sheku Bayoh, Cynthia Jarrett, and the hundreds of other Black people who have died in police custody remind us that violent policing also exists in the UK. We cannot ignore the many manifestations of systemic racism in the UK that also pervade our own institutions. As a Union, it is our duty to stand with our Black students in the fight for racial equality and justice, now and always.
In the light of LGBT history month, we remember the Stonewall riots that gave rise to a global movement. This was led by a Black transgender woman Martha P Johnson. We are thus reminded that our struggles are intersectional, that to stand for one is to stand for all, and that complacency has never won us our rights.
“In a racist society, it is not enough to be non-racist, we must be antiracist.” -Angela Davis
We recognise that we can and we must do better. We urge all our students to take some time to learn about Black history, read on how to be an ally, and stand with the #BlackLivesMatter movement. To stress that Black lives matter is not to discredit that all lives matter. Rather, for all lives to matter, Black lives must matter.
Andrew Adegbola, Sheffield Hallam Students' Union President.