Dina Asher-Smith, on racism and Black Lives Matter...



Dina Asher-Smith, photo by Getty Images/ British Athletics

This is an important piece on racism and the Black Lives Matter, with the thoughts by Dina Asher-Smith. The piece was compiled by Stuart Weir.

World Champion, Dina Asher-Smith, used her Daily Telegraph column this week to comment on racism and the Black Lives Matter issue. The article was headlined : "Think racism hasn't affected me? It's there almost every day".

She said that the last few weeks had "brought up so many suppressed memories and restated that it doesn't matter what I do or accomplish, how kind or 'good' a person I may be, how educated or well-intentioned I am, there are people out there that seek to do me wrong because of the colour of my skin".

She describes every day situations

  • It's being assumed that I am an employee rather than an attendee at a black-tie event. It's being followed around not so inconspicuously by security in a store from the moment you step in.
  • It's being assumed you can't afford to buy anything in a nice shop.
  • In sport it is hearing that a journalist at our World Championships holding camp press day only asked the black male athletes if they had ever been in a gang, had ever seen someone get stabbed and other harmful racial tropes, clearly looking to put the story on to the athlete before the athlete had the chance to show who they were themselves.

Looking to the future she writes: "I am not thinking of having children any time soon, but when I am ready for that I don't want my son to have to think twice before buying a nice car out of his hard-earned money, as having a nicer car would make him 40 times more likely to be stopped by the police.

"I don't want to have to give my children the same "talk" my parents had to give me at four years old - never let anyone call you certain names, never even look in your bag for a tissue when you are browsing in a store just in case people think you are stealing, and understand you will have to work at least twice as hard, be twice as good, a model of perfection, in order to attain half the recognition, respect and opportunity".

She finishes:

"We know how the power of one action, how one person, has the opportunity to change the world. Please stand up and speak out against racism. Be anti-racist. Even if you think that you can't affect change, you can. We all hold influence and whether that's across our dinner tables, in a boardroom or on a platform that millions listen to, it all counts. We all have the power to bring about positive change. Life as we know it has changed so much recently, and many have had to sit back and think about what really matters.

"Equality matters. Black Lives Matter"

The full article is at https://www.telegraph.co.uk/athletics/2020/06/25/think-racism-hasnt-affected-almost-every-day/

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