Black Lives Really Do Matter

It is no longer possible to accept and ignore the damage of racism. 

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Yet another young Black man has been shot in London, Chris Kaba, but this time unarmed. He was killed last September by a single gunshot through the windscreen of his vehicle. The officer has been charged with murder and the case has ignited protests in the Black community and has led some to question the protection for firearms officers, notably the Home Secretary, Suella Braverman.

It may seem somewhat unfair but we hold our police to high standards — and so we should. Only a fraction of the police force volunteers to be firearms officers. In exchange for the scrutiny that follows the use of a firearm comes the extra training and exclusive role. It’s a tough job to feel prepared to have people’s lives as part of a job description, but they must know what they are getting into. It’s a similar situation for pilots who cannot afford to make mistakes since they have to fly an entire plane of passengers.

No group of people are ever perfect — but we somehow hope that our police are. Following the start of Chris Kaba’s trial, a minority of firearms officers have dropped their weapons to protest the case. Yet there are many officers who didn’t; they knew they had a duty to carry out. The Met has recently been found to be institutionally racist, misogynistic, even homophobic, but that’s being fuelled by a minority group of officers who are failing their colleagues and the wider public.

What’s made matters worse is Home Secretary, Suella Braverman sharing her thoughts over Twitter on the case. A trial, as the former Attorney General, knows she should not be interfering with — but that has never stopped her in the past. She’s the loosest canon.

She stated: “We depend on our brave firearms officers to protect us from the most dangerous and violent in society. They mustn’t fear ending up in the dock for carrying out their duties. Officers risking their lives to keep us safe have my full backing and I will do everything in my power to support them.”

This is outrageous and she knows it.

She then immediately went to Washington to try to reform the UN’s 1951 refugee convention, in her war against immigration, and condemned multiculturalism. Her sheer contempt for people of colour and migrants is out of control. Even the UN has condemned her.

The review she has launched into how Met police officers are held to account when they use firearms completely undermines the firearms officers who really understand their responsibilities and welcome reviews if they do use their weapons.

The Home Secretary seems to only be concerned with the wellbeing of a fraction of firearms officers who have similar biases to hers.

You only really understand the importance of inclusion once you’ve tasted the pain of exclusion.

Inclusion has never been more important despite the messages that come out of the Home Office. It’s now paramount to make all our colleagues no matter what background feel supported, welcomed, and respected.

Smart organisations see feedback as a gift, not a reason to close ranks and dispense with the great responsibility and trust the public have bestowed upon them. Everyone has to buy-in to the initiatives top leadership takes to make their business more inclusive.

In October, Black History Month is upon us, an opportunity to celebrate everyone of African and Caribbean heritage in how they have shaped a better Britain. Let’s use it as a powerful reminder to not let the likes of the Home Secretary sway our understanding of justice. We must continue to make the efforts to walk in the shoes of others and go out of our way to include those who are different to us.


Thought for the Week: 

It is no longer possible to accept and ignore the damage of racism.


Top Tips for Becoming an A player: 

  • What divides us is negligible compared to what brings us together.
  • Similarities breed comfort; difference brings strength.
  • When we listen to everyone, they will listen to us.
  • The one thing we all have in common is our diversity.
  • We can make inclusion a beautiful habit.

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