As if the pandemic worries weren’t enough, our IT Manager Cleon Lawrence shared his personal feelings with all the Agency. We are proud of your words Cleon and the support that your colleagues have shown.
Allow Your Heart to Change
Nervous as I type this. Fearful because I’m sending this. More anxious because you’re reading this…
As if the Coronavirus Pandemic is not enough for us all.
I understand that this may fall on deaf ears, as this is work. Though I owe it to my culture, black history, my journey, the many non-black people that I know and love, the many non-black people I have met through KHWS, I owe it to you all to start this difficult conversation at KHWS.
I’m sure many of you – if not all – are aware of the protests and riots across cities regarding Black Lives Matter. I must state I do not agree with the looting or the rioting, I condemn it. I feel it is important to say that those looting and rioting are not all black. Either way, I condemn them all.
As for the protesting, what you are seeing is decades and generations of built up anger, frustration and hurt. In one word – pain.
It’s all sad to see. It’s worse to feel.
George Floyd, in quick succession, was another example of the hatred between people of colour and the system. Some people call it racism. I call it hatred in hearts. Although concealed, it is still rife here in the UK, in London, at home, if we are honest.
How I’ve felt the past few weeks:
I’ve been angry, ashamed, down, hurt, upset and sad. All these emotions together – confused really. On one side you have got protests happening for the very right reasons…..and on another side, very close to home actually, you’ve got the media reporting street parties in London, with images of large groups of people from a range of ethnicities. I repeat, ashamed and confused. Media reports, around 500 attendees. Based on the media though, is that number fact or fiction? I’ll let you decide.
Still though, indefensible at this moment in time.
I won’t bore you my experiences of systematic oppression and I’m not after any sympathy, but over the last 15 years of my very short life 😊, I made a decision to try and bridge the gap between my generation and society, the system.
My generation – young black people, young black men, young black Londoners. Regardless of the stereotypes, regardless of what you see on social media, regardless of what you see on the news, regardless of what you witness during your daily walk, regardless of how some people feel and felt, I’ve been determined to try. That is all you can do right?
So, I forget my skin colour, but what comes with being that bridge, sometimes…. just sometimes…you get walked all over.
But I’m not perfect. I’ve also upset some people along the way, I’ve fallen out with some people along the way. Ultimately, I think I’ve done alright, as I’ve ended up here at a company like KHWS.
What we can do:
I don’t know.
I am not trying to change the world, even though it needs changing.
I don’t have any expectations from this, but maybe this will start a difficult conversation here.
What I do know, is that staying silent and brushing this deep-rooted issue under the carpet, isn’t sitting on the fence. And it isn’t against racism either.
We have all got a part to play, we have all got a place in addressing the overdue, change in hearts. Finding an excuse to play no part, in my opinion, is no excuse.
Our words and actions, they can wound, something we can all be guilty of, something that I have been guilty of. I have a part to play in all of this too. I need your help. You need mine.
I hope I have not offended anyone with this, if I have, I apologise now. More importantly, if I have, let me know how I have. The educating works both ways.
So yes…Black Lives Matter, All Lives Matter, Your Life Matters. We are all equal!
Allow your heart to change.
Cleon Lawrence11.04.20 Archive