Lucie Silvas: Teach Me How I Can Be of Real Use in Fight Against Racism
Lucie Silvas is a singer-songwriter from London, England, now living in Nashville with her husband, Brothers Osborne member John Osborne. On Saturday (May 30), Silvas attended Nashville's protest following the death of George Floyd, a black man from Minneapolis, Minn., who died at the hands of a white police officer.
"I’m proud to stand among you. Silence does nothing," Silvas wrote on Twitter that afternoon, sharing photos from her time at the protest. Below, in her own words, she offers a further reflection on her own white privilege and how she can continue to be an ally in the fight against racism.
It’s very hard to find and express words to describe my feelings right now. One thing I do know for sure is that my heart is broken.
I feel that, even now, in words alone, I come up short. How can I even express how I feel about the inequality and disregard the black community of America has found to be the norm for decades upon decades? From basic social and economic inequality to sickening brutality, how does any human being get treated unequally to another? I’ll never understand it.
I grew up in the suburbs of Greater London, never feeling the dangers that so many people have to grow up with. I am one of the lucky and the privileged. I felt safe in the world, just assuming I had the same chances as everyone else in the world.
Imagine, without doing a single thing, that you have less opportunity due to the color of your skin. Its painfully wrong and baffling.
My dad is Jewish and my mum was born to a Protestant family. They brought my sisters and me up to be strong-minded, look for our own paths in life, and decide for ourselves what we want to believe, but tried their utmost to equip us, at the very least, with knowledge.
To feel “safe” is something we take for granted. We don't know what it feels like to not have that: growing up in secure homes and families, and with equal opportunities.
I come from a multicultural country, where we have experienced many of our own forms of inequality, oppression and injustice. Every country has their own unique struggles. But honestly, for me personally, I’ve never witnessed or lived through anything like what's been and is happening here in the States. The people that have the most power in this country must stand up for and react swiftly to what happened to George Floyd and countless others (too many to list).
I’m outraged by the brutality and complete lack of regard and respect for human life. It’s shocking beyond belief, and the whole world is responding. I'm waking up in the mornings feeling small, ashamed and uneducated about the extent of the suffering of my fellow humans: the suffering, the pain, the loss, the humiliation -- please make it stop.
We call ourselves civilised? We judge other others as if we are the ones getting it right? We’re not.
I'm calling to be better educated, to be taught how I can be of real use. How I can understand better. How I can not only just express my outrage and heartbreak but take action. How I can fight for other causes as though they're my own experiences, even if I can never attest to them in the same way.
Show me how. I’m listening, and I’m with you.
I can't bear to see this pain and suffering, but I have never, and will never, turn away. I will open my eyes to what's going on every day and do my part in changing it, however small it might feel to me.
We have to use our voices, because without them, we are nothing. I want to look at myself in the mirror and say I stood up for people who needed it, and go to bed at night knowing I'm trying my hardest to make the world a place I could be proud to bring a child into. This isn't it.
Right up to the highest people in power: Enough is enough. I want to see history written differently from 2020 on.
I'm standing with you, fighting with you, now and with every breath I have, always.
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