Presenter Gamal Fahnbulleh speaks out ahead of a Sky News special programme on racial inequalities and institutional racism.
A colleague told me the other day that every black man has a story about racism. I think for the most part he is right.
I am a child of the eighties and a teenager of the nineties. I grew up in relative privilege.
I was never chased by skinheads because of the colour of my skin or had to navigate a justice system where the statistics show the outcome for me is likely to be much worse than for my white friends.
But I have been called the N word. I have been told to “go back to Africa”.
I have been stopped by the police on the pretence I matched a profile of interest.
I have been asked if I sell drugs on numerous occasions in nightclubs.
I have been told by an ex-girlfriend that it was inappropriate to meet her parents because they would be uncomfortable with her dating a black man.
These experiences don’t define me per se, but as the chancellor told Sky News on Sunday “racism stings in a way that very few things have”.
I believe, and the statistics would support, that the UK is one of the best places to live in Europe if you are from a black, Asian and other minority group, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t much work to be done.
The disparities in employment opportunities, existing inequalities in the justice system and the disproportionate number of deaths of members of the BAME group during the coronavirus pandemic lay bare that truth.
Last week Sky committed £30m to support the fight against racial injustice and invest more in diversity and inclusion.
It’s a positive step in the right direction, if it means we can get more people of different backgrounds around the table at all levels – not just creating content but making decisions on how we tell stories and where the business is heading.
We live in a society that has people of all races, religions, gender, sexual orientation and abilities.
It is important to celebrate our differences and draw on the experiences of others.
:: Listen to Divided States on Apple podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and Spreaker
The truth is – this is a moment for us all to have uncomfortable conversations with those around us.
It’s not good enough to not be racist anymore. It is time to be anti-racist and call out racism and bigotry when you see it.
It is time to be proactive and not spare the blushes of loved ones, when we see they overstep the mark. It is time to address the conscious or unconscious bias we may possess.
This evening at 8pm Gillian Joseph will host a frank and honest discussion about racism towards black and black-origin people.
It is a must watch.
As we all grapple with our own experiences and how we view others – perhaps George Floyd’s death won’t be in vain.
Race and Revolution: Is Change Going to Come?
Sky News will broadcast a global debate show tonight at 8pm – looking at the issues raised by the Black Lives Matter protests, and examining institutional racism and how we fix it.