‘Silence not an option,’ says Richmond business woman following death of George Floyd

Richmond business woman Sharon Davis, with husband Tim and daughter Ama.

As protests and riots take place in the US following the death of black man, George Floyd, at the hands of a white police officer, Richmond company director, Sharon Davis, says hatred exists in the UK too. But Sharon, a former BBC journalist who runs Dales PR and Marketing and Dales Business Women networking group and is black, says more discussion about race is the only good thing to come from the tragedy. She writes:

Like most people, finding the words to describe what happened in the US last week has been hard, but silence is not an option so here goes.

‘It’s not getting worse, it’s simply being filmed more’. This was someone‘s comment on racism yesterday and it’s so true, it’s always been there and still is.

The brutal murder of George Floyd and the bizarre phone call made to the police by a white woman blatantly falsely accusing a black man of something he didn’t do, speak of a deeper problem of hatred in the US and it exists here in the UK too.

Being married to a white man and living in the part of the UK that I do, mean I’m forced to think about race everyday. I think only Tim sees the true extent of the challenges I face looking so different to 99 per cent of the people around me. It takes regular mental and emotional resolve. I think I’ve come to accept, at least for now, I may never truly feel at home here because of it. Lovely though this place is  — both people and scenery.

The only good thing to come out of last week’s events is more people are talking and thinking about race – black, Asian and white. It’s a tiny green shoot of progress – as I’ve repeatedly said, it’s going to take a collective response to see change. This is not a black issue.

I was happy to hear and watch a number of UK white-led churches addressing racism in their services yesterday. Yesterday was Pentecost – a big day in the Christian calendar and it completely epitomises what God’s heart and kingdom are all about – unity across all races of people.

Therefore, Christians of all races are presented with a great opportunity to lead the way on this issue by speaking out on behalf of one another, admitting privilege and fighting against hatred. Be aware that we have a long road ahead though and it’ll be messy at times; it’s going to take an intentional, strategic and radical fight to turn the tide.

I’ve more questions than answers, but today amidst the pain and anger, I choose to humble myself and walk in the opposite spirit. So here’s a picture of my family from a few weeks ago just doing us on a warm spring day. We’re not out to make a statement at all, but this union of black and white works because we work out our love by being really honest about our differences, real enough to admit we don’t fully understand the other’s journey and celebrating everything in between.

And today we do this in George Floyd’s memory.