Wednesday 3rd June 2020
Yesterday was denoted Black Tuesday where many establishment stood up and declared that Black Lives Matter. This included, I am proud to say Portsmouth University where I did my PhD in mathematics. From time to time the world stops and re-consider how wrong is Racism. The last time I saw this reflection was the case of Stephen Lawrence, an A Level student cut off in his prime when he was murdered in the streets of London. What caused the world to pause was the immediate (non) action of the police that the murderers for a long while got away with this crime. Upon an enquiry it was the first time the term “Institutional Racism” was termed.
Racism unfortunately has played a large part in my life, whether I have been stopped by the Police at a Railway station while the actual thief (who was white) ran off – to being told I could not be a mathematician – I should be a boxer by my school’s career teacher.
However, the reason why the death of George Floyd hit me hard, was there was a time when Black people all around the world, could be killed legally and there would be no consequences. To think that my ancestors were hunted down and killed like sport is a very hard cross to bear. The fact that in 2020 such act continues with the perpetrator thinks that they have the “right” and can get away with it is both shocking and sad. Another point, if someone can justify killing Black people and then all other forms of racial discrimination, such as denial of employment, health care, promotion, justice is acceptable.
This is why narrative Black Lives Matter is important. It says that we can not repeat the mistakes of the past today.
Just like the time of Stephen Lawrence, it is time to reflect and have those uncomfortable conversations.
A Scottish mathematician – Ayliean MacDonald (@Ayliean) tweeted this “The white Maths community cannot be silent about this. We must stand with the BLM movement now …. We need Black Mathematicians”.
My thought were, what a bold and passionate statement to say. This not the time to become discouraged.
Furthermore , Ayliean produced this leaflet.
I just want to say thank you Ayliean MacDonald making such a stand and yes Black Lives Matter in Mathematics.