I remember being confronted with being part of the problem rather than the solution if I was not actively vocal or being an ally in a productive way when it came to sexism. It took me a long time (and of course this is still a long journey) to understand that, and it’s been a journey which has been uncomfortable to recognise my own prejudices no matter their scale. The same can be said when it comes to racism. I have never considered myself a racist and have over the course of the last decade or so tried to become more aware, more vocal, more supportive.
But I have to be honest and realise that I am never going to comprehend the experience of those that experience racism. That it isn’t enough to consider myself anti racist. That understanding and standing by in solidarity requires work and effort. It’s an effort of love but it’s one that cannot be taken lightly because it is literally a matter of life and death. I need to be better at listening to the voices of the oppressed and marginalised and commit to being a constructive ally wherever I can be useful. I recognise that I will never be perfect, I will fail and it is not my right to be anything other than gracious and willing to listen when I do so that I can get up and continue to listen and stand where I am needed. And it is down to me to search for those places and use my privilege as a force for change.
Jack Staddon is an actor, known for Harlots, Midsomer Murders and Get Out of Bed with Danny and Ed.