Even when thinking about engaging in this conversation, the voices come into my head... What if I say the wrong thing? Is it my place to say anything? But that is exactly the point, isn’t it? There has been far too many times in my life where I haven’t spoke up or said anything for fear of making a situation awkward or not saying the right thing. Even hiding behind the ‘it isn’t really my place’.
When I reflect on that, that’s all about me protecting myself and just proves it isn’t enough to be not racist, you have to be anti racist! So I’ve seen this go round social media in its different forms, but the ‘agree to disagree’ is reserved for ‘I don’t like coffee' - not racism. This really stuck out and I vowed that I would never let a situation arise again where I didn’t say something! This did result in an awkward and lengthy discussion with someone recently, however, in the end it resulted in that person totally changing their mind and their point of view. Obviously not every situation will end like this, but I vow to continue having those conversations! If I do say the wrong thing, let somebody correct me and thank them for educating me instead of becoming defensive and feeling attacked. Sometimes we get so comfortable in our little echo chambers with like-minded people that we forget the bigger picture, that that’s not everyone’s point of view or actions. I have a platform and I should and will use it. There is so much more to be done and so many more voices that need and deserve to be heard, I will continue to share and listen to them!
Jessica Ellis is an actress known for EastEnders, Hollyoaks and Doctors. She's also the host of the podcast Dilemmas.