In 1978, I marched with Rock Against Racism from central London to Victoria Park in the East End of London. We believed we were part of an earthquake change in society. Turned out the entrenched tectonic plates were more solid than we thought... The all too visible atrocity of George Floyd’s murder at the hands of the police revealed, yet again, what has continued to be kept invisible.
As Lee Pelton president of Emerson College in Boston said “This is not a black problem, but a structural issue built on white supremacy and centuries of racism. It’s your problem. And until you understand that, we are doomed to relive this week’s tragic events over and over again. What changes will you make in your own life?”
“All demonstrations are rehearsals… for revolution; not strategic or tactical, but rehearsals of revolutionary awareness.” Wrote John Berger in 1968.
To change the deep systemic racism embedded deep in the consciousness of our society, to move from rehearsal to action, we need to dig deep. To listen. To acknowledge. To speak. To speak up. Over and over. To force change. To build change. To excavate change.
And to do that we need to... care.
Simon Montagu McBurney OBE, is an actor, writer and director. The founder and artistic director of Théâtre de Complicité, he is one of the most innovative, mercurial and influential theatre-makers working today