Originally published: June 22, 2016
The EU referendum debate has brought rage, despair, hope, confusion and fear. As women of colour, we put our names to this letter for many reasons. Like millions of ordinary Brits, we care about our country and its peoples. We care about our children’s future. We honour our country’s past. We know we must be present today. There is no opting out. Equally important, we want our voices heard.
Too much of this debate has been monopolised by a mono-chatter of white men in suits. Understandable at one level, unacceptable at another. With black and minority ethnic people making up 16% of our population, there are no excuses for the lack of plurality of voices in the mainstream media. We have a responsibility to the next generation to say we stood up and were counted. How else can we expect them to be fearless when they face challenges?
It is not our words we want the next generation to hear. It is our actions we want them to see. It is the belief that anything is possible. We live with the anger one feels at a political system that is fractured, of being left behind. We know that inequality, injustice and insecurity hit the poorest hardest.