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Black History Month 2021 - Leader’s Message

October 2, 2021 5:00 PM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

October is Black History Month - an opportunity to celebrate the enormous contributions that Black people have made across our country.

From Mary Prince to Paul Stephenson, so many Black pioneers have transformed our society's cultural and political landscapes. We owe a great debt to everything they have achieved.

Yet here in the UK, far too many people's lives are still blighted by discrimination, inequality and injustice.

This Summer, the Euros championship exposed the best and worst of our country's relationship with race. The incredible achievements of Black players like Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka made us all proud. They united the whole country behind them - and most courageously, these young Black men took the knee to protest the racism that they have sadly experienced.

But they were met with abuse from a small minority of the public. These heroes were booed and subjected to vile, racist online abuse - actions that were emboldened by the Prime Minister and Home Secretary's refusal to support their brave protest.

Our country needs leaders who will unequivocally condemn racism in all its forms, and give their full support to those who - having experienced it - challenge it.

Liberal Democrats exist to fight for justice, liberty and equality. I'm proud that we continue to fight for racial justice - and it's clear there is still so much more to do.

That's why we are campaigning to abolish the Conservatives' cruel and discriminatory Hostile Environment, and end the disproportionate use of Stop and Search. And we will keep working to combat racism - whether conscious or unconscious, individual or institutional - wherever we find it.

Over the next month, I hope you will join me in reflecting on the great accomplishments of Black communities and working to build on their legacies.

- Ed Davey