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WEOC Member, Bylines in Momentum, Cultured, AnInJustice, Equality Includes You, The Pink, AfroSapiophile and Age of Awareness. Contact: petiriira@gmail.com

It’s important to acknowledge it doesn’t exist

Photo: Natalie Magee/EyeEm/Getty Images

For some people, reverse racism is an unfeigned issue in society. They believe racism can be flipped around and made subject to the people who do not have to worry about their skin color making them susceptible to discrimination.

Essentially, they hold the belief that the roles can somehow be reversed and the oppressor can become the oppressed. It is important, however, to acknowledge that this isn’t true — racism doesn’t work like that.

Yes, racism does involve someone feeling superior to another race, but that is just the tip of the enormous iceberg that follows the complexity of racism.


The long-lasting effect of racism on mental health

Photo by Honey Yanibel Minaya Cruz on Unsplash

''You have to be strong'', ''you need to have thick skin'' and ''just ignore them'', were words of encouragement that I heard growing up when I first experienced racism. When assessing racism, we often forget to account for the harm it causes to someone's mental wellbeing. Racism affects self-esteem, self-love and can fuel self-hate. It certainly affected those facets of life for me.

Since I experienced racism from a young age, I had to learn how to navigate my way through life and view society differently at a tender age. …


The racial abuse of three Black English football players after Euro 2020 final loss

Photo via Watford Observer

On the evening of the 11th of July, England lost the final of the Euro 2020 tournament to Italy at Wembley Stadium. After an intense and gruelling 120 minutes of play, the match went onto penalties, where the England team would go onto lose after missing three out of five penalties.

To some England fans, love, and acceptance is conditional. And that condition pertains to the Blackness of the players. When they are winning they are embraced and praised, but when the trio of young Black men miss a penalty, they are subject to an influx of racial abuse. …


What freeing our minds can do

Photo by Omar Lopez on Unsplash

Eyes adorned in swirls of azure, coupled with luscious strands of blonde, accompanied with snatched and sleek noses and slim figures attached to lengthy limbs are society's epitome of beauty. But, I say otherwise.

Who set this as the standard? And why are we conditioned to believe that eurocentrism is the apex of beauty?

We have been trained to believe that Western features are on top, and forced to believe they overshine non-white features. My flat buttoned nose, enlarged lips, sepia skin and jet black tress are no match to current beauty standards according to society.

It is vital, that…


The overt display of gaslighting

Picture of Black woman standing in front of window.
Photo by lucas da miranda from Pexels

The fact of the matter is, dark-skinned Black women face colourism like no other. ‘‘ You're just jealous of light-skinned women" and ‘‘You're just insecure'', are two examples of colourist rebuttals that are uttered to us daily. Although, our beautifully enriched shades of melanin, are often subject to prejudice.

Gaslighting is defined as an attempt to make (someone) believe that he or she is going insane (as by subjecting that person to a series of experiences that have no rational explanation).

Keeping that in mind, we can think of our skin being turned into a weapon, one that is used…


Racism is mentally exhausting and I’m beyond tired

Photo by ArtByPrincella on Instagram

Growing up I’ve always been aware of my race, the culmination of racism, colourism and texturism made me aware that I was Black from a young age. Due to racism, I was constantly fed the idea that Black was undesirable, unworthy and unwanted by those around me. By age five I already started being told that I needed to have thick skin and to be strong to navigate this world as a Black person.

Countless experiences with racism in predominantly white spaces and glaring stares in public places were the main reminders of my Blackness growing up and even up…


Politics is the new code word for “Race” and “Racism”

Photo by Melany Rochester on Unsplash

"I'm not a political person, so I don't usually discuss race."

"I think Black Lives Matter is political."

"Agh! Everything is so political nowadays."

All three of these sentences are code for race and racism, in the context of fragility and being uncomfortable.

The fact of the matter is that topics about racism and the products of racism should not be off-limits. Talking about systemic racism, interpersonal racism and structural racism in all facets of life for BIPOC shouldn't be regarded as “politics.” Society often frames and equates racism as a political matter that communities shouldn't bring into talking spaces…


It's not hard

ePhoto by Amanda Dalbjörn on Unsplash

There are a plethora of habits, thought processes and notions that are contributing to the halt of societal progression. It is important for white people to acknowledge all these factors that are contributing to slowing our push for change.

If white people looked at these factors and assessed whether they are actively contributing to reaffirming racism and upholding white supremacy by continuing these habits.

It shouldn't be an unbearable task to recognise and to be aware and actively work to dismantle what is upholding white supremacy. …


Would they love me as much as they love my culture?

Woman facing sideaways with a pair of gold and black sunglasses.
Photo by Rafael Barros from Pexels

Black culture is the centre stage, it's jampacked in innovation and an abundance of creativity. It is a diverse culmination of our music, hair, cuisines, talents and style. Its magnitude is responsible for society's popular culture.

Black culture is everywhere, in the galore of varying fashion trends and styles, all genres of music and slang that is used universally. Black culture is the root of popular culture we can't deny it, the influence is impeccable. Black culture is alluring, drawing millions to it, people love it. …


Whitesplaining reaffirms racism and white supremacy

Photo by RootedColors via Nappy.co

Imagine someone correcting you on your own emotions and lived experiences. Denying you of your own feelings, making you feel as though you are in the wrong. They twist your words, jumble them up and tell you that you're ''too sensitive'' and ''taking things too far'', all on the basis of something they've never had to deal with: racism.

To be so angered by me vocalising my experiences of racism in this world, they often resort to a tactic that acts as a blanket to their fragility: whitesplaining. For you to tell me, a Black woman, that I'm overreacting when…

Petiri Ira

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