B stands for BLACK

I’m not going to lie…I have been struggling!

3 months into the year, the UK went into lockdown following the Coronavirus pandemic – A pandemic which disproportionately affects people from Black, Asian and ethnic minority communities. A pandemic which highlighted the longstanding racism in the healthcare system and wider social inequalities which contributed to the high infection and mortality rates.

5 months into the year, the world was confronted with a video (one I still have/will not watch) of George Floyd being murdered by Minneapolis police, which sparked worldwide protests and conversations as the video reawakened what the black community already knew – to some our lives don’t matter.

Watching another video of an unarmed black person being the victim to white supremacy and systemic racism impacted a lot of people’s mental health…including mine and the emotions it conjured up, I find hard to articulate. In response, a lot of organisations have put together lists of where people can access mental health support during this time and I’ve updated my resources list to reflect that.

I called this blog BAMEinMind because I wanted to drive conversations around mental health in black and ethnic minority communities. But, in all honesty, I’m struggling with BAME as a term in general – Especially after these recent events.

BAME means everyone that is not white, which signals that White is the standard and everyone else is ‘Other’.

The current Black Lives Matter protests remind me that there is a specific racism that black people experience and anti-blackness is present in all communities, including ones that we are grouped with under the BAME umbrella and that doesn’t sit well with me right now.

I don’t have any of the answers and I don’t know even know whether I will change the name of this blog. But something has stirred within and in the sea of the unknowns, I can be just be present for the ride…

How do you feel about the BAME term?

6 Comments

  1. Angela
    June 16, 2020 / 7:30 pm

    Hi Danielle, I stumbled on your blog today whilst looking for BAME support groups to attend. Like you, I’m not so sure about the term BAME, after all it’s yet another term THEY use to classify US, sweeping us all into a generic pot and not accounting for the vast differences and experiences of our different cultures. However, I have always found it difficult to find groups where I feel I belong. Being Chinese and born in the U.K. there’s not that big a community, also my London experiences are not always the same as those of other British Chinese. Plus, I’ve spent pretty much most of the year angry at the racism the Asian community has experienced as a result of the pandemic, and now I’m angry in a way I’ve never experienced before following the recent events in the US. I feel angry for the racial injustices that the entire Black community has been subjected to and also angry for everyone who has ever experienced the systemic racism we all knew existed, so in this time I have felt more at one with the term BAME. I totally understand your apprehension though but know that your blog has at least pointed the way for me to start looking into support groups to process the (aforementioned!) anger (and grief). Thank you for you blog and take care of yourself. Angela 🤗

    • bameinmind
      Author
      June 20, 2020 / 6:13 pm

      Hey Angela, thanks for checking out my post and glad to see it resonated with you 🙂 good luck with your search for support groups. I think our shared community helps us process some of those difficult emotions….especially during this time. xx

  2. June 22, 2020 / 1:40 pm

    Thank you for sharing this, I definitely understand what you mean by feeling grouped and just seen as other. Especially being a black women there is defo anti blackness among other minorities which is important to talk about. All the best with your blogging journey which ever direction you go in

    • bameinmind
      Author
      June 22, 2020 / 5:36 pm

      Hey Ruth, I’m glad you can identify with this and thanks for your well wishes 😊

  3. July 27, 2020 / 3:53 pm

    I was at a meeting today and that was one of the topics to be mentioned – the term BAME and what term should be used if at all. We are going to discuss it at the next meeting. There appears to be many terms for us, BME, BAME, people of colour, racialised groups to name the few that I currently know of. For White people we just say White but that also covers a whole host of people not just White English.

    • bameinmind
      Author
      August 1, 2020 / 11:30 am

      Hey Suzanne, thanks for your post. It’s so true, there are so many terms for us and I don’t know what could be used instead and I feel that with these ‘catch-all’ terms we dilute our individual cultural experiences. I’d be interested to hear of any insights from your meeting. x

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