• Crystal Ampofo

Why Is #DefundTheBBC Trending?

It appears that the BBC is once again under criticism.

Not for their offensive use of racial language and their 'sorry-not-sorry' response to the consequential backlash - but for their apparently 'divisive' attempt to educate viewers on white privilege via their BBC Bitesize platform.

Critics claim that this does nothing but fan 'the flames of racial unrest' and promotes division instead of social cohesion.

Head-fronted by campaign 'DefundTheBBC' they, similarly to others...define white privilege as an offensive ridiculous trope, that is used when minorities want to 'pull out the race card'.

*long, eternal sigh*

Many of us are disappointed but not surprised at the fact that so many still share the unwillingness and the - frankly put - laziness to understand the racial injustices experienced by the rest of us.

It echoes once again, the lack of consistency the UK has for actually taking action toward closing a gap that has existed for centuries, and that is built off the back of racial injustice and prejudice.

For some of us, it can also be disheartening, to realise that after the global unrest and outcry that came after the callous murder of George Floyd...allyship and social change is nowhere in reach.

BBC Bitesize's decision to educate children on the reality of white privilege should be welcomed with encouragement - even if it is the bare minimum - not with pitchforks.

Unfortunately, what we see is another example of the true colours of the public when their allyship masks go back in the closet.

The cheesy messages saying "'we can do this together" and "it's all of us against racists" that are plastered everywhere by big organisations like the BBC are nothing but performative - a way to maintain an untarnished image and capital because in times of social unrest...nobody wants to be outed as a racist.

Performative allyship is just a way for these big, white corporations to avoid being 'cancelled'; to preserve their status and agenda. They don't really care and neither do their audiences - who call for defunding the minute a viable contribution toward racial education is actually made.

It’s the not practicing what you preach for me.

Here are a couple of examples of performative allyship...

  • The Met Police, like all big corporations, issued a statement of support for the Black Lives Matter movement where they promised to do better. Yet they defend their terrifying arrest of 12 year old Kai Agyepong for playing with a toy gun.

  • There was an influx of self-centred videos and images that emerged from white influencers in the midst of protests. They posed with signs and holding drills, trying desperately to display their 'wokeness'.' They then went back to daily life after a long, hard week of 'allyship'.

It's incredibly disheartening to see that the fires of allyship have transformed to mere embers so fast. That someway, somehow, the fight for the lives of Black people around the globe became nothing more than a trend. Most of us saw it coming...and weren't surprised by the change of tone.

It only goes to show that we have a lot of work to do.

Pretty posts and infographics aren't going to change the world. It starts at home. So practice what you preach.

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