OK, I'm male/white/cis/hetero and refuse to be ashamed of, guilty about or apologise for any of those things. Nor do I for one moment believe that my being any of those things renders me superior or inferior to anyone else of a differing make-up.

That said, my ancestors were as oppressed as anyone else could claim to be. The lives of farm labourers or industrial workers at the height of the British Empire were no better - and sometimes worse - than those of the natives in our colonies. "But the British workers were free!" I hear you cry. Yeah, right, free to work in degrading, filthy and potentially lethal conditions for a miserable pittance, or starve to death - some freedom!

The failure of ordinary working white people to recognise their own oppression is at the root of much of the problem. We were oppressed, by exactly the same forces that oppressed Black and Brown folk. Recognition of that shared history of oppression is the first step.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store