I’ve attended countless ‘knife crime’, ‘gang crime’ conferences, youth violence round-tables and one of the key things I’ve taken from them is that the spaces tend to be filled with older non Black or Asian faces ( now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not insinuating that this shouldn’t be the case), it just startles me that the issues we are discussing and trying to solved during such events concern predominately Black and Ethnic minority communities, in particularly young Black man within inner London, yet these faces more times than none are nowhere to be seen in these spaces. And yes, I have an issue with that.
How do we shape our response to the amount of young Black males losing their lives to stabbings and shootings in London without taking into consideration their voices in our policy responses, strategies and interventions?
When will we stop discussing issues that face predominately young black males in spaces full of White middle-class men who have very little understanding of the issues these young men are facing, the root causes of the gang violence and youth crime and the realities of being a young Black male in London.
Yes, tackling these issues requires a joint effort across the board, however there is a necessity for more people of colour in leadership roles across government, policing and parliament involved in decision making who look like those affected and have a real sense of the issues affecting young people in Black and Ethnic Minority communities.
If we are making important decisions around people’s lives, surely, we should have a variety of individuals from diverse backgrounds and experiences around the table to inform such decisions.