General media, as of late, has been exhibiting supremely concerning trends and time after time we see the same abhorrent things happening. Racism and police brutality running rampant with no substantial consequence and no one made properly accountable. In the USA these occurrences result in anything ranging from injury, to trauma, to death and it rules our media. What we see on television and social media is dominated and saturated by mishaps from across the Atlantic. Every day we cry out against injustice and racism, we protest and we are outraged.  We dissent from racist views and then, having supposedly done our part, we move on. Because, when it comes down to it, to many of us it all seems so distant, so inconsequential.

We thank our lucky stars that this is happening in the USA, and not here in the UK

We thank our lucky stars that this is happening in the USA, and not here in the UK. That we don’t have to suffer at the hands of the likes of Trump, or the more than lenient gun laws of the USA. But does the common Brit halt their daily life of tweeting, hash-tagging, and facebooking to consider that similar things may be happening outside their own front door? The distinct lack of knowledge of the prevalence of racism in the UK among the public is wholly disturbing. So many people seem to alienate themselves from what is happening around them and flock towards whatever is gaining the greater amount of attention. What good do well wishes and concerned paragraphs do? Not enough. Among all the requiems, dirges, and laments there is a surge of self promotional mourning. Emotionless posts detailing just how empathetic and kind the writer is, with no more than a mere second’s thought as to how direly such a tragedy affects the lives of those close to it. While the good intentions may be there, not much difference will be made when all we do is join the masses in dramatising a tragic occurrence for a week for the sake of our own image or moral qualms, only then to completely disregard it and move on to the next hash-tag just as quickly as we change our clothes.

In regard to the Black Lives Matter movement, it may well operate predominantly in the USA, however, the UK is also in dire need of a movement, a call to action of the same calibre. This is something many have not yet realised. Many people can neither discern nor distinguish racism in society. We must become cognizant of this issue and we must do it now. All we need do is look to the recent EU referendum to see that racism and scape-goating of minority races has always been prevalent in the UK, whether in hiding or out in the open. For example, since the EU referendum vote, reports of hate crime have risen by 57% in the UK. This is where black lives matter and similar movements become of utmost importance. It need not require some benevolent paragon to make a difference; what truly makes the difference is standing up with the people who are actively fighting for the rights of everyone.

Many people can neither discern nor distinguish racism in society

I have heard many argue that the Black Lives Matter movement is supremacist or excluding other races, and that ‘All Lives Matter’ would be a more appropriate title. To this I say: of course all lives matter, even the simplest of minds know that. The title ‘Black Lives Matter’ arose from the fact that it is black people who are being killed, abused, and discriminated against because of their skin colour. You won’t ever find a Caucasian man being denied a job, beaten, or even killed because of his skin colour. Black lives matter is inclusive of all races, the title is simply to emphasize the importance of those who need the most help.

“There's a lot more hypocrisy than before. Racism has gone back underground.” – Richard Pryor

Story written by Megan Bakare,16 and Sally Bakare,16

Support these young people as they campaign against racism as part of their NCS social action project. Follow @voteoutracism on twitter

For a different take on #blacklivesmatter please click here