The killing of George Floyd has started a movement that highlights our shared in-activism and failure to protect the black community. It can feel intimidating to know where to start, but you can donate and, most importantly, educate yourself on how to be a better ally. Here’s how London’s fitness trainers are responding to the news…
Jonelle Lewis, lululemonuk Ambassador says: “I’ve had enough of all the state sponsored killing, violence and lack of humanity. I’ve had enough of the lack of empathy, enough of the shock and lack of understanding.
If you don’t get that black lives matter then please unfollow me. If you don’t get that black lives matter then you can’t see or understand me as a woman, a daughter, a sister, a mother, a friend, a yogi, a student, a teacher. If you aren’t prepared to do your part to dismantle this unjust system of racism and white supremacy then you don’t care about my safety and survival.
I’ve had enough off people saying but not doing. Head nodding but not taking real action. I’d rather be left with 1 or 2 folks that want to actively work for change than a whole bunch of apathetic folks giving lip service to it and only reposting memes about change and justice.
If you are a yogi and don’t fight actively for everyone to be free and happy then you aren’t really a yogi. You can’t free yourself if everyone else is oppressed. You can’t reach samadhi while the rest of us are in a living hell. The practice teaches what I want for myself I want for others. If you aren’t practicing this it’s not yoga its spiritual bypass.
I’ve had enough of people with privilege not doing their part to educate themselves in the appropriate places to help with this fight. The oppressed can’t continue to do all of the heavy lifting! Educate yourselves so you can help educate other people with privilege.
I’ve had enough of the oppressed minority always doing something and the privileged majority sitting by while we take action. It’s time for the folks that are always doing nothing to finally join the folks always doing something to change the injustice in this world. The time is NOW for all of us to do SOMETHING.
I have had enough trauma and sleepless nights over black women and men being murdered and harassed just for being black. If reading this makes you feel uncomfortable think about how I feel everyday of my life living in this system….I’ve had enough!”
Anya Lahiri, Barry’s Bootcamp Master Trainer says: “I need help to find the words, help to understand this heartbreaking time, help educating myself and my family so things change. It’s a horrible and uneasy feeling to realise you’ve been living with your eyes closed, especially when I know how hard both my parents fought to fight racism of any kind. I have a privilege that’s down to them and I need to do more, we can all say and do more. Please scroll left to see some places to support.
CREATE POSITIVE CHANGE
Cory Wharton-Malcolm aka Bit Beefy, Nike Trainer and CEO of Track Mafia says: “When I woke up this morning, I felt different. As we all have, I’ve been watching what’s happening around us, watching as the world releases its frustrations not just over the mindless senseless killing of George Floyd but overall the injustices and killings that came before him.
I stare at my phone or television and I feel sad, I feel sad in an age where things are “supposedly different”. What has really changed?
People’s behaviour, people’s action, people’s words still go unchecked. I’m sad because much of the brutality and behaviour that we are all witnessing says so much more than just the act itself. It doesn’t show that people don’t care about consequences, it shows that there are none, it shows that the world in which we live in has deemed this behaviour as acceptable, as normal, so I say again, what has really changed?
It got me thinking, that regardless of where I might get to in my career or how old I get, the little voice in my head that has been hardwired into my being purely for survival STILL REMAINS THE SAME at its core and that message is a simple one – GET HOME SAFE as out here is NOT SAFE.
The same message that as a kid, my mother, grandmother and all the elders around me would share with me AS THEY KNEW to navigate this minefield of a world that we have been dropped into, it was going to take more than hard work, it was going to take an understanding of what you will actually face the moment you leave your house. Travel the world they would say, explore, meet new people, enrich your life, learn from others, teach others, read but remember STAY ALERT – STAY SAFE.
Now let that sink in for a bit. The same messaging our governments are giving us for Covid 19 is the same messaging black parents have been giving their parents for generations to keep them safe. Now imagine being told as a kid, that just because of the colour of your skin, you must work even harder, be better, as regardless of what you do, you will never be seen as or regarded as equal.
Writing those words genuinely breaks my heart as I know that one day when we have children, I’m going to have to have exactly the same conversations, unless we do our bit now.
Let’s create positive change together so parents no longer need to shelter their children from hate fuelled by stupidity and ignorance, as the world right now does it look like it can take much more?
I’m not going to tell you what you should do or can do to make change, I’m not going to tell you what you can say or not say as DEEP DEEP DOWN in your heart of hearts you already know if you are part of the problem, the solution or the safe space in between.
PROVE IT WITH ACTIONS
Kim Ngo, Nike and FIIT trainer says: “Prove it with your actions! Support black lives with your wallets and purses, protest, educate yourself, recognise your privilege (this goes to my white friends, non-black POC or if you pass as white)
If you don’t understand why you individually need to take action it’s highly likely you come from a privileged place where your race hasn’t affected your chances in life. No one has treated you as different based on your skin colour. It will make you uncomfortable understanding your privilege but you know what’s really uncomfortable? Innocent black and brown people being marginalised, hurt and murdered because of the colour of their skin.
It affects us in the UK, don’t think for a second that racism isn’t happening on our door steps. It’s not just their problem in the USA, it is OUR PROBLEM. Our problem as a human race. Don’t let your children’s children read history books and wonder why you let this happen. If you stay silent you are sitting with oppressors. We are more connected than we have ever been, the internet is your tool- USE IT! Stand for something!
To my fitness folk. Have you ever used hip hop, grime, R&B or any black music in your playlists? Answer is a big yes. Your workout would be dry without Music made by black and brown people. Don’t benefit from a culture and then stay quiet as they suffer.
To my fellow Asians, we are not the ‘model minority’. This term is toxic and I reject it. This is made up to pit us against each other. We must support our black sisters and brothers. We have benefited from black rights movements so DO NOT take your rice and eat it”.
Main image: Shane Vincent Photography
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Hettie is the editor and co-founder of DOSE. A keen runner, she’s also partial to a blast of high-intensity and hot yoga. A country girl at heart, she divides her time between London and the lush rolling hills of North Devon. When she’s not jetting off on her next adventure, Hettie can be found in a candle-lit alcove with a laptop, a spaniel and a full bodied Malbec.