Black Lives Matter: We should all take a stand, or a knee, in the fight against racism – Angus Robertson MSP

Big shout out to Kimberley Withnell. The 34-year-old Lothian Bus passenger took a stand against a passenger who was allegedly racially abusing a group of young fellow travellers who happened to be black.

Kimberley Withnell, pictured, took action after hearing racial slurs towards a group of boys on a bus
Kimberley Withnell, pictured, took action after hearing racial slurs towards a group of boys on a bus

As a result the driver stopped the number 34 and informed the control room. The police were called, statements were taken from witnesses and a 20-year-old woman has been charged in connection with the incident.

People of all colours should be able to get on with their lives without having to face any form of abuse. By taking a stand, not only did Kimberley Withnell and other passengers show solidarity with the victims, but helped ensure that someone will have to face the consequences.

Racism is still all too present in our society and in other countries as well. That is why it is good to take a stand and, in the case of Europe’s footballers, a knee at the ongoing European Championships.

Taking the knee has been a strong symbol of solidarity as have been Black Lives Matter protests which followed the death of the African-American George Floyd who was killed by a white police officer.

Last week the former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was sentenced to 22 years in prison for the murder. The Floyd family have called for “real and lasting change”.

By securing justice in the Floyd case and by standing up against racism here at home, we are hopefully getting closer to a time when people don’t face discrimination of any kind.

Angus Robertson is the SNP MSP for Edinburgh Central and Constitution, External Affairs and Culture Secretary

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