Editor’s Letter

Nashville, Tennessee, hates Black people.

Tennessee is the birthplace of America’s most notorious white supremacist group. The fact that Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated in Memphis, must have slipped the mind of anyone who was shocked that the Tennessee legislature expelled two Black Representatives—and not the white one for—peacefully protesting with parents, families, and students against the slaughter of three nine-year-old children and as many of their teachers in a school shooting a little over a week ago.

This is what institutional racism looks like, people. This is racism personified.

That’s this week’s editor’s letter.

Love one another.

Clay Rivers
OHF Weekly Editor in Chief


Feeling My Way through White Spaces

By Jesse Wilson

Photo by Tyrell Charles on Unsplash

As a Black Britain growing up in the 1980s, I can confidently say microaggressions were and still are accepted today as a way of life. In some respects, I am thankful they are not an overt or physical demonstration of racism. But in other ways, those aggressions can be just as damaging — they are a constant hurtful reminder of how I am viewed despite my character and all I’ve achieved.

It is a sad indictment to say that because of where I lived. Growing up with racism is something that you, and sadly also those who are not directly affected, accept for what it is. It is an even greater tragedy to say that today, in 2020. There is still a need to write about a problem that affects so many globally.

A burden that can be shared

My heart is heavy and full of mixed emotions, and I am burdened to recount one experience that I had buried within an unfortunate vast catalogue of racial encounters.

I have mixed feelings because I know to dwell on racial experiences I’ve come up against serves me no good. But over the past few weeks, I have devoured numerous accounts from highly accomplished writers who are brave enough to share what they think and who have poured their hearts out to the world. I would be a hypocrite if I applauded their bravery but avoided sharing my own story. I am especially moved to tell my story because I share the same anger at the blatant injustices and brazen hypocrisy in a supposedly “free” world.

But still, I am reluctant. Perhaps that is because the root of my mixed feelings arises from the consideration of my experiences. I know they would rightfully appear trivial against the backdrop of what many People of Colour endure each day. But I now appreciate such dismissal of my experiences as a misguided point. We are wrong to trivialise any form of racism. We shouldn’t scale what is right and what is wrong; there is no competition. An injustice is an injustice!

I now recognise the years of suppressing, of disregarding how I feel and of taking on the burden of keeping the peace, are part of the problem. While ignoring encounters provides a path of least resistance and a way to function unnoticed, such a way of survival ultimately robs us all of a chance of dialogue, a chance to change.

A Chance Encounter

It all started back in the mid-90s with a chance encounter in a local supermarket with parents of a school friend.

Read the full article at OHF Weekly.

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