ENTERTAINMENT
05/06/2020 09:10 BST

Reggie Yates Shares Powerful Statement Urging People To Be Better Allies To The Black Community

The former Radio 1 star and documentarian urged his Instagram followers to "show up" and be better allies to the Black community.

Reggie Yates has shared a powerful statement about racism, urging people to be better allies to the Black community.

Since the death of George Floyd last week, there have been mass protests in America and around the world against police brutality and in support of Black Lives Matter.

Reflecting on the current situation, Reggie wrote on Instagram: “It’s a lot. It’s been an exhausting time for everyone and I get it but please, let’s not go backwards.”

Mike Marsland via Getty Images
Reggie Yates

Alluding to the divisive social media posts that were shared on “Black Out Tuesday”, the former Radio 1 DJ noted: “Please don’t make today business as usual. If yesterday was a black square and today is a selfie with no action, please realise how hurtful that can be.

“Myself and a lot of my Black friends are in mourning. We’re mourning the loss of Black life again. Yes still. We’re also mourning the relationships we thought we had with people professionally and personally who haven’t shown up for us.

“It’s overwhelming and it’s exhausting. So for what it’s worth should you have a Black friend or colleague, call them. Call and ask how they are.”

He continued: “The awkward and uncomfortable conversations about race need to be had yesterday. Call the people who you claim. Show up for them.

“If you’re worried about offending or saying the wrong thing to your Black friends or work colleagues, stop right there. This isn’t about how you feel, this is about learning and support.

“Ask how they are, ask what you can do, ask how you can learn. It being awkward isn’t good enough. Ask yourself, what does your feed look like after that black square? Ask yourself, what is the bare minimum you can do that speaks to the point that black square was supposed to make?”

 

Earlier this week, on what was dubbed “Black Out Tuesday”, Reggie wrote on Instagram: “To the brands and celebrities showing racial harmony and ripping off tiny quotes from bigger statements that originally came from a place of truth, stop it.

“It’s inauthentic, it’s transparent and it’s offensive. We’re smarter than that. It reads as ‘post something, before they say something’. If you’re not sure what to say with your platform, ask.

“The conversation is still not being had and the message is clear. It’s too uncomfortable to ask, so hopefully this time will go away and we can move on… this time it’s different.”