Most of us have may have experienced a toxic relationship or worked in an environment where you were only as good as your positive performance. The moment you made a silly unintentional mistake, there was an immediate backlash, and you found yourself on the brink of being kicked out.
Experiencing the unfortunate cynicism and racism that was targeted at the black English players at the recently concluded Euro 2020 finals has spurred me on to encapsulate what black people in most western countries go through in the word ‘Blacklash”.
It’s tough to know you must work harder than everyone else to get a right to sit at the table. I remember talking to a friend who had taken a couple of days off work to go on a holiday with his family, as he talked about his next day back in the office I asked him, “Can’t you work from home on that day?” He said, “I am the only black employee there, it is fine for others but I don’t want to take the chance.” He was trying to avoid a blacklash.
The blacklash can almost appear like a normal backlash, but there is a subtle difference. Others may get good recognition and a reward for their hard work, while you get to keep your status quo and maybe a little something to go with it. The mistakes of others are dealt with in measured tones, always giving them the benefit of the doubt, while yours are given the full weight of punishment without leeway for an explanation.
Don’t get me wrong, the idea is not to stir up sympathy so that the black man is given a cup out even when they mess up, this is merely pointing out that everyone who is being given a blacklash needs to be upgraded to receiving a backlash which every other person is entitled to.