I want to try an experiment. Is it possible to share good news so that as a nation we can feel more positive about ourselves and the local settings we live in?
Last week there were many stories and then police data to point to an increase in racit incidents in the UK post brexit.
But what about all the non racist incidents per day, week or month in towns and cities all over the country?
Not just all the fabulous charities, churches and organisations battling cultural barriers and media to facilitate harmony, learning and collaboration. Such as the feast project on Birmingham. Such as all the interfaith groups. Such as the fabulous youth & Community work students in Bradford whom I met a few months ago.
And those who seek to challenge the structures that divide and separate.
And those who support and help refugees and asylum seekers.
But also the children and young people who have only innocence on their side to make friends with other children and young people. Who commit acts of friendship without realising it’s an act of tolerance and acceptance.
We can only act in our local communities. If the national media (daily mail & express I’m looking at you) wants to affect how we act to others then maybe it just shouldn’t. We should ask how much influence a national narrative should have on us in our actions with our neighbours, colleagues, communities and worldview. How must destruction is to be fought, or if good is to win we need to challenge the power that negativity is holding on society.
Not taking away from the horror and shame of racism. But tolerance, friendship and community just isn’t newsworthy. Yet more of this is happening than we think. More of it is needed. I urge you if you have positive stories of hope and tolerance, of effectively non racism, please share them .
Police stats will only ever show crime, to justify their own need for existence, and news will report on it.
But there are still places in the UK where people leave their front doors open. There are places where young people are not drinking, not pregnant and are struggling in circumstances beyond their control to cope.
As sam said to frodo, there is hope in the world worth fighting for. And right now the experiment is to share good news about the world. We needn’t fear the world if there’s more good to be found in it. And the countless examples of non racism, non crime, of peace, justice and hope, are testament to that.
My own challenge is to share good news stories this month, big or small. Affirming, positive and supportive.
In the justice business we should be doing the same.