George The Poet: Reality of racism will persist once the news moves on from BLM

Spoken word artist George The Poet has said that the “lived reality of racism will persist” once the news cycle moves on from the Black Lives Matter protests.

He told Channel 4 News that the last thing he wants is the “whole thing blowing over” and that he has “drawn a lot of strength” from the “movement”.

The artist, whose real name is George Mpanga, added that demonstrations are a “necessary show of support”.

Cirque Du Soleil’s Totem Premiere – London
(Ian West/PA)

He added: ““Demonstration is what gets remembered. Sentiments are invisible, but people in a space, visible.

“You can see and quantify how angry people are through a demonstration.”

Holding protests during the coronavirus presents people with a dilemma, he added.

“It is what a lot of leaders and authorities and even the private sector will use to gauge the public mood but every individual needs to make a choice about the risk that they may be part of,” Mpanga said.

“As someone who is strong enough to go to a protest and possibly withstand coronavirus if you catch it, who could you pass it on to?

Sentebale concert – London
(Tabatha Fireman/PA)

“That question still lingers in our society right now.”

He said that the events of the last few weeks following the death of George Floyd in the US have been a “rollercoaster”.

“I empathise with the community,” he said.

“We are horrified.”

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