Blue Peter presenters share powerful message about Black Lives Matters protests: ‘Listening and learning are our most powerful tools’

‘It makes me feel really upset that somebody would dislike me or think negatively about me because of my skin colour,’ says host Mwaksy Mandenda

Roisin O'Connor
Saturday 13 June 2020 14:41 BST
Black Lives Matter billboard unveiled in London

The presenters of Blue Peter have delivered a segment where they explained the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests to their young audience.

Richie Driss, Mwaksy Mudenda and Lindsey Russell opened up about their personal experiences with racism and explained exactly what the term means.

“No doubt some of you have noticed that in the news there have been protests and marches around the world that started in America, and these are because of racism,” Driss began.

“Now, racism is to have a bad opinion of someone simply because of something that they can’t even help, which is the colour of their skin. Being of mixed heritage, I’ve suffered from it far too many times in the past.”

He then turned to his co-presenter, Mudenda, who said that she too had experienced racism.

“It makes me feel really upset that somebody would dislike me or think negatively about me because of my skin colour, which, like Richie said, is something that I have no control over whatsoever,” she said.

“People should not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character.”

She continued: “Now lots of you may have heard people saying, ‘black lives matter’. And that’s not to say that all lives don’t matter, but it is to say that racism right now is affecting black lives all over the world.”

Russell, who is white, pointed out that while she had learnt, read and heard about racism and racist incidents, she had never experienced it herself.

“And when upsetting, uncomfortable stuff like this is happening around us, it’s really important to remember that you don’t need to have all the answers, but it’s really really important – at the moment, now more than ever – that we educate ourselves, we speak out and we use our voices, and we try to understand… and at the moment listening and learning are our most powerful tools,” she said.

Blue Peter fans are encouraged to visit the BBC’s Newsround site for more information, look for help on the CBBC website, or talk to an adult about their concerns.

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