DOES the black lady dishing out squirts of deodorant and lollipops in the nightclub bathroom make you uncomfortable? Because it should. If ever there was evidence of the problem that this city, country and kingdom has with race then there it be for all to see.

While too many spend their time aghast at what is happening in America right now and swiftly posting black squares on their social media, they fail to engage with, let alone recognise that the white supremacy at which they are so perturbed, started right here.

The British Empire invaded, enslaved, pillaged and forced itself upon others right across the globe, and then coined the shorter and slightly friendlier term colonisation.

We stole land, people, treasures and traditions.

We are not the nice nation that we make ourselves out to be. And while you cannot delete history, it is crystal clear that you can whitewash it.

I’m sorry. I’m sorry for my people who I don’t like to refer to as my people but who I must. I’m sorry for my privilege. I’m sorry that it took me too long. And then I realise with crushing embarrassment that this was never about me and I should immediately stop making it so.

Our sorrow is not what is needed. It is of no use to the lady in the nightclub toilets; it is of no use to the school child who has had their hair touched by their peers and their teachers for the 11th time that day; it is of no use to the black man being brutally murdered by the police.

Sorrow and shock are not enough, and your silence makes you complicit.

What is needed is our engagement, our willingness to listen and to learn and to use our privilege to force the change that is still impossible to progress beyond a certain point unless you are the supreme. This language should make you uncomfortable.

If you are not uncomfortable then you are missing my point, so let me be clear. This nation still stinks of white supremacy. This city still hides the detail of the race riots from its history. Us white people still deny that the problem is us. And all the while the information on how we can truly be allies of change is readily available. Black activists, writers, mourners, mothers and survivors have been sharing these hopes since the murder of Charles Wootton.

So instead of looking across the water and producing further commentary on issues that exist right here, take some time to educate yourself.

Read about the riots on the Broomielaw, listen to the those who have been speaking and writing and sharing their learning on this topic for years.

Follow black activists but do not ask questions until you have listened, read and heard everything that they have already said.

Nobody owes you their time or learning. If they have taken the time to put it out there the least you can do is find it and read it before asking for a personalised service. Not every black person is your personal expert on race.

A good starting place is with these four people. They will lead you to many more people who will help you accept your racism, because it is there, I promise you. And then hopefully unlearn some of it and help you to find meaningful ways to make a difference and be an ally. But only if you are willing to listen: Yasmin Autwal, @standforhumanity; Kelechi Okafor, @kelechnekoff; Aja Barber, @ajabarber; and finally Scott Woods, @scottwoodsrules, who puts it better than I ever could: “The problem is that white people see racism as conscious hate, when racism is bigger than that.

“Racism is a complex system of social and political levers and pulleys set up generations ago to continue working on the behalf of whites at other people’s expense, whether whites know/like it or


“Racism is an insidious cultural disease. It is so insidious that it doesn’t care if you are a white person who likes Black people; it’s still going to find a way to infect how you deal with people who don’t look like you.”