The presenters of the BBC’s flagship children’s show Blue Peter have stepped up with a powerful message for viewers about racism, the Black Lives Matter movement and what’s going on in the world right now.
Blue Peter’s Richie Driss, Mwaksy Mudenda and Lindsey Russell had personal experiences to share as they spoke to their young audience about some of the things they’ll have seen in the news and heard people talking about.
Richie began: “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. 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.”
Mwaksy added: “Sadly I’ve experienced racism too, and 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. People should not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character.
“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.”
Lindsey, who is white, then told viewers: “Unlike Richie and Mwaksy, racism that is something that I’ve never experienced. It’s something that I’ve learned about and read about and heard about, but I’ve never actually had to go through it.
“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.”
Young viewers are encouraged to visit the BBC newsround site for more information, talk about any concerns with a grown-up, or look for help on the CBBC website.
Blue Peter continues at 5.30pm on Thursdays on CBBC. Check out what else is on with our TV Guide.