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Letter: Okri gives us hope that society will change

Your decision to feature Ben Okri’s beautifully lyrical and searingly brutal piece on the fight against racism (“Something is in the air”, FT Weekend, Life & Arts, June 13/14) has made my week and given me hope — and must have done the same for many other people too.

Of all the opinion pieces, articles, blogs, status updates, interviews, tweets, letters and words I have read about racism since May 25 — the date of George Floyd’s killing in Minneapolis — nothing has come close to describing, qualifying and explaining what systemic racism actually is, what it feels like and why it is.

Also, no writing has given me more hope that this can and will change. Something is definitely in the air.

Surely these poetic, true and evocative lines should come to immortalise this time in our collective human history — “Racial thinking is a toxic pathology, and at the heart of it there is a kind of madness. It is the madness of a denial of reality which the inward mind knows to be true. The house of racial thinking is a divided, unstable house. It is unsustainable. And like the Berlin Wall, it will fall.’

Ben I salute you. Together we stand.

Tess Kelly
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, UK

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