Another ill informed letter from Shirley Knott – “surely not”. Her comments about Black Lives Matter (SNJ 1 July / WGS 2 July) unfortunately echo many of those made by people who don’t really believe they do, or at least not as much as white ones. The plane that flew over Manchester City’s stadium when Burnley were playing there was a direct provocation organised by people who have documented links with far-right figures and known racists. The response to Black Lives Matter protests that “All Lives Matter” is problematic because it seeks to deny the validity of the BLM protests.

I know many people who actively support the Black Lives Matter protests and every one of us believes that white lives do matter and that all lives do matter but the plain fact is that black and ethnic minority citizens in this country, and many other countries, suffer a second class experience of life and regular racism. Indeed, black people many of us revere, TV personalities, sports stars and elected representatives at local and national level report how they face racist behaviour and remarks on a regular basis from a significant section of our society. They suffer discrimination in employment and lesser life chances in general, all this is well documented. The Windrush scandal, the scapegoating of “immigrants” and asylum seekers for economic woes and much else is further evidence of intolerance, xenophobia and racism.

I’m afraid, Shirley, that all lives do not yet matter to everyone in our society and will not until we take steps to ensure that black lives matter as much as every other life.

Andy Woolley