I say loudly and clearly: Black Lives Matter

I want to send my solidarity to the people who made their voices heard in Cardiff and elsewhere last weekend to say loudly and clearly that Black Lives Matter.

Solidarity because I am with you. I am one of you in this fight. Because this movement and the giants upon whose shoulders it stands, paved the way for me and others like me not just to be here but to hold positions like the one I do as Wales’ Health Minister.

Many of us who would otherwise be joining protests across Wales and the world are not able to. In Wales we’ve maintained strong measures to protect us all against Covid-19 and to suppress the spread of this virus.

Sadly, one of those measures is to maintain a ban on mass public gatherings for now, and I ask that everyone continues to abide by that rule, although in Cardiff people worked with the police to have social distancing in expressing their disquiet.

But it’s a grim reality that whilst we proclaim that Black Lives Matter in response to the shocking scenes we see in Minneapolis and across the United States of America, we fight a virus that kills black people at four times the rate it kills white people.

Our Government here in Wales, that I’m proud to be a part of, has taken steps to understand why this is and is currently holding an urgent investigation to help us explain why black and other BAME people are dying at much higher rates from Covid-19.

We have taken quick action to help protect BAME people working in our NHS and social care by launching a new risk assessment to support them as they return or continue to work in their life-saving essential jobs.

But while this virus means we cannot gather physically at the moment as we would want to, that is not an excuse for inaction.

To borrow the words of Killer Mike in his now iconic speech last weekend;

“use this time to plot, plan, strategise and organise.”

This virus will pass, Black Lives Will Still Matter, and I will join you when it is safe to do so.

But until then, please stay safe.