Hamilton 'completely overcome with rage' over racial injustice - The Race
Formula 1

Hamilton ‘completely overcome with rage’ over racial injustice

Jun 2 2020
By Scott Mitchell

Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton has said he is “completely overcome with rage” in a powerful statement further condemning “disgusting” racial injustice.

Days of protests and widespread anger have followed the death of George Floyd, an African-American man killed in Minneapolis last week when a white police officer kneeled on his neck for almost nine minutes.

The police officer, Derek Chauvin, has been charged with third-degree murder, but the shocking event has triggered a resurgence of the Black Lives Matter human rights movement in the public consciousness.

On Sunday evening, Hamilton hit out at a lack of recognition from F1 personnel for the campaign, or condemnation of racist actions. It led to several of his fellow drivers issuing supportive statements in the next 24 hours.

Hamilton has now shared a longer statement, joining a #BlackoutTuesday social media movement that has been adopted by major figures, primarily in the music and entertainment industry, to promote urgent action and provoke accountability and change.

“This past week has been so dark,” Hamilton wrote. “I have failed to keep hold of my emotions.

“I have felt so much anger, sadness and disbelief in what my eyes have seen.

“I am completely overcome with rage at the sight of such blatant disregard for the lives of our people.

“The injustice that we are seeing our brothers and sisters face all over the world time and time again is disgusting, and MUST stop.

 

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This past week has been so dark. I have failed to keep hold of my emotions. I have felt so much anger, sadness and disbelief in what my eyes have seen. I am completely overcome with rage at the sight of such blatant disregard for the lives of our people. The injustice that we are seeing our brothers and sisters face all over the world time and time again is disgusting, and MUST stop. So many people seem surprised, but to us unfortunately, it is not surprising. Those of us who are black, brown or in between, see it everyday and should not have to feel as though we were born guilty, don’t belong, or fear for our lives based on the colour of our skin. Will Smith said it best, racism is not getting worse, it’s being filmed. Only now that the world is so well equipped with cameras has this issue been able to come to light in such a big way. It is only when there are riots and screams for justice that the powers that be cave in and do something, but by then it is far too late and not enough has been done. It took hundreds of thousands of peoples complaints and buildings to burn before officials reacted and decided to arrest Derek Chauvin for murder, and that is sad. Unfortunately, America is not the only place where racism lives and we continue to fail as humans when we cannot stand up for what is right. Please do not sit in silence, no matter the colour of your skin. Black Lives Matter. #blackouttuesday ✊🏽

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“So many people seem surprised, but to us unfortunately, it is not surprising.

“Those of us who are black, brown or in between, see it everyday and should not have to feel as though we were born guilty, don’t belong, or fear for our lives based on the colour of our skin.

“Will Smith said it best, racism is not getting worse, it’s being filmed.

“Only now that the world is so well equipped with cameras has this issue been able to come to light in such a big way.”

Six-time world champion Hamilton, F1’s only black driver in history, directly addressed the response in the US to Floyd’s death.

“It is only when there are riots and screams for justice that the powers that be cave in and do something, but by then it is far too late and not enough has been done,” he added.

“It took hundreds of thousands of peoples’ complaints and buildings to burn before officials reacted and decided to arrest Derek Chauvin for murder, and that is sad.”

In his initial posts on Sunday, Hamilton had stressed that racial discrimination is prominent in the United States but the problem exists everywhere.

He reiterated that message on Tuesday, saying: “Unfortunately, America is not the only place where racism lives and we continue to fail as humans when we cannot stand up for what is right.

“Please do not sit in silence, no matter the colour of your skin. Black Lives Matter. #blackouttuesday ✊🏽”

In addition to messages shared by F1 drivers and personalities in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, Hamilton was also publicly supported by a statement from his Mercedes team.

And on Tuesday, shortly after Hamilton’s strong statement, F1 issued its first official comment on the situation.

“We stand with you, and all people in the fight against racism,” read the message on F1’s social media platforms.

“It is an evil that no sport or society is truly immune from. And it is only together we can oppose it and eradicate it.

“Together we are stronger.”

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