No one should be surprised the people of Aberdeen turned out in force when asked to stand up for the Black Lives Matter movement.
The hundreds who took to the streets at the weekend would probably have been many thousands were it not for the strictures of lockdown.
But those who were there were rightly sharing in the global anger sparked by the killing of George Floyd by a US policeman.
They wanted to join in the worldwide drive against racism, the demands for justice, the calls to treat every member of the human race as equal.
Those who marched also reflected the north-east’s long-held desire for tolerance and inclusivity, a safe and welcoming place for everyone who wants to call this place home.
But – and it’s a big but – let’s not be smug or complacent.
It would be folly to think racism is an issue that happens somewhere else, but never here.
There are plenty of people in the north-east who will be able to tell you otherwise. And there are, sadly, plenty of other people in our midst for whom racism and hate are the default setting.
We are now in a world where it is no longer enough just not to be racist ourselves – we have to be actively anti-racist, calling it out when we see and hear it.
And as a society we need to talk about it, openly and without flinching from what can be an uncomfortable subject.
We need the debate, not the knee-jerk I’m right, you’re wrong, the world’s gone mad rhetoric we keep hearing. Instead of people throwing up their hands at statues being toppled, demands for streets to be renamed and TV shows being cancelled. We need to ask why?
It might open our eyes to a past many would rather forget.
And society must also attempt to engage with those people who hold vile and obnoxious views.
We need to ask where that blind anger comes from, how do we address it now and in the future.
No one is born a racist or a bigot. It’s a learned response, often a symptom of circumstance. How do we break that cycle?
The key to all of this is education and discourse. Learn our own history, be aware there is far more than one view of it, accept that things that happened in the past were wrong and still reverberate today.
Ask how we can put that right.
The world is going through astonishing times just now. Let’s hope it comes out the other end as a far better place for everyone.
Let’s shop – but be sensible about it
Since March I have been wearing mostly old T-shirts and jeans.
I’ve even stretched to a pair of shorts if it’s been sunny and warm (that’ll be twice then).
The first time I put on a jacket, shirt and trousers was on Saturday. We were having an afternoon tea delivered so decided to do it in style.
But all the stuff I would wear in normal times is in the wardrobe waiting for the world to restart.
Which means, I’m not really in need of any new clothes.
And I’m definitely not feeling the need to stand in a queue for hours at Primark or scramble through a shop door like our friends in the south did yesterday.
Thank goodness we’re moving at more cautious and sensible speed here in Scotland. It gives us a chance to learn from the mistakes of others. So, when our shops reopen, yes, let’s get out there and support them.
Especially the local ones who have stood by us throughout.
But let’s not present ourselves to the world as mad consumers who have learned the value of nothing in this pandemic.
Lockdown won’t last forever, thankfully
It is strange how you take things for granted in our locked-down world.
We were in the midst of our Sunday night online family quiz when a Zoom message popped up about a 40-minute time limit. Which we ignored because the past few sessions have carried on with a pandemic freebie from the Zoom folk. But bang on 40 minutes it was dead screens and a scramble to set up again.
On the plus side, it’s tangible proof lockdown isn’t going to last forever, either. I’ll take that.