A woman from Hook is calling on everyone to find their voice to stamp out racism.

In a powerful speech, Sophie Miller addressed the crowds at a peaceful demonstration in War Memorial Park on Saturday.

She opened about her experiences as a white woman encountering casual racism within her family.

Sophie said: “My dad used the n-word a lot. When I said to him, ‘you can’t say that’ he would say, ‘well I’d never say it to their face’.

“I think this could be why racism is such a problem. People believe they are not racist because they’ve never said anything racist to a black person or they’ve never done anything racist."

“People will make lots of money and benefit from other cultures from food, sports stars and music but will stay silent on race.

“People get very offended at the mere hint that they are racist. They don’t want to hear about it.”

Sophie highlighted the reaction to a local newspaper’s coverage of the Black Lives Matter protests.

“Yesterday, one local paper posted a picture of a double-page spread on a Black Lives Matter demonstration they had put in their paper.

“Someone had written, ‘all lives matter’, and posted it on social media. Immediately, the whole post was seized by people shouting that the [paper] was causing divisions, they were spreading gossip, this was not news.

“No one wanted to find out their perfect community, their little white bubble was flawed at all.”

With searing honesty, Sophie continued: “I try not to be racist but I am sure I have been. Because I don’t feel nearly educated enough on the subject of race. It is not talked about enough. I am trying to address that. I am trying to learn more. I am sure there are many more people like me.”

Sophie said: “One thing I have found is my voice. It is not enough to not be racist. You have to be anti-racist. It is my place to speak up. It really is. It’s my voice that is needed now. I’m pretty sure most black people are onboard with the fight against racism. It’s everyone we need now.”

She said: “I will be privileged as I will be privy to jokes and conversations that will never be had in the presence of a black person.

“That’s when I need to find my voice to speak up and to educate. It is not going to be easy. I’m sure anyone who has been online over the last couple of weeks will have been in arguments with people about Black Lives Matter and will have had to be justifying absolutely everything that comes at them with the so many reasons people have for not supporting it.”

She said: “What we need to do now is taking this moment in time, this event, to reach people like me. To educate people, to bring people onboard and to make black lives matter.”