Growing up in a racist world: So two of my favorite men are my big brothers. Growing up in a white family I guess I was somewhat protected from the reality of my cultural difference. You could say that’s where the nickname Bounty comes from…you know Chocolate on the outside etc….got to admit to having little clue how to be around Black people as I was just not used to it. Nights out in clubs and spotted by black men scared me as the attention was palpable. Again it was alien to me. As I grew a thicker skin I understood Racism was never going away but my understanding of the racist jibes would get clearer. I distinctly remember my first bully. He was fixated by me from day one at my first primary school. His pet name for me was BAD APPLE.
Throughout the entire time at this Sheffield school, I felt the agony of looking out for him and waiting for the name, EVERY DAY. On my last day at that school, which was already a sad day as I was saying goodby to my BFF Sarah Lutton 💖 I can still see him and hear his taunts from atop a single skin wall in the playground. I stood and took it for some time, over and over BAD APPLE, GO BACK TO THE JUNGLE, WANT A BANANA N etc , You get the picture…. My rage grew from the pit of my stomach and built up and up until I saw the red blood in my eyes. Ironically I was holding an apple ( I kid you not!) I threw the apple at this boy as hard as I could and hit him square in the chest. It landed with such force he fell backward off the wall. I learned sometime later that he broke his wrist when he hit the ground. Often I wonder if he is now suffering horrific arthritis in his wrist to this day.? Heres hoping hey My point is I can clearly see this episode as if it were yesterday. It never leaves you. Fast forward to adulthood. Now it’s fair to say I like a laugh and will even make jokes at my own expense..BUT that’s my right When my own late Father in Law told me to ‘smile because it was dark’…did I call him out? Nope..to save his embarrassment. THAT IS RACIST. It amused him of course….the fact his grandaughter is mixed race and was also present never entered his head. I loved him but lost a heap of respect for him at that moment. Had I called him out in front of my kids who would feel worse? ME! BUT it may have saved enduring similar over the years. Did my husband call him out? Nope. Probably never would. Misguided and subtle racism cuts as deep as the obvious wounding words
A tongue cuts deeper than a knife…remember that
When a close mate of my inlaws commented on how well my tan was coming on…did I call him out? Nope…to spare his embarrassment. The fact he looks like he’s a bad case of windburn was neither here nor there! Still, I bit my tongue
I could go on…but you’re probably glazing over. I won’t stop being vocal until I feel my circle get it. Feel free to delete me, then ill know who doesn’t…
I am blessed on many fronts, not only because I grew up with two amazing big brothers who I always considered to be my guardians as any little sister would (possibly the other way round now!LOL) But in recent years I have been found by my biological siblings and found to be one of 14. Now my world is a brilliant mash-up of culture and color and I am truly grateful.
Every single person has the right to feel that they belong. Imagine how you’d feel if you were told to GO HOME TO WHERE YOU CAME FROM yet as far as you were aware you already were HOME
OK so the global protests and riots are NOT helping the course. Nicking trainers from a store and battering the store owners are feeding into the narrative that feeds the likes of Trump Supporters ( delete me if you are one BTW, I won’t be sorry to see you go!lol)
Many will be using this issue as an excuse to break out of lockdown. Others will see themselves as supporting an issue that they themselves have ignored for decades. There is still a global pandemic. Nothing has changed. I would love to attend a peaceful rally in support of my fellow Black and minority population. However, THERE IS A GLOBAL PANDEMIC. It will now spread worse than the bush fires of Australia..remember them? Cases will rise and deaths will be in their thousands as protesters infect each other and then return to their lockdown homes and clap the NHS on their doorstep..if that’s still a thing. Think about it, read about it, learn why it is still happening in 2020. I am happy to answer anything racism-related, I am an open book! Its the subtle racism that cuts to the quick. The ‘jokes’ at our expense, the sniggering behind our back at something offensive. The Alf Garnet style attitude that’s alive and well in this country has to be seen as abhorrent and not funny. My much-respected late FIL said to me once ‘Rachel, smile its a bit dark we can’t see you!’ I loved him and yet I should have called him out on it….in front of my children and my husband I kept quiet but cried inside.
The neighbor who called me a WOG and I called the police to show my kids it was totally unacceptable. High-level NHS director didn’t lose her job as I elected to caution and not an arrest. The red-faced windburned looking friend of the family who congratulated me on my tan?! Did I call him out, No, I spared his embarrassment? The old lady in the village shop who scowls at the sight of me clutches her granny bag under her armpit when drawing out her pension….Do I look like a fucking mugger to you?
Hundreds of incidences, too many to mention. Never called out on it… Not any more..I am 50 years of age and NOTHING has changed but now I am eccentric I will change my reaction…I will call out on it. I am done
Racism..it’s been said often that you can’t understand it unless you’ve lived it. This is essentially true but some situations are close. For those who are not of an ethnic minority the closest you many experience is perhaps you are overweight and conscious you’re.carrying a little more timber that you’re happy with..You walk into a room of Instagram confident model types and they all turn and look at you. They then promptly sneer as if they know you.dont belong..Imagine you live in an all white Devon village and the elderly habitants from an era of war time clutch their granny bags under their arms and scurry away with a look of suspicious fear as you enter the local shop… THAT IS RACISM. imagine someone who u think you know well makes a jovial comment about how well your tans coming on this summer…or a chirpy “It’s dark Smile ,so I can see you hahaha THAT’S RACISM. You take a scowl from a stranger for absolutely no reason than the colour of your skin. THAT IS RACISM.. Someone is opening racist but denies it with “I know someone black ( friend of a friend, brother in law, etc) so I can’t be a racist’ THAT IS RACISM.. Being more comfortable in a relatively standard car rather than your dream car so you dont get stopped by police. THAT IS RACISM. Knowing you were on a lower salary despite achieving more profit that your white counterpart for the same job .THAT IS RACISM.. Seeing a colleague rise through the ranks despite being less qualified than you,his black colleague. THAT IS RACISM.. A knee on your neck killing you when you.call for.your mum and repeat that you cant breathe before taking your last breath.THAT IS RACISM and Murder .Martin Luther King had a dream. it clearly remains just that . With a racist leader of the free world Racism is alive and well. Don’t expect it to change any time soon. it won’t. But please,do not deny it if this is how you feel…to deny it is as bad as being it. Racism is no less in this country as in the USA. Sad but true. If this post makes anyone feel uncomfortable, I don’t apologize..change the narrative..it’s easy, choose love and kindness, instead of ignorance and hatred. RIP George Floyd..probably not perfect as none of us humans are but didn’t deserve to die at the hands of a cunt with a badge and an ego😡THAT IS RACISM.
I know it’s been an age..no excuse part from life…Just a short note to say I am wishing we all stay safe during this time…I’ve loads to say but my mind keeps wandering..I don’t know if it’s lack of routine or deep fear …I keep reminding myself there will always be light…where there is light the darkness cannot dominate, stay safe people and love the ones you value 🙏
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