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
I’ll leave you with that thought x