It’s such a difficult and scary world we are living in now. So many awful atrocities happening so local to us that, when I was kid I would never think would happen in this country. The recent terrible Manchester terrorist attacks on our innocent children have brought a new dimension to how evil some people can be. My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone that has been affected and lost loved ones through the evil cruel act of an extremist. An evil human, who thank god is dead and no longer has the privilege of walking the streets with us.
There have been many conversations through media recently about how we should tackle the problem and whilst the majority of conversations are not based on racist views, there are still a lot of people out there who are racist! who still group all brown people as one, as the bad, as terrorists. And I can help but wonder that if this is how I’m feeling, being a British born brown lady who’s not majorly religious, god knows how scared and vulnerable my fellow brown people are feeling who are noticeably religious?!
I’m not sure I can articulate this properly but will give it a go. I do feel a certain amount of vulnerability in being brown at the moment, and whilst some of it could be paranoia, some of it is based on people’s conversations and reactions towards me and fellow brown people. From things like, the extra security checks my family have to go through at the airport, the verification of my UK passport I must provide the Council before going on the voting register, and the general questionable looks of people when entering a predominately white British community in certain areas (and yes this does and has happen, especially when there’s a group of us ‘brownies’). And I don’t blame anyone. We are living in a scary world so no doubt people will be extra vigilant and paranoid.
When my parent’s generation first came to this country racism was very open and to a degree accepted within communities. The thought that there were signs saying ‘no blacks’ outside rental accommodation still makes me sick now, but back then it was accepted. So has racism reduced? It’s not as open as it once was, but could that be just because we now have lots of political correctness to mask the way people truly feel?
I’m not sure what the answer is in how we eradicate evil extremists, nor do I have the answer in how to stomp out racism, but I do know that we cannot help humanity exist peacefully with either of these.
As the politicians and media keep saying, yes we do need to pull together during this time, as we shouldn’t ever be divided in fighting back but I can’t help but think the situation also fuels the racist debate.
To my Kobi, remember to treat everyone with love and respect regardless of their walks of life. Give people the time and effort they deserve but to never accept racism, hatred and negativity. Challenge it with politeness and confidence, and if it fails, walk away with your head held high, be proud in who you are and spend your time with like-minded people. Believe and love yourself. Love your mum xx