Monday, 29 May 2017

It's Not Right But I've Grown Accustomed To Racism

This is actually a post I was hoping that I'd never have to write, but after being on the receiving end of racial abuse on Friday just gone I had to get my feelings into words. I really feel like it's time I voiced my personal experience on racism and how it's now at the point that I've actually grown to expect it as each horrific event highlights more underlying racial tension. My posts aren't often ranting ones but I feel that this subject is a special circumstance.  

Firstly, I want to say that this isn't a sob story, it's not me trying to get attention anyway that I possibly can, it's simply me sharing my views and experiences on the matter of racism over my life time, the more recent past and the future. You see the reason I'm writing this post is because on Friday I was racially abused not once but twice, within half an hour by two different people who I didn't know or had even seen before. To provide some background I'm bi-racial, I'm half Bengali (Bangladesh for anyone unsure) and half English, I was brought up by my white English side as a Catholic and I don't wear any religious or traditional clothing.

I was walking home from work, in my dressed down Friday attire of a flat peak cap, t-shirt and shorts when the first incident happened. I had one earphone in, minding my own business, when the first man in a car started to slow down and shout "You and your kind need to fuck off back where you came from". I was stunned and as he was in a car and just drove off, I carried on walking, a bit dazed over what had just happened. A mere half hour later, this happened again by someone completely different. I've been living in Southampton for 7 years, I'd had stares and off the cuff comments in the past when Alice and I have been out together, but to have people shout something with so much hatred really got to me.

I grew up in a very middle to upper white town, where ethnic minorities really are a minority and as a result you hear all sorts of racism growing up that you do get used to it to a point where it doesn't affect you. It had been years since I had any form of direct hatred or racism thrown at me and despite saying I'm alright and it hasn't affected me on the surface, it's actually gotten to me a bit on the inside. I honestly don't know how or can see why anybody feels it's acceptable to be racist in this day and age to anyone.

I know the reason why I was singled out, it was four days after the horrific attack in Manchester that has affected so many. After each attack, Alice and I are always wary in case something does happen but this is the first time something has. I think this may be due to the different circumstances of this attack, that it was a concert predominately for children. Children were the target and understandably so, people are angry but that does not give anyone the right to be so openly racist because of my skin colour or anyone's for that matter. Some people see my skin colour and automatically think Muslim terrorist, can you imagine how that feels? 

How warped must your mind be to think along those lines? What gives you or anyone else the right to verbally or physically abuse anyone else just because of their skin colour. How can you think that these people who are claiming these atrocities in a name of a religion be a demographic of any religious community and for you to then single out individuals because of this? THEY do not represent the entirety of the Muslim faith. In times like these we should all be coming together not specifically targeting individuals because of there colour or religion.

It feels really shitty to be on the end of this but I want to make one thing clear, the type of people who racially abuse others are weak, ignorant, narrow minded losers. Who ultimately do not deserve a flicker of reaction, this is why I never reacted at the time, it wasn't worth it.

I've had so much support after speaking about this incident and Hampshire Police were amazing too. I know that although it may happen again, the vast majority do not think like this. I just wish that we could be at a point where this doesn't exist anymore but I think we're further away from that than we ever were before now. 

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