Monday, 28 March 2011

why can't we live together



I went shopping with Son a couple of days ago and there were some people with a promotional stall for paintballing. Son wanted to talk to them so I left him to it whilst I went to another shop. When I came out he had talked the guy into giving him a really good deal - it was their last day there and this was late in the afternoon as well. Son had to go to the cashpoint as the guys running the stall had no card machine so went off to do this and asked me to give the guy his details for the form that needed completing.
I did so then as I was stood there waiting the (South African) fella starts chatting to me,
“so where’s his father from then ?”
“England, but his family are from Jamaica if that’s what you mean”
“oh, right, so was he a drug dealer then?”
“excuse me ? No he fucking wasn’t and why are you asking me that ?”
“well they all are aren’t they”

I walked away, it was either that or give him a large piece of my mind and quite possibly my fist in his face.
And that would’ve been the end of Sons bargain paintball trip .

But seriously. Fuck. Right .Off !

Of course what else can you expect from a white South African ?.
The land of apartheid.
I just have to hear the accent and I cringe.

Slavery was a dark time in the history of Africa, but that was a long time ago, apartheid began in 1943 and was only ended in 1993. South Africa is rich in gold and diamond mines and the white man decided he wanted that. There is still so much poverty amongst the indigenous people of that continent yet the white minority got rich off it’s natural resources.

Anyone who tried to oppose the regime was thrown in jail.
Most people are aware of Nelson Mandela but there were many others and a lot of them, like Steve Biko were beaten to death for voicing their opposition or just belonging to the ANC, then regarded as a terrorist organisation but now the ruling political party.

However, the country as a whole has moved on but you can be sure that there are white people in South Africa who still subscribe to the idea of apartheid.
Its been 178 years since slavery was abolished and black people are still regarded as being lesser then white people by some, so I can’t imagine the entire white population of SA has changed it’s attitude in 20 years.

Racism makes me sick to my stomach.
Whoever it’s directed at .
Currently in England, as with a lot of the world, there is an increased hatred towards Moslems. Ever since 9/11 and the London bombings it’s as if everyone who follows that religion should be assumed to be a terrorist, when in fact most Moslems are peaceful devout people who despise the actions of Al Qaeda as much as everyone else.
Probably more in fact, since they are now having to deal with everyone viewing them with suspicion as a direct result of their actions.
Why do people do that ?
Assume that just because a small minority of one race are bad then the rest must be too.

A few months ago a small group of militant Moslems in London burned poppies - the British symbol of memorial for those who died fighting in wars. The nationwide backlash was awful, even here far away from London a group of people gathered outside our mosque and terrorised people as they were entering and leaving the building. And that included old people, women and children, none of whom had anything to do with what had occurred in London.

The hidden racists are just as bad, the people who don’t think of themselves as being prejudiced yet begin a sentence with the words "I'm not racist but..." I cringe because what’s coming next is usually going to be a statement that without the 'disclaimer' would lead people to think they were.

And to me that just smacks of that thinly veiled latent bigotry that is still all to evident.
The kind of people who say they don’t have a problem with (insert any minority) but they wouldn’t want them to live next door/ date their children.

Or the people who ask why black people wear t-shirts that have slogans that say “proud to be black”. Someone recently commented on this in a forum and asked that very question, then said that if they wore a “proud to be white” t-shirt they would be called a racist. My reply was that If it was a "proud to be gay" t-shirt would a question be posted asking if you were homophobic if you wore a "proud to be straight" t-shirt.
No, of course it wouldn’t.

But then am I proud to be white ?
Not especially no, when most of the extremist groups in the western world are white and use patriotism as a mask for racial hatred.
Truth is white people from first world nations don't need to celebrate our freedoms and privileges because we've had them so long we take them for granted.
Sad then that so many of us still have a problem with the people our ancestors took them away from, and fail to understand why the descendants of those people choose to not forget.
We don’t expect Jewish people to ever forget the holocaust so why do we think black people should forget about slavery.

If you are part of any minority you need to shout louder and longer to be heard and sometimes even now you have to fight for the same privileges afforded to everyone else.

My Dad was a union man before he retired and told me about a conference he attended. One of the proposals put forward was by a black person who wanted to form a committee for black union members - this was a while ago, and black people were still discriminated against in the workplace, albeit in a very underhand manner. Dad had seen instances where a black person was overlooked for promotion or sacked for a reason that was clearly nonsense, as shop steward it had been his job to defend them.

Most of the white people in attendance were opposed to the idea.
Of course they didn't want this to happen - from a union point of view as a committee they would then have powers in their own right when it came to tribunals and the like, but their only argument against it was that if they said they wanted a white members only committee it would be deemed racist.
Not that they needed a white committee, since the white members would always get the majority in any vote.
Dad said there was no objections a few years earlier when they had done the same for female union members, no-one had objected and said they would be accused of being sexist if they had wanted a male only committee.
You see what I’m saying ?

It would be nice to think that one day we could live in a world where people are just people, and whether they are good or bad is about them or a group that they affiliate with, but not the colour of their skin, religion, race, sexuality or gender.
If we could celebrate our differences instead of being scared of them and give up on the stereotypes.

But sadly it still happens, and people that love to hate will find any excuse to do so.
If someone different to your particular group that you identify with breaks into your house and steals your belongings, it seems its perfectly acceptable to then hate everyone else from their group.
But if a white person is burgled by another white person do you then hate all white people ?
I doubt it.

In the seventies that was happening here towards Irish people.
The IRA were planting bombs so every Irish person was a terrorist. That idea is still quite common amongst some English people, even though the IRA and Sinn Fein have now moved into the political arena, it’s just a shame that people had to die for them to achieve the right for their opinions to be heard.
Much like the ANC.

I saw an Irish stand up on TV a while ago saying that he thought the Irish people owed Moslems a favour because nowadays everyone was so busy hating them they had finally started to like the Irish.

Sometimes as much as I fear the idea of an event that threatens the planet as a whole, I think that’s what it’s going to take to get the human race to pull together.

If we all depended on each other for survival would we finally forget the things that divide us ?

If everyone had nothing would we finally all be equal.

9 comments:

  1. There is not a lot of people who can see that at the end of the day we all turn to ashes. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. The ashes look all the same regardless of race, or creed. Death is a humbling experience, together with illness and other maladies. But until it happens and all the world's plates have shifted, we will never learn.

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  2. i have to agree that i'm not proud to be white. fortunately i'm part jew and part first nations and a million other things along the way.

    but for the life of me, i can't believe someone would just assume his dad is a drug dealer because of his skin colour.

    for fucks sakes.

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  3. Moslims? Huh, here we spell it "Muslims."

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  4. @psycho, sad but very true.
    @andrea, I'm a proper mix too - quarter jew apparently, and as I say he was south african so not surprised.
    @amak, I saw that and spell checked - must be another of those UK/US spelling differences.

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  5. Nice post, but i must say, im proud to be white and proud of my mexican heritage also. Im proud to straight. Does either of those stmts make me racist or homophobic, no, just means im proud of who and what I am, no more no less. I think we all have a little bigotry in us, we are all a little bit of a hypocrite. It's human nature, it will never go away. To me the important thing is to understand that and to realize that i dont have to like you for whatever reason i so choose but i have to respect that you have the same equal right as I to live as you see fit, to believe and put faith in what you want, to screw who you want to screw, to marry who you want to marry and to live without fear of retalation because you are different than i am. I could actaully go on and on about this subject but it probably to long of a response as is. Thanks for listening.

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  6. Like a socialist/communist society that Marx said would come in time.

    There will always be minorities/individuals with opposing views, and these people will always have people that agree with them.

    It has been proven scientifically and 'religion wise', that we are all of the same ancestor. People have to stop dwelling on the actions of their ancestors being 'superior' or the 'masters' as things have changed, and that 'they' (their ancestors) had less of an understanding about it.

    Check out my blog
    http://thedutchees.blogspot.com/

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  7. So true. I heard something that in a course of a year, the human body has changed 96% of its atoms, meaning that we are constantly shifting, sharing matter, molecules. We are all literally part of the earth, probably part of each other. In reality, there is no such thing as race.

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  8. great post lady!
    pride to me is an after effect from an accomplishment. i try hard to quit smoking, i did, and have been smoke free for 6+ months. i am proud of this. i did it.
    pride also can be in relation to the strides of others. my friend's daughter struggled in school and when she made honor roll, i was soo proud of her.
    or pride can be a sense of overcoming the odds, in the face of adversity, when you are not supported. as in gay pride day in places people aren't "out"- but to say that one is proud to be born white, orange or blue, be they wealthy poor or whatever, that just seems small-minded and silly to me.
    and a cop-out.
    fuck racism. and it's veils. many people say- "i'm not racist, i have black friends" to them i say: void a-hole. not the same.
    to those who think they aren't racist because they love black people as a white person, but say fag and chink alot- i say- "fuck you ignorant liar."
    hate is lame.
    willful ignorance is intolerable- to me, always.

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  9. I'm not white (although I like to think I am) and I think that being white is like having found the Philosopher Stone no less.
    But, It's good to know that this belief is fading fast!!

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