I’ve always been one for following my gut instinct, as it is this which has kept me on the straight and narrow. I try not to let my head or heart, rule my life. Today, I lost a friend to racism, who too happened to be an ex-partner of mine whilst I was at university.
For a couple of weeks now, I have become steadily uncomfortable reading the racist overtones and comments, from someone I used to be in a relationship with. Our time together may have been some years ago, but we were still friends until today and it makes me sad that this person I was close with, holds such views despite me being mixed-race.
I have learned the hard way in life, that there is nothing ‘funny’ about racism, it ruins lives. For those who are racist, I challenge you to try living as a black or Asian person for a day… to truly understand the impact racism (direct and indirect) has on you. Most people like banter, but racism is not banter.
I strive to have integrity in my life, and felt that if I stayed friends with someone who holds such views knowing my own on racism and discrimination in general – it would be disingenuous of me to write about the subject and condemn it, by remaining friends with someone whose beliefs go against all I represent.
Once again though, it highlights the fact that racism exists in the white gay community as much as it does in the straight community. LGBT people can’t ask for acceptance, then not give it back. I guess they can, but it gives no credibility to the wider LGBT cause. Before writing this, I asked my old friend ‘When did you become a racist?’, but I doubt I’ll now get a reply. This is one of those relationships in life, which has now naturally come to an end.
The use of the words ‘Paki’ and ‘Chinky’ I find offensive, regardless of the fact I am not Asian. As I have always stated, a racist is a racist. ‘Selective’ racism doesn’t sit well with me. Also, it is okay for British people to fly the union flag on the wedding day of Prince William and Catherine Middleton, but what is not acceptable is this gesture being used to imply ‘others’ do not ordinarily allow you to do this, because it may be racist or offensive.
All colours have made modern Britain what it is today, so it is ‘everybody’s’ country. Britain is not ‘run down’ because of asylum seekers and immigrants, it is run down because we have relied on our politicians to do the right thing for us in general. Blaming those who have no control over the destiny of the UK, apart from being unfair is cheap.
Good people have died so that we have free speech and democracy in this country of ours, but there is a difference between ‘being scared to offend’ and racism. It is the latter which this country has fought to prevent, in past wars. My own white mum born in Liverpool 1936 and her family lived through this.
This has been a personal ‘View from the Bottom’ for me, but one I hope will make me stronger and wiser as a person. I don’t profess I can ‘walk on water’, but what I do claim is that I know the difference between ‘right and wrong’. Sometimes, you have to stand up and be counted, despite what you may lose. To me, Racism Ruins Lives…
Live Healthy, Laugh Often & Love Yourself!
© Kevin Maxwell Film, Media & Performance 2011 – Published by My Mum