How the Other Half Live

Spot the DifferenceYesterday, I had a relapse and posted a blog about suicide at 1314 hours. This came about after ‘one of those talks’ with my friend Alice. Anyway, at 13:47 an acquaintance on Facebook posted the following. It doesn’t take a detective to know it was aimed at me, although he didn’t have the ‘whatever’ to name me. 

Either way, my response to his post would still be the same if not.

So, he posted this …

If some people spent the same time reading books and practising personal development techniques as they do putting updates on facebbok about how continually bad their life is – their lives would be much better, once in a while is cool, but to continually spew the same victim attitude without taking action is usually just attention seeking through their ignorance as they assume their fears are too big for them to cope with – trust me guys EVERYBODY get a hard time in life, hard times are not personal just to you, lick your wounds and get back up again because the more you keep saying how hard your life is …..GUESS WHAT….. you will be attracting more of it
1. Discipline your mind to focus on what you want in life
2. Figure out why you feel that way, (understand the limiting beliefs)
3. Take action on it coaching therapy etc…)
4. Keep going no matter what
5. Surround yourself with awesome people
6. Understand there may be a comedown from the high you get from feeling depressed as it is still a stimulation of a hormone 
7. Then post fun things on facebook that make people go >>>>    <<< and of course (most importantly  ……………picture of cats

And, my response …

Firstly, I would love to spend a day in the shoes of a white straight man just to see what all the fuss is about especially with those gay, black and/or women continually moaning about the same inequality crap or the lack of equality crap. I mean, only last week I heard a guy said to another guy (both straight) “mind you don’t get AIDS”. It was a gay joke, ha, ha. I often hear stories of young black men in London being stopped by the police for no reason other than the colour of their skin, and have female friends whose boss acts like a sexist pig.

However, I’m yet to meet any white straight men whom have told me personally that they have been abused and/or subjected to discrimination for being (a) white (b) straight and/or (c) a man. I don’t doubt at all that life is hard for EVERYBODY, but I think I would be on safe ground saying that it is that much harder if you are black, gay and/or a woman in modern society. You only have to pick up a newspaper, to read of some of the awful stories of bullying.

Things always seem different when you’re sitting in your rose-tinted glass house enjoying your beers, talking about football and girls. But, I happen to live in the real world where discrimination exists. The only way it will change and stop is by reminding people, yup constantly and sometimes daily, that things are not right.

Nothing changes with silence.

I don’t think for one moment that the families of those who died at Hillsborough would be where they are today, if it wasn’t for their sheer persistence for accountability and making sure that no one forgot about what took place that dreadful day. Equally, Doreen Lawrence the mother of the murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence continually reminds us of why she does what she does – 20 years on from Stephen’s death, so that what happened to her and her family doesn’t happen to anybody else again.

I’ve no issues at all with the white straight man, and writing that sounds stupid.

But, I’m not going to allow someone to tell me how I’m feeling and what I can and cannot do because it makes them uncomfortable.

Recently, I submitted a stage play I have written about Deaths in Custody for checking. It was questioned why the victim was black, with me mentioning that statistically and the fact that this was a thematic research piece it was an accurate portrayal. I was asked to consider changing the victim to white, to make it more dramatic?

Basically, it wouldn’t be a success my way.

The comments of my acquaintance who is a ‘coach’ on life among other mind therapies didn’t/doesn’t surprise me, when it comes to issues of tension. After I reported racism and homophobia in the Met Police, they sent me to see one of their doctors. His advice to me at the end of our consultation was, and I quote “It might be helpful to discuss with Mr Maxwell alternative careers … as it is probably inevitable that in large organisations such as the Met, he will likely encounter people saying things which will upset him. Whether he can ‘lighten up’ and ‘make some effort’ to be ‘less sensitive’ is a question I hesitated to discuss …”.

And yes, he was a straight white man like the guy who read my script. Two people, who’d never experienced racism and/or homophobia.

My MP Emily Thornberry recently invited me to a Memorial event at Westminster Hall for the feminist Emily Davison. The House of Commons gathering was to commemorate the centenary of the suffragette’s death. I left with one thing that the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party Harriet Harman MP said, which sticks in my mind today.

She spoke about the fact that the job of feminism is not yet done, even in 2013. She told the audience that, there are still arguments to be had and new battles to be fought. And finally, that whilst the women’s movement draws on the support of men, it is women themselves who must be the engine of their own liberation.

That goes for gay and black men too. They must be the change they want to see.

If I’d listened to all those people who tried to threaten me, blackmail me, put me off and say not nice things … I doubt very much I’d be here now, writing this blog post. Why, I took what my acquaintance said with no salt.

I finish with this.

Although it hurt, I don’t think anywhere I’ve ever called myself a victim and I’ll lick the wounds inflicted when I and only I believe justice has been done and ‘seen to be done’ by those whom caused the injuries and have been held accountable.

This may involve me ‘spewing’ out the same old trash, but I’m not asking anyone to read it.

At the top right-hand corner of Facebook is a unfriend button, which won’t explode if you press it.

It equally goes for Twitter unfollow and the likes.

I’m not writing to seek attention, as I’m sure there are easier ways to do that. I write to raise awareness, on a variety of subjects … racism, homophobia, relationships, cancer, mental health and so forth. Things, that matter to me.

Social media is my space to ‘bang out’ whatever I want, when I want. It’s not as if there is a contract that you have to read what I have written and/or like it.

If I really thought that posting pictures of cats on Facebook would solve life’s challenges not just for me but others suffering because of their race, sexuality and/or gender I’m sure I would have done it a long time ago.

If my writing makes those uncomfortable whom still believe we live in an era of Dixon of Dock Green, then so be it. My advice is “When Writing The Story Of Your Life, Don’t let Anyone Else Hold The Pen.

Even if, you keep on using the same pen.

I’ve lost numerous friends through challenging the police and yes, the majority of them white and straight. But, I think it says more about them than it does me. Because, I’d be there to support them if ever they needed it.

Take care, Max.