Anger · Personal · Rant

Race Relations

I’d like to start by saying that although in the past I’ve written about some controversial subjects, I tend to stay away from the biggies because blogs can so often be taken out of context and come back to bite us on the arse. Subjects like sexism, homophobia or racism are always going to be emotive and I don’t expect to unite the world with one little blog post. However, I’ve become more aware of, and more shocked by, the levels of racism that seems to have become acceptable in so-called civilised society, amongst well-educated and usually moderate people.

I’m by no means a naive person, I know racism exists in all walks of life and have written previously about idiots like the English Defence League. Before I go on, I’d like to say that I do believe that racism is subjective and because of certain liberal values, political correctness has gone a bit mental. I remember a few years ago my friends’ Mum, who is a social worker, came home and told us that they’d been given a new language directive at work and they were no longer allowed to use the expression ‘mixed race’, and that they must now say ‘dual-heritage’. This seems rather an excessive way to go around the issue of ‘what to call someone’ to me, but I don’t make the rules.

But I think i was first made aware of “middle-class racism” when the furore over Rastamouse started. I saw several people complain about the use of patois in a children’s programme, bloggers and tweeters up in arms that their children would turn into thieves and layabouts. Aside from being a massive, glaring generalisation of an entire culture of people, their short-sightedness floored me. Surely, learning other accents and cultures enriches the lives of our children?

Since the riots, I’ve seen a shocking amount of Facebook statuses and Tweets, talking about how immigrants and people of non-British ethnicity were “99% responsible for the riots” and was shocked when my best friend (who is of Nigerian heritage) went on Facebook to say just how disappointed she was that no less than seven of her online friends had been making racist comments about the riots and surrounding events. I don’t want to get into a row about the cause of the riots or the politics surrounding it, but I know this; I watched HOURS of live news footage of those riots and I saw just as many white faces, or mixed race faces (you know, those people who are still HALF WHITE) in those crowds as I did black, asian or a.n.other faces.

But it’s not about the perpetrators or what percentage was foreign or domestic. It’s about the way we choose to react. It’s about the fact that yes, some were black, some were young, some were old, some were women, some were men….the only pattern is that they were all PEOPLE. They all committed the same crimes, so what the hell does their ethnicity or economic standing have to do with it? Don’t bemoan the colour of their skin, bemoan the fact that they were violent, opportunistic tossers.

I know I’ll never get everyone to agree and I’m sure you all have a scathing response to write, stating immigration policy and crime statistics, but I don’t want to be part of a community where colour is more important to people than criminality. It’s not a race issue, it’s a ‘raising your kids the right way’ issue.

7 thoughts on “Race Relations

  1. Well said lady! *applauds* Damn freaking right! It was, in the main, British people destroying the shops of hard-working immigrants and, personally, I’d much rather have the hard-working immigrants here than the assholes destroying their own communities!
    It was an absolute disgrace, both the rioting and the response to it. I’m glad I’m not in the UK anymore.

  2. A great summation Jaynie, and i couldn’t agree more with the comments from JoJo, its a real can of worms thats been unleashed and it needs a very LONG hard look, at all sections of society and the way we go about things, not knee jerk reactions, and a bit of pompous righteous indignation.

    In fact it strikes me that alot of peoples reactions, are at least part of the story, it seems people even those that live in the same communities as the rioters have no idea what type of lives their neighbours led, and indeed they do not care until they are confronted with such raw, and ugly scenes as the riots brought into the majority of our lives. Perhaps if we spent more time just learning about those around us and the way in which others live, we might not have to clutch at straws, when something like this happens. xx

  3. I feel the same as you, Jayne. The amount of racism that I have witnessed over the last week on fb is a disgrace. Also sexism “do their mother’s know where they are?” was said a lot. Well, what about the fathers?!!! And of course, ageism. The assumption that everyone rioting was under 18 annoys me. Of course, a lot of comments have said it was about class. How do they explain the millionaires daughter caught looting? Or the Cambridge students caught throwing bricks at police? I think we should look at the whole picture and stop trying to blame one group of people. xx

  4. Personally i do not see it as a race issue. There was plently of white or mixed race people there. I think it was purely just an opportunity for young people in the area to take advantage.

    The only thing i did notice was that when interviewed the looters they did mention that they were fed up of their jobs going to the polish etc and it so happened that a fair few of the people who died were from minority groups.

  5. I never saw it as a race riot, or a political, or anything else that social media and the print media have been claiming. When DC said it wasn’t political he was right (regardless of whether you’re Tory or Labour), the riots were opportunistic thugs lacking in a basic understanding of the glue that used to hold our society together: respect.

  6. I never saw the riots as a race thing but as a class thing – I saw a lot of racism and generalisation and misunderstanding that angered me; it’s not as simple as it’s been portrayed because yes, people have been let down and yeas, people are living below the poverty line but that doesn’t make rioting acceptable. Demonstrating, protesting, yes – fighting for your rights, yes – but that isn’t what it was.

    As for Rasta Mouse, it enrages me. Not because of the slang, or accents, or culture – because of the blatant ignorance. Would people be ok if it were Hindu Mouse? Catholic Mouse? Muslim Mouse? Rasta is a religion. It is not a culture, it is a religion and I dislike that not only are my children being mis-educated about that but that the majority of people aren’t even aware of it.

    1. I have to say, I agree with you there, to characterise him as ‘Rasta’ is to draw religion into the fray, but they make no mention of religion in the show…could that be because marijuana is the Holy Sacrament to Rastafarians? Maybe he should be Reggae Mouse or Caribbean Mouse, rather than defined by a religious denomination that they seem to be fearful of fully portraying in a children’s TV show?

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