Skip to main content

The Complexities of Modern Racism In Britain

While on a night out in the capital, a guy in a club put his beer bottle in my face expecting me to take it from him, when I moved away he promptly followed continuing to try and give me his bottle. His friends seem bemused and didn’t try to defuse the situation; seconds later I saw the guy go over to the side and put his seemingly empty bottle on a ledge; on his return he attempted to elbow me in the face, had I not been leaning in to talk my friend he may not have missed!
Unfortunately my reaction was delayed although I guess its better that I didn’t escalate the situation further.  Considering the offender was white and that at the time I was probably the only black girl in the club, I couldn’t stop thinking whether this happened because I was black?
I wasn’t alone I was with friends who were white and also in closer proximity to the guy then I was so why me?

I don’t like to use the ‘R’ word loosely since modern day racism is quite complex; we are all guilt of harbouring prejudices about a person(s) height, weight, appearance, hair colour, nationality, etc yet we all have a friend or get along with someone who are exceptions to the rule. Those who may hold prejudices against a particular race may not be actively racist (which is why context is key), I would consider the difference being that to be racist denotes oppressive tactics, like bullying, intimidation or denying an individual or race access to resources.

I have always believed that everyone is entitled to their opinion no matter how ignorant it maybe, however modern day pressures have stops those with such opinions to be open about them, hence the resent shock when fashion designer John Galliano and celebrity hairdresser James Brown expressed their racist views after having a little too much to drink!

I find this concerning, as like what me happened to me I will never be clear as to what the guys motives were, was he a racist or just drunk and me unlucky? This infliction of unexplainable abuse can be equally as corrosive to a person’s sense of self!
Thinking back to a recent Black History Month event I attended, where a woman in the audience regaled her childhood growing up in London in the 50s having migrated from the West Indies with her parents. She remembered being bullied at school by her teachers, called a monkey, told she was stupid and constantly made an example of in a classroom where she was the only ethnic child.
It’s a very sad story and even sadder to know that this kind of abuse was common practice at the time, and since it was used so neutrally a child as small as she was at the time, didn’t realise the full extent of the abuse nor did she ever flag it up to her parents!

I refused to let the stupid guy spoil my night, though I do wish I’d asked him what his problem was, not that he would have answered honestly! Though it does make me think whether the political correctness era of the last 2 decades has only served to hinder Britain’s prospects of achieving racial equally.
The fact is 20-30 years ago this country was opening racist and derogative terms like ‘Paki’ and ‘nigga’ were popularly used with no remorse, now fast forward to present day were we are surprised to hear someone express a blatant racist comment (like in the case of
Brian True-May’s comments on British/Englishness). 
This naivety created by political correctness that racism was somehow magically eradicated is in its self a time bomb waiting to go off.  The explosive racist reactions to the recent UK riots serve as a good example of this, take the outlandish comments made by David Starkey on the BBC’s Question Time around the time of the riots!

The task of improving race relations in this country seems harder now the basic understanding of racism has evolved with the times, making it much harder to be identified.  Another important factor in the fight against racism, which I often feel is often over looked is the global racial attitudes/reactions. Think about it, while black Americans where having their Civil Rights Movement in the 60s, blacks all over the world were organising similar liberation movements, with many of the black organisations in Britain, South Africa and America connecting to battle their oppressors.

Racism didn’t end in America with the Civil Rights Movement nor did it end in Britain after the Broadwater Farm Riots of 85, what is important for our progression is to maintain a continual racial dialogue and stop sweeping the issue under the rug!
We need to acknowledge racism still exists and that it continues to affect the life’s of those who are classed an ethnic minority.
It may not be the most effective measure of progress though unlike America or even South Africa, England (or even Europe) is still no closer to having a black Prime Minister!


Popular posts from this blog

Music Review: The Weeknd Trilogy

Rarely do I buy new music these days, with it being even more of a rarity that I buy music from male artists. Reason being that I just can not stomach the lies and hypocrisy commercially viable male solo artists spin with their predictable music and unoriginal public image clashing fiercely with the reality of their private lives.

With music today being so limited in the topics sung about and (in making myself sound old - which I'm not) the lack of experience, soul and true artistry in today's predominately young artists, I was surprised and delight to find out about Canadian singer The Weeknd. I'm told that this artist has actually been around for a while, though it is only now that The Weeknd's music is reaching commercial heights with the song Wicked Games played regularly on the radio. While I have liked the song since hearing it, it wasn't until I had seen its music video that I really became interested in what this young male solo artist has to offer.


Rise Of The Beta Male

Interesting article in last week’s Shortlist discussing the demise of the 'Alpha' male and rise of the 'Beta' male.
In a nutshell, the article was discussing recent culture changes in male behaviour and attitudes which has contributed to the emergence of the Beta male.
Beta males are smart sensitivity men who invest in their appearance, they are said to have turned their backs on the old Alpha male ways of male domination, aggression and exploitation, instead they embody intelligence, charisma and are liberal thinking. According to the article beta males are changing the way we do business!

I was pleased to see that the article had made a connection with this new male attitude and behaviour to the adaption (for the better) to the feminist movement and the study's of masculinity, since the process of women demanding and slowly achieving gender equality has encouraged many men to relieve themselves of the emotional castration once promoted as the alpha male image of…

Book Review: We Real Cool: Black Men and Masculinity

We Real Cool take's a deep look at black masculinity and offers up a fantastic critical analyst of the pros and cons of being a black male in the US.
Hooks acknowledges early in the book that as a female her view point on this subject maybe subjective, though We Real Cool is written with much intellect and heart. It is with great passion for her black males that Hooks writes with, saying that the lack of critical writings on the subject by black males was the catalysis for why she wrote the book.

The book is a real eye opener on the issues and daily assault out black males face and easily related to black males in the UK. Hooks dicusses black male incarceration, Hip-Hop & gang culture, black male misogyny and absentee fatherhood. As a female reader the book spoke volumes to me, and in usual fashion Hooks drew from her personal experiences and relationships with black males when writting the book. This not only helped draw parallels between the black males in my life (i.e. fat…