I was not happy when David Cameron made the decision to hold a referendum on whether the country should leave the European Union, but David Cameron very rarely did anything that I liked. From my basic understanding, I felt that the pros far outweighed the cons in terms of staying in the Union, however not even my worst-case scenario could I have predicted the fall-out of some behaviour to be so poor, so bad, so deplorable. Actually, truth be told, as black people, we always knew this behaviour to exist and to be the truth, however, the English way is to not be so brash and in your face about it. It has raised the question many, as to how far have we really come since the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s and so on.
I’ve heard about these incidents, I’ve seen video’s of them on Facebook etc, but I have never had a close, ‘in your face’ connection with a racist incident. This week a friend of mine, after leaving me 30 minutes earlier, was a victim of such. My friend took a nice casual stroll to her nominated bus stop, after departing a few words of wisdom to a friend in need. She luckily boarded a bus almost immediately, sat at the front, destined for home. However in her peripheral hearing came some strong, aggressive disturbance behind her.
“Are you talking to me?”
“Yeah I’m talking to you, you f**cking Black Bitch! Think you can just push past me.”
“I’m sorry I didn’t see you. When the bus arrived, I was waiting right at the front.”
“Well you should of waited for me to get on first, coz I was there.”
“Once again, I have an oyster and eyes just like you, you could have just said.”
… “I was born and bred in this country”…
“So was I!”
“You f**cking Black Cunt, why don’t you take your ugly grandma arse back to where you come from?!
You’d be forgiven for being shocked, like me initially and taken aback by this racist, disgraceful display, over getting on the bus in second place to another person. But in a month when black people in America have had the police called on them for babysitting, gardening, studying, walking into their building apartments, or over here in the UK, being racially abused for being partially disabled and sitting on a seat on a plane, I mean the list goes on! In a just world, my friend would have taken her ‘ugly grandma’ hands and planted them firmly in this vile racist women’s face and then maybe the woman would have learnt the real meaning of ‘consequence.’ That was not to be so. Further, my friend then had the police called on her for ‘attacking’ this woman, for no reason’. My head was ringing, was there anybody else on this bus? The bus driver? Other passengers? Annoying teenagers? Did they see this happen? Because the London I knew, that voted against Brexit, would have never allowed this to happen. Alas, just like the Ryan Air flight, many stood by and watched and didn’t do anything whilst this racist perpetrator was allowed to spill their hate and then play the victim.
The most upsetting thing is that incidents like these no longer shock us, surprise us. We almost expect it now that it’s ‘open season’. But we should never expect it. It should always shock and surprise us because this behaviour is not okay, it is not ‘freedom of speech’, it is deplorable and should be challenged and extinguished at every point.
D.L Hughley said ‘the most dangerous place for a black person, is in the imagination of a white person.’ People can present you in any way they want, so they can then justify their bad behaviour.
After all the incidents, comments and insurrections, I would like to ask the racists, alternative commentators and agitators — Is it better now?…