Realness

One for Parents

I’m not a parent so forgive me if it’s arrogant of me to offer advice on parenting but hear me out.

I’m a white girl, born in Scotland.  Racism was never, to my memory, discussed in my household as a child, not at my friends houses, my church or even at my primary school.   Why would it?  We were not part of a minority and were unlikely to ever become victims of racial abuse.

My perception of the world as a child was that everyone loved everyone, regardless of the fact that we had different hair colour, height, gender, age, religion or skin colour.

At History class in school we were taught about Hitler and the holocaust but he was just an evil man, a one off, surely no other normal person thought like Hitler?!  We were taught about the Kings, Queens, Lords, Ladies and landowners of our country but not of the people they bought or their involvement with the trade.  We were taught about ‘great’ explorers, like Columbus, but not of the fate of the indigenous people they encountered nor of the people that they captured or children they kidnapped to be swapped for gold on their return.  I had no idea that the KKK existed until I saw Forrest Gump!!

Obviously with age and experience I lost that naivety.  I had heard of racism, I had heard the names people called the family that owned the corner shop and I had seen news reports about the murder of Stephen Lawrence.

Still, I had NO IDEA. Not. A. Clue.

July 2001

I was lying on a beach in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina with my boyfriend at the time.  I overheard a group of women to our left saying ‘Who does he think he is walking around here?’ assuming it was someone they had some beef with, I sat up a little and lowered my sunglasses for a nosy.  I couldn’t see anyone that they might be talking about and was about to lie back down when one of the women pointed at my boyfriend and said ‘There’s another one!’ and then ‘disgusting’ under her breath.  I stared at her for a minute or two, but it felt like forever, trying to work out what the heck she was talking about before she looked me in the eye and snapped ‘N****r lover’.

I just stared at her in complete shock, while my boyfriend gathered up our things and tapped me ‘let’s go!’

I didn’t speak for a while after. I had NO words, so many thoughts but no actual words.  I felt sick to my stomach, I felt angry, I was in shock that this woman who had 20 years on my mother (I was raised to respect my elders) had just said the most vile thing I’d ever heard in my life.  My boyfriend apologised for putting me in that situation. WHAT?? I was mad, mad at him for apologising, mad at her for abusing people for NOTHING and I was mad at myself for saying nothing and for not defending my boyfriend.

Racism is REAL, racism is brutal, ugly and evil but it is VERY real. They might be a minority but there are actual people who truly believe they are above others because of the colour of their skin.  People are turned down jobs because of the colour of theirs skin, people are murdered because of the colour of their skin.  White supremacy is not ok it’s fucked up!

I wanted to address racism in a blog post since the events in Charlottesville but I just couldn’t find the words. I still can’t, this is merely a ramble of some of my thoughts.  No words, lots of thoughts and that feeling in the pit of my stomach just like that day on the beach but I had to acknowledge it.  WE ALL have to acknowledge it.  To ignore it is an injustice.

I was sheltered from this type of hate.  I was naive.  I didn’t live in America or an area where I would witness it growing up. My skin is white, maybe I was ignorant because it wasn’t my struggle, now it is an issue for everyone because the most powerful seat in the world belongs to a racist.

 

Parents that’s where you come in, you are raising our future.  I understand that you want to shelter your children from hate for as long as possible but please teach them that we are all equals and not to discriminate or prejudice against age, ability, gender, wealth, nationality, sexuality or skin colour.   Teach them about racism and that it’s not okay.  Teach them that they are as good as but not better than the next person.  Teach love not hate.  Teach them of only one race…The human race.

Change the world.

Thanks for reading❤️

Angela xo

 

 

35 thoughts on “One for Parents”

  1. Well said. It is unfortunate that some kids grow up and learn to hate one another. Can’t we just all get along? 😦 On a completely different note, where do you located now? After reading all of your posts, I’m not exactly sure anymore. Vegas?, Scotland, South Carolina? haha

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good noble thoughts.
    Hopefully there will be an automatic solution with such a fast pace of globalisation and faster growth in places where the current form of racism is prevalent.
    I only hope that a reverse racism will not happen but instead a tolerant world order will emerge

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  3. I never knew when I was younger that racism existed either. We grew up in a diverse area and it was normal that not everybody was the same color. Then I moved to Georgia and I was friends with the very first black family to EVER live in my county. They moved here a few years prior to when I did, but there were like, 7 black people in my graduating class of about 400. The KKK was active in the town I went to high school in just shortly before we got here. But we never discussed racism or differences when we were younger. My parents just never focused on skin color and made sure we knew that everybody is equal and that nobody is too good for any job (haha). I find it crazy that we DO need to discuss differences because there ARE still people who “notice” it and make it a big deal. One day, I sincerely hope that EVERYBODY sees that we are all equals. We all have the right to marry anybody we want. We all have the right to change our gender if we want. We all have a right to celebrate the color of our skin. We all have the right to live in peace and to be respected. It’s just so ridiculous to me that any of this happens because WE ARE ALL THE SAME.

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    1. I live in the UK so I am in that bubble most of the time too, when it’s not being broadcast it’s easy to forget that it’s still going on. Thank You for reading!

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  4. My fiance is black and I’m jewish, so we’re a freaking field day for these people. We are lucky that we live in an area where people are for the most part pretty accepting.
    Given all that’s going on, I did start to wonder how I would react in a situation similar to the one you mentioned and I actually scared myself a bit because I’m not sure how I would react. I would like to think i’d take the high road and walk away but I know that part of me would be fuming and also want to tell the offender just what I thought of his/her views.
    It scares me that there are so many people out there like that (and i’m sure they’re near me too, I’ve just been lucky enough to not meet them).
    I’ve never been so bothered by current events as I am now. 😦

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    1. It is scary, I think a lot about how that situation could have been different, had I expected it, had it been a violent person, had it been aimed at me an not him…it’s frightening! I’m glad you live in a more accepting area! I worry for the future, we can only spread our love and hope for peace to drown out the hate!!!

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  5. I never experienced racism until I was in my 20’s and then it was directed at me. I was living over seas in an Asian country and people treated me differently because I was white. Nothing damaging but it was there. Now as a nanny, I see it with my kids. We get strange looks when its just out since they are much darker than me. People can be so cruel for no reason. Great post! Its really well written Angela!

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  6. That is a beautifully written post, Angela. It is only when we experience racism that we can appreciate the sickness that it is. I wonder if it will ever completely leave the human consciousness, yet one lives in hope. xx

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  7. I’m fairly light so I have not been a victim of it in the US. I also live in the North where it’s swept under the rug and no one wants to talk about it. It’s deaply saddening and there was another white supremacist rally in Boston where there are no Confederate statues to protest so they called it the freedom of speech rally. Which happened days after our holocust memorial was vandalized. Which the memorial carried all the numbers of the Jewish casualties in glass towers as steam came up from the bases.

    Some states are starting to mark neo-nazis as terrosist groups and are now illegal. So there’s hope.

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  8. It’s everywhere. I was called a nip when I was growing up. We just change it to nice important person.
    There were lots of Ching Chong too.
    The funny thing is even in our country we can’t even stand our own country men. My mother in law didn’t like me because I’m a Northerner. So if we can’t tolerate our own race how can we tolerate other races? If within one family there’s fighting how can we live peacefully with others?

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  9. WOW! What an awful experience that must’ve been for for you and your boyfriend! So sorry to hear that things like this still happen and perhaps is happening even more nowadays seeing everything that’s been happening. Thanks so much for sharing this :). I think you’re doing a great thing by speaking up and letting the world know that racism is still a problem even in the most multicultural places. And you’ve definitely encouraged people like myself to keep fighting for this cause.
    Tim

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  10. very true! The modern world is very different, but even despite the long history and struggle of racism, it still remains a problem, just like wars. Thank you for sharing!

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  11. Racism is, sadly, very prominent…. It seems more so in western society. In the south, also but it it isn’t only white/Caucasians racist against dark skin. It goes both ways, hell all ways and none of it is any good. I/we have to do the best we can, be the best we can be every day. And try again to be a light in this sometimes dark world.

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