Why Racism Will Never End
The signs that racism will eventually die out are misleading
My first instance of racial abuse was from an elderly lady and soon after I saw the clear intent of a man well past middle age attempt to racially abuse. Well they looked old as fuck but they were the type of people that clearly didn’t care for their health.
My takings from that was that it was an issue with older people. That racism was something that would die out and I would live to see that. My view, I found, was naïve but more so incorrect. Since I’ve continually seen racial abuse directed at me and others, including those who visit my multicultural city. However, I’ve experienced more accounts from younger people. This is incredibly disheartening but at the same time it’s not surprising. If you know the people of England… and I will only speak of England because it’s the only place that I know at an highly intellectual level… the selfishness and expectations of people knows no bounds. That includes racism unfortunately.
Like all of my stories, I give examples.
I was working at a babycare store on a busy Saturday morning in late November 2018. It was a physically demanding job where staying behind the counter was unacceptable. I having settled into the role was exuberant as ever… I was in flow. I’d finished helping a customer and went back behind the counter as I saw what I thought was a queue of young women (around 20–21 years of age). I greeted the lead customer - an Indian woman who was placing items on my desk. She was friendly and replied. I was quick to notice that the group of women (four) behind her (all white) were with her as they were haplessly watching the transaction with nothing in hand.
As she placed the items out of her basket she asked for a bag (as some of her items were large and boxed). I replied, “Yeah. Sure.” And proceeded to fill the carrier bags with her goods. Before I had arrived to serve the woman there was already an item on the counter, and as I did not know if it belonged to her pre-purchase I asked her, “Is that yours aswell?” One of the white women (… girl would be more apt… scum would be actually apt) vaguely imitated what I said in the strongest Indian accent she could fathom; “Would you like that one, too?”
I’m not going to get in to the nuances of this situation… well not yet. Quite simply because I was working in customer service (or a shop/for a retailer) and the colour of my skin was brown that I was ridiculed for having a particular accent.
She expected her group of friends to laugh hysterically and I be made to feel like shit but they didn’t even smirk. I instantly stared at her unflinchingly. Her only response due to the hostile reception that she encountered after her show of racism was, “Sorry.” I swiftly turned my head away and resumed packing the last item. I finished serving her friend who acted as if nothing happened. The scum in question also said thank you to me, out of shame more so than guilt, when I had finished the transaction and thanked the buyer as I would always do.
First of all, when I consider this now I think about what little I did to challenge the behaviour. Some of you may think that I did something, and given that I would be the one at risk if I had made a scene I did something at least. I don’t overlook this as I am somewhat proud of my actions. However, at the time, I was not the person I am today who sees this as a major point of challenge. If I had challenged this behaviour, even made a scene, I would feel freedom in my mind. It would also make the scum in question afraid to do such actions again.
I’ve gotten stronger.
Firstly, I felt insecurity that I sounded like how she portrayed. I don’t, and have every respect to those whose Indian accents are noticable when they speak other languages e.g. English. I think that having the proficiency to learn other languages is fantastic and sounding like you are from your home country is a respect to your heritage. I personally have a slight Indian twang in my voice and a slight Leicester twang. This is a common crossover as there are many people from Indian heritage in the city who embrace the mannerisms and expressions thus embracing the culture of the place that they live. And if you heard me speak over the phone and I gave you a “White” name, you’d think nothing else.
RIGHT NOW I’M TELLING MY BRAIN TO SHUT THE FUCK UP!
It’s these insecurities that affect me. The fucking nuances. But when I consider the detail it just makes the racial abuse that I suffered even more atrocious. The fact that there were less indicators for someone to act in the way that they did yet they still acted in such a manner makes it worse. There is no acceptable form of racism but when they create racism from markedly fewer prompts that makes them worse people.
Secondly… NO. NOT TODAY BRAIN.
I still have my insecurities today but am stronger and am satisfied that I have analysed and written it down. I can go into this more but will start analysis paralysis that still gets to me but it’s much less prevalent.