I’ve been racially abused four times.
First time was at school. When I was young, I had very dark skin and on moving to a new school, it was assumed that I was Indian. I was ‘paki bashed’ which actually says a lot about the ignorance of racism. Despite protestations, the ‘accusations’ continued and the final clincher came when I got a spot in the centre of my forehead over the weekend. On the monday morning, it was just an angry red spot. This, apparently was proof of my Asian heritage. Idiots.
The second time was in 1992 when I went to Wales. Being English in Wales was not a pleasant experience. We were insulted in Welsh ( i know this because the guy I was with spoke welsh) and threatened with violence (again in Welsh) and there was an attempt to bully us out of the pub simply because were were English. When my friend spoke back to them, they were horrified and couldn’t comprehend that an Englishman would actually learn to speak Welsh. A couple of years later I had to go back and had the unpleasant experience of being the only Englishman n a roomful of welshmen. I got a lot of abuse about having to have the meeting in English because of me. I should point out that this was an Oxfam Management meeting.
Last night, I was prevented from going into a shop because I ‘looked Polish’. I was prevented from going into a Sikh owned shop because I *looked* Polish. That is wrong on so many levels it makes my head spin.
I’m a one world kind of guy. Always have been. And last night’s experience has really rattled me.
Despite my best efforts, racism is alive and well.
I think I’ll sit in a corner and cry.