When I was a little girl, we didn’t have much money, things were not always easy but compared to most, I had an idealistic and loving upbringing. I didn’t experience discrimination against the colour of my skin and for the first decade of my life, I was completely oblivious to the racial issues that were occurring so obviously around me.
I grew up as a white northern lass on a council estate in the North East of England. The estate was seemingly multi-cultural, however, if you looked a little closer, you would realise that there was a harsh divide between cultures, ethnicities and religions which resided there.
The divide was explained away as, “they don’t like to mix with us.” Absolving ourselves of any responsibility on the matter. Because of course, it couldn’t possibly have anything to do with us, our hostility and our small-mindedness.
Even though we all lived on the same estate, when we played outside, the white children would play with the other white children and that was that. We didn’t ask any questions.
When I would go home, there my older brother would be playing N.W.A and Biggie, getting me to sing along to the choruses on Tupac’s songs whilst he unsuccessfully attempted to rap the verses. At around 8 years old, I finally began to ask some questions.
I loved these rappers. I loved Tupac’s lyrics and as I got older, I started to listen to what the were really telling me and I began to notice the racism that was also present, here in the UK.
Outside of my home, I constantly witnessed vulgar words being hoyed towards anyone who didn’t fit into the stereotypical ‘white Britain’. When I asked why it would always boil down to “they are bad people.”
The worst thing is that this was how any minority was perceived but most specifically, this vile behaviour was targeted towards the black community.
Too many times have I heard, “I’m not racist but…”
Too many people have told me how I can’t trust, shouldn’t speak to, can’t be friends with anyone with another skin tone.
There are too many racial slurs and derogatory terms that are within my internal dictionary, thanks to the sickening and uneducated rants of racists from my past and unfortunately, the present.
I was a very stubborn child and I didn’t like help when it came to learning. I have always loved facts and science; and where I grew up, the only vulgar behaviour that I witnessed came from white people – my conclusion was made. That was all the evidence I needed.
None of it made any sense to me. How on earth can it? How the fuck can the colour of your skin determine your values, your intelligence, your capability of love and what beautiful things you have to offer to the world?
I really believed that 17 years on, things would have changed. I really believed that my generation would have been the ones to make a difference and I still hope we can.
I never expected to be waking up one morning in the year of 2020 at the age of 27 to find that a man has died at the hands of police brutality because of the colour of his skin.
I am so sorry George Floyd. I am so sorry to all black people who have ever felt any kind of discrimination. I am so sorry that this world hasn’t become the world that I thought it would become.
Things ARE going to change. We will win this fight and when we do, I hope we look back and think, “Why the fuck did it take us so long to change?”
WHY THE FUCK?!
If there is a single cell in your body that doesn’t agree with #blacklivesmatter then get off my page, unfollow me and come back when you have educated yourself.
P.S. If we want to get all ‘science-y’ – you are likely not white, rather a beautiful combination of genetics from across the globe. Guess where the incredible roots of human existence came from? Look it up.