Racism. Prepare to be knackered.

The recent goings on at Yorkshire cricket club say one major thing to me and that is, Racism cannot and never will be defeated. This is a given, so…Racism. Prepare to be knackered.

I am a mixed-race man in my later years who has experienced racism and its devastating effects. From watching my mother return from a shopping trip with my white stepfather with spittle dripping down from her hair. To being told to ‘go back to the jungle’ on a full parade ground when I foolishly joined the army with some crazy idea that I wanted to serve my country. Unfortunately, ‘my country’ made clear it didn’t want me.

Throughout most of my adult life I have made it my business to fight racism as best I could wherever I found it. I’ve been arrested for protesting the presence of apartheid South Africa at the Shakespeare Birthday celebrations. When I was younger, I was very aware that the colour of my skin lost me jobs and er ‘worried’ people.

And after all that, after all those energy-sapping episodes I have to finally admit to being knackered and sadly, defeated.

I have come to the point of view that racism is a natural part of many peoples lives and there is no way that diversity courses or any other form of ‘education’ is going to change minds. Over the years I’ve taken part in ‘exciting programs’ developed to change the thinking that leads to racist behaviour.

I’ve been on work days that were designed (by whom I don’t know) to dramatically change entrenched thinking. Days that led me to work with/on the police to change their narrow and unimaginative, institutional way of thinking. I’ve girded my loins and held my shaking head high to walk in a room full of various ranking police officers, all there to be challenged on their view of blacks, gays and trans people…and I have to say, you could smell it in the air. The challenge.

The challenge that says, ‘I dare you to change my mind. I know full well what it is I need to allow my survival on the streets and that is knowledge of my enemy. Take away or even challenge my preconceived ideas, rob me of my valuable, stereotypical knowledge of who I am likely to come across while patrolling the streets and I become ineffective, useless…even afraid’.

There is no way that racism is going to suddenly go away. It is here forever. As many laws as you like will not drive it into the darkness where it belongs. It is embedded in men an women’s hearts.

However, and of course, it should never be ignored. It should always be fought where ever it is found. But the battle is never-ending.

Prepare to be knackered.

The recent goings on at Yorkshire cricket club say one major thing to me and that is, Racism cannot and never will be defeated. This is a given, so…Racism. Prepare to be knackered. I am a mixed-race man in my later years who has experienced racism and its devastating effects. From watching my mother return…

Leave a Reply...it would be great to hear from you

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: