This article is just me explaining how I feel and probably many others feel on a regular basis. I’m sure ma Bruddas can relate, we probably all go through it. That moment when you hit teenage-hood and wonder beyond your local territory and you’re struck with the realisation that you’re Black first – then British. Black boys raised in British schools, with British visions, waving British flags aren’t so welcomed by wider society. Particularly the middle classes!
Yesterday on my way to visit the Houses of Parliament I took the tube and was visited by the same unspoken but still obviously presumptive racism, that presumes your guilty,(Security guard following you around the store type shit) the racism I was first introduced to at fourteen on my way to my Secondary School IN MY UNIFORM; which was on the other side of London. It hurt then and still hurts now, it always seemed like a joke, the old tale of ‘white grannies, grabbing their purses in fear of the “Black thief”‘ but there’s nothing remotely humorous about this happening every day you venture outside.
Just to be impartial I can say I don’t know these individuals or their experiences, but nonetheless when people begin to grab their bags and nervously shift away from your direction – it’s heart breaking.
What was the most disheartening about my experience yesterday?
Even though I was in Central London with a hoard of tourist crammed in the Circle Line, it wasn’t the tourist that felt scarred or presumed I was going to steal their possessions, it was Brits. And… at that moment I unequivocally understood that I’m Black first, then British. Black; with none of its negative dispositions, but Black nonetheless and… a perceived fret.
It is cruel to completely deny someone of their innocence without knowing them; I guess Martin Luther’s message of judging a man on “the content of his character” never made its way to these Isles.
Or maybe, just maybe, there’s something that I’m oblivious to
UPDATE: I’ve semi-concluded that Britain has been for a long time a class based society, that is segregated on the basis of class and by that accord I’m double discriminated firstly, by class and possibly by race. Or maybe in some weird self-defeating way I’m trying to make excuses for ignorant people. Either way I’m tired and really annoyed!