Many first and second generation migrants, especially those of South Asian, Middle Eastern or African and Afro Caribbean roots are way too familiar with that welcoming expression that British thugs like to wail out whilst usually drunk. They certainly don’t leave any exceptions for me. It was a fine Sunday afternoon until me and my chum were approached by an older White male, he looked to be homeless and had a beer can in his hands. The exact words that were thrown at us were “Can you just fuck off home” and then followed by “Piss off”. Charming eh? Luckily me and my buddy share a great sense of humour and simply laughed it off and both mocked the elderly gentlemen’s timing as it took him forever to get the words out (as he was drunk)!
Being racially discriminated indeed isn’t a laughing matter, but it is something I am now way to familiar with. I mean I have had it all from racial discriminatory slurs, the random swearing and shout offs and to the strange sexual gesture made by mostly White males. There was a time, where I used to feel intimidated by these individuals and threatened. But now I think well heck if they beat me up for having brown skin then they’ll get arrested and I’ll get compensation of some sort and probably make the local papers. Also, I am better than them. I really am, we all are. These racist thugs are foul and ugly. Even having a discussion with them, would be a waste of time as they do not have the thinking capacity to spark an intellectual debate, therefore that disadvantage usually results in “Go back home you Paki” which doesn’t stimulate any logical discussion.
However, one thing that my mind begins to ponder over whenever I get racially discriminated is school, teachers and what they teach us. School taught me to show respect to everyone. However, school has failed to be real with me. People like me should have been taught our reality and what we should expect from our society. Alongside, the good values we get taught, the teachers should be real with us and just say “You need to show respect to everyone from all backgrounds, however if you’re from an ethnic minority yourself, please don’t expect any of this back”. Because really, that is the sad truth. We should also get taught that those who have brown skin can be seen as problematic and may bother some members of the public which may result in hostility. So, please be prepared when you leave school and go out there, do not expect any kindness from strangers. It does not exist for the brown person. However, the brown person must show all characteristics of a kind, polite and courteous person. If they don’t, then society will get annoyed of their presence and the media will create ethnic moral panics and the politicians will see the easy way out by blaming migrants for their issues and failing to take any responsibility. So for the brown person reading, I advise you to please be kind, do not argue when they scream at you to “go back home”, they do not understand that for you there is no home. It is broken, so you seek refuge in the country that stole from your home, which caused your home to be broken.
Being a kind member of public is what I am, alongside the many people out there regardless of what race I am or they are. I have never screamed back at the racist, I have never screamed back “I have no home, as the British Empire came over, destroyed, stole and then left my ancestors to pick up the pieces” I wonder, what would happen if I did hit back with this line? Would they finally stop and just leave me alone or would they ignore and carry on? Since this isn’t a Nicholas Sparks novel, I’m guessing it would be the second option. It’s a shame really, there’s more shame that the racists are so out of touch with reality. When they tell us to go home, they aren’t even aware of what they’re ancestors did to our home. If they really want us to go back home, then maybe they should also discuss with the British government to stop sending their troops out and bombing our schools and hospitals and then brushing it off as “collateral damage” and remaining silent, maybe they should also despise the British government for being a helping hand for African slavery, as if that did not exist then so many brown people would not even touch British soil. We would indeed, remain in our homes feeling safe and proud.