Saturday, 1 July 2017

MY EXPERIENCE WITH RACISM


"Go back to your country!" a boy in my german class yelled
"Ni hao!” a white grown man yelled from across the street
“Ch*nk!” they screamed at my sister whilst speeding in their car

Fifteen years ago, my parents sacrificed what we once called ‘home’ to move to a country that they knew would give us a better life. Did they want to? Probably not. Did they think it was necessary? Absolutely.








For the next twelve years, they built a new life for us in a small welsh town. The population was 70% white and 30% ethnic minorities. Since moving to the UK at the age of 5, I didn’t think that my race was an issue until I was 10. Like most kids, all I wanted to do was make friends and play. Our neighbourhood mostly consisted of white families but that didn’t stop my sister and I from making friends. However, one summery day, a white teenage boy shouted “You Asian b*stard!”

You see, I wasn’t insulted that he called me a b*stard but I was confused as to why he brought my race into it?

That was one of the many racial slurs I faced…




DISCLAIMER: I apologise in advance if I offend anyone, I don’t intend to. Furthermore, I do understand that the incidents I encountered were minor compared to some. I’m not seeking for any pity but I would like to use my platform to share my experience relating to racism/taboo topics. I wanted to highlight the effect of racism and how damaging it is to society.

A majority of the people I met and went to school with didn’t see a problem with my race. Particularly because there were other ethnic minorities too. They looked beyond our colour and knew that my race didn’t determine my personality. They were kind and open-mined. Ironically enough, it was the minority that couldn’t. It was somewhat funny for them to point out the obvious. And in my head I’d retaliate, YES, I AM ASIAN. I AM FULLY AWARE OF THAT. NO, NI HAO IS NOT HOW WE SAY HELLO IN OUR COUNTRY. YES, MY EYES ARE SMALLER THAN YOURS. 


They didn’t insult my height, my nose or my personality. They chose to insult the colour of my skin. They didn’t perceive it as normal and found that it was a laughable matter.


(Of course, I handle these situations better now that I’m an adult and I’ve accepted that there will never be a logical explanation why people choose to be racist. Although, a much younger version of me would have thought differently...)

As I got older, the racism continued. I began to question “What’s wrong with being Asian?”, “Why would they say these things to me?”, “Why were these people looking? Is it because I’m different? Perhaps they’re not used to seeing people like me… but what does ‘like me’ even mean? Asian? Non-white? Am I abnormal?” 

From that point, my mind-set took a sour turn. I became insecure about my race and looking back, it was extremely wrong to feel like that. I shouldn't have felt ashamed about where I came from, it's what made me different. But as a young teenager, I didn’t know any better and the fact that certain individuals used my race and vulgar language in the same sentence convinced me that there was something wrong with being Asian. 
So, I tried to act as ‘white’ as possible and I remember thinking ‘I wish I was white, maybe my life would be easier' because my white friends didn't receive the same treatment that I did, nobody insulted their colour or race. 

Since moving to London and sharing these stories with my flat-mates, it was interesting for them to hear. Because essentially, racism wasn’t an issue they personally went through. Given that London is so culturally diverse, there isn’t a dominant race. And there’s a sense of comfort in knowing that being different is the norm here. If you walk down any street, you'll come across multiple individuals from different countries; that's the beauty of London. 
Fortunately, I haven't experienced any sort of racism for the three years that I’ve lived here. I can go anywhere without being self-conscious about how I was going to be the only Asian one on the bus. Yet, as soon as I step foot in that welsh town, racist slurs are inevitable. Nevertheless, it remains my first home. 



How does this outfit post relate to any of this? You may ask. These trousers are bold and colourful, much like the UK population today in terms of its diversity. Particularly with colour. It’s a daring mixture of colours people fear to combine, yet when they’re aligned it produces a beautiful combination that works well together. If we eliminate racism and embrace the beauty of diversity, we as a society can work well together. Without team-work, there is no progression and society cannot evolve. We need cultural diversity. In fact we're surrounded by it with the clothes we wear and the food we eat. How boring would it be without it?!




So, racial slurs or comments like “These immigrants taking our jobs” derive from nothing but ignorance. There is no truth to it. How do I know this? My parents haven’t taken a dime from the government. Their whole lives were spent contributing towards the production of a business or saving someone’s life. You cannot attribute laziness and benefit scroungers to a particular race. This is just one of the many racist statements I've witnessed. I therefore, beg that you educate yourself on the matter.

Sadly, the racism continues… from when I was 10 years old playing in the streets with my neighbours, in year 9 at secondary school, to now when I walk down the street.




Racism exists in everywhere. Even though there's absolutely nothing wrong with being black, white, brown, green, pink, yellow. Etc. 


“Laundry is the only thing that should be separated by colour”


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9 comments

  1. Well said! But racism is a matter that will never change! There will always be someone out there! But the good part is majority of people are much kinder and open minded!

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  2. Damn Micah, that hit a nerve. Preach it! I can't I've ever been personally victimised unless it was a "joke" by really good friends etc but I am from London but I do feel these certain things when I'm in particular places... can't believe you had to go through such things and I'm so happy that you've shared your story! Love the quote at the end as well, very true!

    Jessica | foodandbaker.co.uk / foodandbakertravels.co.uk

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    1. Thank you so much! our little chat the other day in Nando's got me thinking 'I really need to post and to make this blog my own' so I owe it to you. Exactly, it's that sense of discomfort. I'm sure not everyone thinks there's something wrong with different cultures, perhaps they're just curious as they were raised around one culture.

      Sending you guys love! I applaud you for having the time to read/comment AND blog about your travels! <3

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  3. A lot of times people don't even know they're being racist and are often ignorant. Of course that's no excuse but don't you think there is a beauty in being different. There's no uniqueness to being the same to everyone else. They were probably jealous of your tan skin tone and your authentic Asian roots!

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    1. That's right, it's partly down to education. Sadly, the media can distort peoples opinions on certain cultures and so, I genuinely believe that schools should highlight the diversity of cultures that exist today. Perhaps then, people will grow to respect these cultures.

      Haha, you're so nice! It's experiences like this that make me realise how proud I am to be from the Philippines and my skin tone. Thanks Lizzie xx

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  4. I really enjoyed reading this Micah, thank you for sharing!

    I can relate to you in so many ways - sadly, racism is still alive and well to this day. It shocks me when I hear/read stories like this because when I go to really diverse environments i.e. University campus, London and recently NYC all I see us is being surrounded by a bunch of interesting mix of people who enrich our lives!

    I'm sorry to hear that you have gone through racist remarks and comments growing up. I have had the same experience growing up myself - my parents moved to a neighbourhood in Sheffield that is predominately a "whiter" population to other neighbourhoods because it is so close to my school. They had the best intentions for my siblings and I to grow up in the better side of Sheffield and go to the top school in the city! However, I still experienced racism walking to school everyday with my school being predominately (surprise surprise) white. I remember being attacked when it was snowy at school by a group of white boys from Sixth Form. At first I thought they were just throwing snowballs at me (like they do with everyone else) but I noticed that they all sort of huddled around me as I was walking home, I was still doing my GCSEs at the time so I was a lot younger to them. I remember them shouting "go back home chink" "why are you so brown" and I remember one of them corrected the other and said I was actually Filipino and they were like "you think you're smarter than us? you're never gonna be smarter. You're stupid. Filipinos are stupid dumb monkeys" I hated it so much.

    Another incident was in a class I had where a boy shouted in a silent room, "Pauline needs to open her eyes. Can she even see anything?"

    At that age, I thought there was something wrong with ME. I remember going home and looking at myself in the mirror, asking myself, "Why am I brown? Why are my eyes shaped like this? (I remember trying not to smile because it makes my eyes smaller???) Why do I look so weird???" I too thought it would be easier if I was white and desperately tried to "be white" i.e. staying away from the sun, forgetting values and tradition I had from my parents to embrace the "white culture" I soon realised as I grew up that this wasn't the thing to do because I wasn't happy at all.

    Now, I deal with racism differently. I don't get upset about myself because it's nothing to do with me. It's their own insecurity.

    I hate hearing "these immigrants are stealing our jobs" no they're fucking not. Like you said, these people who say this are usually the ones who can't get up from their own backside to go through the grind. Disgusting.

    Thanks for sharing your experience Micah, really interesting read. I hope that one day we won't have this segregation, instead, we will all be holding hands embracing each other's differences with love and respect.

    I LOVE the statement you boldly put out there with your trousers. I AM LIVING. This look is one of my faves so far!

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    1. Hi Pauline, thank you for commenting.

      Upon reading your stories, I'm honestly heartbroken at what you had to go through. It can be traumatising for a child to go through such bullying, especially because we're still discovering self-love and confidence. And like you said, the taunts and their hurtful words tend to stick. I just pray that they think differently and grew up from this. I hope that they regret it and acknowledge that what they said and did was wrong.

      I really loved your story Pauline, I'm so happy you don't let them get to you. And exactly, "the bitterness is their burden" seeing as they're insulting us based on something we're unable to change. If we can't change it - it's irrelevant to us.

      Thank you so much sweetheart! Please keep inspiring us all with your drive and motivation <3

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  5. Very true Micah. Racism is Real! I used my negative experience to turn into a positive one and expose this evil to the masses. For full details. Google Search: Clive Henry UPS

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    1. It sadly is in todays society. Due to politics and recent tragedies its only now we're able to understand the significance and impact of racism! I'll definitely check it out. Thank you for commenting :)

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