You ever have a conversation where you’re discussing race and you feel like the people around you are finally getting why racism is still an issue today, and then it hits you. The statement you’ve heard many times, the statement you dread, the statement that makes you want to react..
“But racism isn’t as bad as it used to be..”
They then go on about how it used to be, the killings, the hangings, the open actions of the KKK.. and you’re left there dumbfounded.
Sometimes I sit there and go back to my vivid memories of being shouted at and told to ‘go back to my country’ but groups of white boys, the time I was really afraid was when they said this and I was on my own. I also flashback to the many many experiences of racism I dealt with at the hands of South Asian people.. being called a nigger, being told I was going to hell for being black (Islamic school was fun). Having my blackness equated to being an outsider, to being ugly, to being an other…
Then the flashbacks to every news article about young people being murdered by the police because the police are trained to kill young people of colour. When the riots happened in 2011 and my brother was in London, me and my mum were constantly trying to call him to tell him to stay inside, not because of the riots themselves – we were scared of how the police would react to a teenage boy.
So back to the conversation that’s about to happen, I used to actively fight back against people’s idea that we live in a post-racial society, and really try to drill it in their head that racism is still a thing – it’s just not as outspoken anymore.
Thinking back that’s a fucking lie, it’s still out there, it’s just drowned in social medias coverage of the Kardashians. Look at every single anti immigration protest, the publics decision to ignore every crisis in the eastern world and all the horrificly racist things our people in government say about people of colour. In England just look at the backlog of Islamophobic things Borris Johnson has openly said, and then realise that’s only the stuff thats been covered in the open.
Now when people try to tell me racism isn’t a thing anymore I either brush it under the rug, or calmy try to tell them they’re wrong. But in all honesty I’ve lost the will to have this conversation with people anymore, because if they’re stupid enough to believe it, they’re either ignorant or aren’t in a position to ever empathise with us.