Apathy About Politics Is A Privilege Many Of Us Don't Have (354/365)

So, this is the post about everyone who says they don’t pay attention to politics because they can’t be bothered, or that it doesn’t effect them – not only are these statements seeping in pure privilege but they’re also infuriating. To ignore politics because of these reasons means you honestly don’t care about other people, you don’t give a shit about how right wing governments impact minorities, the poor, the ethnic minorities, the women, the disabled, the LGBT+ community – you just don’t care.

Apathy is the absence of any emotion towards a topic, so to be apathetic about politics means that you don’t care. Which essentially means they don’t care about anyone who isn’t them.

That level of apathy is honestly scary to me, because people like this either don’t vote, don’t care or vote for right wing people because they think it’s the easiest way to vote. To vote for the many would be to pay attention to the struggles of everyone, and that would require too much emotion for people like this… It boils my blood because when people make these statements it doesn’t come from a place of wanting to learn, or even just plain ignorance, it comes from a place of rejection.

Ignorant people can be taught, people who reject our struggles are a different monster to battle. They’re like the final boss battle that has three stages and on the last stage your character falls into a pit and your only way of surviving is through running away and getting stronger – and not all of us have the energy to gather the strength to fight them again. Some of us want to rage quit, take our time or use a cheat code and you can’t always do these things in real life.

This post isn’t really going to be long because… the more I write about this, the more upset I get. I’m just not apathetic when it comes to anything political, I’m a part of way too many minority groups to even consider not paying attention to what is happening in the world. The right wing are in high positions in many governments and Muslims across Asia are being targeted and murdered… don’t even get me started on all of the news that isn’t broadcasted about any African nation.

I Went to My First Film Festival and the Racists Had me Shook (124/365)

I’ve always been someone who loves film, I studied film studies (which led to years of pretentious fuckery), I go to the cinema whenever I can and generally love talking to people about films. One thing I’d never done was go to an actual film festival and be around people who also love film – let me tell you this was a strange experience.

I went to the viewing of a brilliant film called Woman at War, which follows a woman in Icelands journey as an environmental activist who makes many direct attacks on the government. The use of music in the film is what makes it stand out – but this isn’t a film review sadly. One thing that concerned me was the blatant racism shown by the audience.

I initially learnt that film festivals tend to have a certain demographic, and it’s old white people. Part of it is because it isn’t advertised to younger generations and it’s just not accessible to working class people at all. Now, I honestly didn’t think the audience would make such an impact on me – but they did, and it was fucked up.

Woman at War is a film that is a social commentary on everything from feminism to issues of race in Iceland. The way it explores racism is through a South American tourist, who is obviously brown and has the worst luck known to man. Whenever Hella (the main protagonist) commits a crime, he is there, and he gets stopped by the police multiple times.

Every-time it happened in the film, the audience laughed. Some of them couldn’t stop laughing, it was so disgusting I was about to start a fight. The reason the laughter offended me is because this is a real issue, police tend to target ethnic minorities without proof, or evidence, they just assume more melanin means more crime. So to listen to a white audience just laugh at it pissed me off. They will never experience these issues, so how dare they have the nerve to laugh at it. It’s not a joke, this shit actually happens.

Small example, Birmingham is currently under section 16 which allows the police to randomly stop and search people without any real reason to. It’s in response to the high rates of knife crime, so I understand the need for it, but the police are racist. Within a few days of it being introduced my 18 year old brother was stop and searched very roughly, whilst also being handcuffed. Not only is he the least likely to ever commit a crime (he snitches on his siblings daily) but he’s also autistic, so honestly the fact that they rough handled him is disgusting. Do you know why they did it – because he’s black. We as a family made the mistake of forgetting to have the conversation about how to navigate the police as a black boy when he was younger – but the fact that this is a conversation we have to have is disgusting and it’s the world we live in today.

Back to the racists at the film festival.

So initially I thought that the film itself was making a mockery of racism because of the audiences response, my friend told me afterwards that it wasn’t the film, it was the people. And that this always happens. Less than a day after I made a rant on Instagram, and got a response from a friend who also experienced the same thing.

Sometimes we forget racism is a thing, and this hit me like a brick.

How To: Be a Good Minority (92/365)

Growing up as an ethnic minority is a weird experience, you’re firstly thrown into a society that see’s you as ‘less than’ or as an ‘other’. In that same society, they somehow expect you to cater to the thoughts, feelings and emotions of the majority, and work to really ignore all of the racism, sexism and every ‘ism’ that exists. You learn how to make yourself palatable and smaller, so that you don’t face any backlash. Heaven forbid you are seen as an angry ethnic, or one that doesn’t assimilate to the status quo.

In order to be given half of the respect and opportunities as the majority, we have to work twice as hard, and be ten times more friendly and non threatening. So here’s a helpful guide on how to be a ‘good minority’.

NEVER DISCUSS RACE

In order to be the model minority, you can never discuss race, racism or anything controversial. You have to pretend we live in a world where a racial harmony now exists, since racism was is a past issue that no longer effects anyone.

DON’T SPEAK YOUR LANGUAGE

Sometimes when people don’t understand what you’re saying, they feel threatened by it. They feel like you’re speaking badly about them, and in turn might take this as an insult. So, to avoid this, always speak the language of the status quo, and forgo your mother tongue.

WEAR THE CLOTHING OF THE MAJORITY

Just like language, different clothing can make people remember that different races and ethnicities exist. It’s best to avoid this, and assimilate to the clothing of the majority ethnic group.

ANSWER ALL THEIR WEIRD QUESTIONS WITH A SMILE

When someone asks ‘why is your hair curly?’ ‘why is your skin brown?’, or other questions of this nature, just smile politely and answer it as if it’s not the stupidest thing you’ve ever heard in the world. The aim of the game is to make everyone feel comfortable, even when they look at you like you’re a zoo animal, or exotic.

IGNORE EVERY RACIST REMARK/LAUGH ALONG WITH THEIR JOKES

We must remember that we’re in a post racial society, we don’t see colour anymore, and because of this we can laugh at their racist jokes. Never challenge people on what they’re saying, otherwise you might come across as sensitive or even sassy, just nod along, laugh, and even join in. The more enthusiastic you come across, the more comfortable they feel. COMFORT OF THE MAJORITY IS EVERYTHING.

Essentially the job of the good minority is to make the majority feel comfortable, so they can enjoy this post racial utopia. If you dare hurt their feelings or heaven forbid make them feel like they’re racist, you will be outcasted as a difficult minority. So remember to be palatable, safe, polite and approachable!