Perhaps by the time you read this, the story itself will have fallen into the category of old news and will no longer exist as a present thought in the minds of anyone other than those who were directly involved and affected. That does generally seem to be the nature of the beast when it comes to news and the reporting of events whether they are positive or negative. They all, sort of have their moment in the sun, some basking or having the light shone on them for a longer period of time but before too long they are shunted, forgotten or simply become irrelevant. Although this story’s time shall pass, I think the matter with which it deals is something that still bears the greatest of relevance and should be something that sticks firmly in all of our minds, so allow me a moment of your time while I share this with you.
Sunday, June 23rd, a woman on the train from Walthamstow to Chingford had to experience what I believe would be one of the most terrifying things any parent could go through. A man boarded the train and began to throw verbal abuse at her for having a mixed race child. This alone stood as a source of disappointment, irritation and anguish for me because – as many of you know – there is a small mixed race boy in my life whom I love endlessly. This little life has my heart and I have cared for and loved him before he was even born so, although I am completely aware the presence of racism is still felt in very many parts of this ball we call home, it makes me feel uncomfortable to know that this beautiful boy of mine may be the subject of such discrimination purely because he is what many consider, the product of a taboo pairing. Now, if only the story simply ended there because that is bad enough as it is; but sadly it does not.
The man followed the woman off of the train, grabbed her by the hair and dragged her to the ground before tipping over the buggy containing her 2-year-old son. This outrageous act resulted in the little boy being left with a broken collarbone and for what? For being the fruit of two merging races? I do not care whether or not you as an individual would be with a person of another race or whether or not you think it is ‘acceptable’; regardless of your feelings on the matter you have no right to persecute people for making a choice that does not fall in line with your ideals. You are not them. They are not you. Live your life and let other people live theirs. It really is that simple. This falls under the same category as belittling, looking down upon, disliking or attacking someone for being gay. Just because someone is not what you think they should be, it does not instantly make you better than them or free you up to basically employ yourself as Judge Dredd – but these things happen every day. Sometimes they are not as pronounced as this. Sometimes they are not as in your face, but they are there and they shouldn’t be. Now, I know things are not always as they ‘should’ be and that is a rather naive and simplistic ideal but I mean seriously, this is disgusting. This judgmental, self-righteous, narrow-mind-induced discrimination against people whom, for all their dissimilarities in lifestyle and appearance are just the same as us and deserve to be treated accordingly is despicable. The phrase “can’t we all just get along?” comes to mind in a jovial sort of way but there is something very serious about that question and something to be yearned for because, why can’t we all just get along? Why is it so difficult to accept difference? I know it is not something everyone has a problem with and for the most part we do get along and co-exist pretty well but there are still individuals and groups of individuals who seem incapable of doing so. It sounds contradictory to say because it does take all kinds to make this world and it is the variety that makes life such an interesting gift to have and there is a balancing force for everything but still…it is ’2013,’ people. At this point shouldn’t our social, cultural, racial and mental maturity be of a level where we do not have to endure or witness such acts of depravity?
Racism is everywhere. Racism is still alive. Actually, let’s face it, racism never ceased to exist. The more mainstream versions of racism have calmed down a fair amount but racism has never been laid to rest and the simple fact is it likely never will. This however is bigger than just racism. It is discrimination based on an unwarranted and altogether unnecessary presence of arrogance and ignorance. You are you and while you are free to be who you are, who you are should never conflict with the right another person has to be who they are. People certainly should not have to worry about being looked down upon, attacked or have their children attacked because they are not what another person finds acceptable. Diversity, difference, variety – these are some of the most fantastic and fascinating things about life. These are things that should be embraced and celebrated. Some people are different from you. Get over it.
Persecution based on things people cannot control is just…I don’t know…for lack of a better way of putting it, it’s just…stupid. It is stupid and ridiculous and utterly unacceptable. It is not my intention to stand here and preach or talk down to or at people but things like this should not happen. Surely we all know that…right?