Hello all, so today I’m here to talk about the harsh realities of racism and underlying racist notions in this here Great Britain.
White privilege is an absence of the consequences of racism. An absence of structural discrimination, an absence of your race being viewed as a problem first and foremost.Reni Eddo Lodge
I am here specifically to discuss to sheer ignorance some exhibit in response to claims of racism whether it be in the media, online or in real life. I want to make you aware of the fact that just because racial attacks may not be as overt compared to other countries, doesn’t mean that there isn’t racism in the UK. I also want to let it be known that this notion that the UK is the least racist country needs to go back to the pits of hell where it came from. Anyone who shares this sentiment should go and find some shame because how is this something to use as a rebuttal towards claims of racism? This statement actually acknowledges that racism does occur but just not as much as other nations.
Firstly, I want to point out the importance of acknowledging racism across the board instead of identifying racism against a select population. During the election period, my guy Jeremy Corbyn was being berated in This Morning to apologise for antisemitism within the Labour Party (which he has done on numerous occasions) yet we’re seen to be coddling Boris Johnson who has openly been racist, islamophobic, sexist, homophobic and this is the man that has been elected at the Prime Minister? The ghetto.
Secondly, I find it funny that defensive people get when a black person or any ethnic minority for that matter calls out the UK for racism and the UK’s dark colonial history. For example, an interview with Stormzy for the Italian paper La Repubblica was completely and irresponsibly misconstrued by big big ITV when he responded to being asked is Britain still racist. The guardians of imperialism thought that it was okay to make references to the fact that Stormzy is of Ghanaian origin and that he should be grateful to live in the UK. This notion was again expressed when George the Poet chose to turn down the offer to be awarded an MBE due to the nation’s history with colonisation. This idea that one should be grateful for living in the UK is disrespectful especially because it is the UK that was involved in the looting of resources and causing discord amongst various nations in the Commonwealth. No matter how much I make it in this country, I will never forget the role the UK played in the Biafra War and ultimate genocide of my people. This willful refusal to admit the atrocities of colonisation extends to the refusal to return the resources completely that were looted from the various Commonwealth nations. This was perfectly executed with the debacle involving the treasured Benin Bronzes that were taken from the Kingdom of Benin, Nigeria. The UK has suggested to LOAN the bronzes back to Benin on a temporary basis and they are not the only country in which they have offered to loan back THEIR possessions and belongings (Greece have been handed a similar offer with the Elgin Marbles). The absolute cheek to hold on to things that do not belong to you is astonishing and audacious, to say the least as if they are your property.
Thirdly, I feel like there seems to be anger to those who call out these racist views as opposed to the people using their platforms to spread them. For example, the sheer fact that for some strange reason the term “woke” is now being thrown around as an insult to those who are not afraid to speak about the racism that this “beloved great” country is built on. Get a grip! The outburst and temper tantrums thrown on Twitter towards Dave and his performance of “Black” at the Brit Awards were laughable, to say the least even going to the point of calling it racist. I guess when you can’t handle the truth or are too oblivious to open your eyes to the truth then you resort to throwing toys out of the pram. I mentioned in my post about my experience of growing up Igbo in the diaspora that it is important to be aware of all manners of your culture and country’s history the good the bad and the ugly.
Lastly, I couldn’t write this post without touching upon the media and general public on Meghan Markle. I feel like the moment she and Harry announced their engagement a target was placed on her back to get attacked from all directions. I think that people should stop being obtuse and admit that the British media plays an enormous role in perpetuating these problematic views under the guise of freedom of speech especially the detrimental attacks made during her pregnancy. Barraging a pregnant woman with such insidious headlines about her fashion choices or the way she chose to hold HER bump was flat out irresponsible; no wonder why Harry decided to take a stand and sue the lot of them. The sheer audacity of the media giving her estranged family a platform to vilify her is also very much disturbing and not normal. From when she was pregnant to the recent revelation that she and Harry are choosing to step down as royals there has been nothing but entitlement from the British public and media in an attempt to smear her and label her as an abuser and the architect of this decision. I really don’t blame the Sussexes for wanting out with the Royal Family because the UK media is quite frankly toxic (we haven’t forgotten about Danny Baker’s racist tweet comparing baby Archie to a chimp!)
So I’m essence, I want people to stop throwing around the fact that the UK is the least racist country, there is no prize for being less racist but it’s common human decency but alas some are stuck in their ways whether through naivety or blatant ignorance.
Until next time,