“Go home if you don’t like it! Ungrateful bastards”
I’m not the only one to have pondered these words with feelings of bitterness and mild amusement.
My home is in the middle of my street off the middle of another street in a rundown part of Birmingham in the UK.
When I was a child I didn’t want to go home because I didn’t feel I belonged there. I preferred the ways of my sandy haired classmates.
I wanted to wear little shorts. And angel wings.
Have my dark hair cut into a sleek little bob.
I didn’t like it anywhere.
I decided one day, aged 6 that my name would only have one syllable from this point on.
My name is Sam, I asserted in a tone that left no room for debate.
“Sammy Circuit!” My siblings would tease, likening me to the robot Johnny 5 who thought he was alive.
But I didn’t care. I liked playing with my best friend Tammy’s blonde hair (and our names almost rhymed)
Together we’d swoon over karate kid Jamil in year 6.
It was our little secret but for different reasons, personal to each of us in our own way.
Tammy didn’t want to be teased for her blossoming youth, as loud as she was, she was also shy.
I didn’t want my parents to find out or anyone at home if we’re stating the facts.
Who knew the consequences of entertaining any thoughts of the opposite sex? It wasn’t a boundary I was willing to cross.
I had the marks from the last time I hadn’t successfully predicted the mood of one of my caregivers (and they were many). Consistently inconsistent is how I proudly recall that stage of my life.
As long as I spoke perfect English and ate ham when no one was looking, my life outside my home was definitely preferable and I jumped those hoops willingly for as much approval as I could muster.
I noticed that some people had it worse than others but not me, no, I’ve never experienced it directly, is what I told potential new white friends. I’m not like the others, I meant.
They nodded. Mm, you’re not like the others, you make the effort to fit in. They could at least wear very little, like you. And what’s the beef with a little pig?
I dunno. I got out as fast as I can. I was looking for a proper home. I haven’t found it yet but I will definitely let you know when I’m in it.
The 10 day visit to Pakistan to bury my gran was enough proof that I didn’t have a home there either (although there were many houses to live in).
The locals, they could tell we were different even though we fluently spoke the native tongue. They called us the English princesses.
The textile man was charging 500 rupees instead of 50.
The hoops, they got smaller and higher, the will to carry on was laden with heavyweights dragging me down.
“Where are you from? No, where are you really from? Ok, well, where are your parents from? What about your grandparents then?”
(What? All four of them? You really need to know that about me huh? Why don’t you just take a swab and have it analysed?)
“Once you go brown, you don’t go back”
“You’re my first Asian!”
“Now you’re on the white side, you’re alright”
“This is my fucking country (more than yours even though you’ve lived here your whole life)”
“There’s a brown girl in the room blah blah blah”
“Is it true brown men have tiny cocks?”
I realised that I would lose out whether I stuck up for myself or did not but one of those ways would teach me self-respect and my worth.
What do you mean I’m not like all the others? Am I not the daughter of immigrants? Is my skin not what you have deemed brown?
Oh I have a Western attitude. What is that exactly? Oh I drink beer and wear dresses. Am I Manic Pixie Indian Princess enough for you? Would it help if I plait my hair and slapped on a bindhi?
What, now I have an attitude attitude? But you started it.
The margins, they’re like [this wide] and my heart, it’s MUCH BIGGER than that. Huge, in fact.
It can love people whatever colour they are, whether they have a religion or do not believe.
It even loves some white people. Just not the ones who don’t listen and maintain the kyriarchy.
As a footnote, I wish I’d known all of this before I was born. I would have picked different coordinates.
Originally posted on Pride's Purge:
(not satire – it’s the UKIP!)
The so-called libertarian party UKIP have been informing the police of anyone who posts things about them they don’t like on the internet.
They are also threatening to sue anyone who uses their logo without their permission.
So much for their supposed support of freedom of speech.
So probably best not to post this anywhere on the internet then:
Read more from Another Angry Voice blog:
And from Axe of Reason blog:
Please feel free to comment. And share. If you dare:
“Sorry, I know it is really terrible and fucked up that so many people got arrested yesterday, but please don’t compare this police response to the rise of Nazism or make lazy claims of ‘creeping fascism’. It’s offensive, shows a complete misunderstanding of what ‘fascism’ is, and totally disorients any opposition to racism or police aggression.”
A person, presumably a white male (based on the information I was able to glean) said this about a piece I wrote regarding my fears that fascism was on the rise in Great Britain last year when the far right mobilised in response to the murder of Lee Rigby. My fears felt real, I wasn’t being sensationalist to bring in the readers; I had been at a demo (the last of many) where white supremacists were given the time and space to spout their hateful ideology, bringing terror to the people of the area they targeted; Tower Hamlets (whilst multicultural it is known for its large Bangladeshi community). The police responded violently to the people attempting to protect the area, not the fascists who were being abusive in their language and threats to kill. 286 comrades were arrested that day; among them innocent members of the public who were not permitted to protest their innocence, they were kettled and led onto waiting buses, their hands bound together with cable ties. To me, the horror of went down that day (bail conditions forbidding any contact between arrestees and any right wing fascist group within the M25) felt like the beginnings of a regime where powers could be made up on the spot and this was a frightening thought when remembering the past. It’s a slippery slope right?
There was also the time (almost a year ago in fact, 22nd June) this friendly fella took objection to my white best friend slapping a white man on a packed bus for calling me a Paki. This one slap was (apparently) the beginning of the end of all white male supremacists and my friend and I deserved to be harassed and slandered for daring to defend ourselves. Nobody seemed to care about the sexual harassment that led to us telling these two entitled menz to back off (politely at first), nor the toxic shaming racist abuse they subjected us to. No, WE had gone too far this time. I knew at the time this was in fact the beginning of unchallenged casual racism.
I tried to report someone to the police for openly gloating about a racist attack on a mosque but I was silenced when they assumed my motivation was my religion. Being an atheist I refused to engage with people who were already racially profiling me. If the case had ever gone to court one search on Google would reveal Helen Lewis’ lies about me. I felt exposed and manipulated but I wasn’t to complain cos that meant I was self-obsessed and only after a meeja deal. I even wrote this to explain how vulnerable I was feeling.
The Left has systematically shut down the voices that challenge their very problematic beliefs (for lefties they are incredibly bigoted). This means most women of colour, women like me (anyone who is not white and wealthy actually). When I challenged them I was silenced and ridiculed and then thrown to the White Knights of Twitter who have called me every dirty paki bitch under the sun. People like Graham Linehan made this ok. His response to racist abuse against me was to mock me, not once acknowledging the words “paki” or “cunt” but instead fighting for the honour of that other model of white supremacist feminism, Caitlin Moran. Academics like Becca Reilly Cooper accused us of doing it for the kudos and ruining The Left but didn’t see the irony in her very right wing threats to sue anyone who utters her name (come at me).
(Have you noticed how white everybody is yet?)
The line between The Left and the Stupid Right was blurred even more when Louise Mensch got involved. There was no difference in how I was targeted by either side. The same patterns emerged; often these people mention my name but block me before I can challenge them. Their intention is the same; to silence me with outright racist, sexist, ableist abuse from the white majority of this land. I said last year that all of their actions were structurally racist; that you don’t need to say the Paki word to be racist. The very least I expected from people on this side of the political fence was to be heard. They could have told me I was wrong and I might even have listened but they never had any intention of living by their socialist ideas, they really are just pretending to be something because it’s trendy. They’re like political hipsters.
(Reminder: Helen Lewis was on a Channel4 news piece suggesting that the abuse WOC receive is down to class and not race. Wish someone had thought to ask a WOC that question)
Of course I hope I am wrong here but when future generations ask how it was possible that so many non-white people were terrorised and murdered by the English (this century), the answer will be the same as it was for Nazi Germany. The liberals and lefties let it happen. They allowed for the kind of rhetoric that othered anyone who was not able, wealthy and white. They lied about why it was happening; it’s not class war, Helen, it’s white supremacy.
..It’s the kind of white supremacy that speaks to white women about issues that affect non-white women in hijabs, not considering that they may be the experts here on account of living it. You don’t need to be a *something* to have an opinion ok?
..It’s because they abandoned anti-fascist actions at a time when the fascist right was growing exponentially.
..Or the fact they were given a platform so we knew exactly why they were hating on other humans, as if we didn’t already know.
..It’s the air time given to actual outright Nazis by the allegedly Left biased UKIP channel (sorry, BBC).
..How about the way ‘race is not a feminist issue’ (a white leftie feminist slogan)? Even though white supremacists routinely target women in attacks, pulling their clothes from them, mocking them for being ugly, hairy, mannish.
..Why would any of The Left lend support to me on the back of a few intense weeks of horrific racial bullying and death threats? Where my bank account was hacked and attempts made on my social networking accounts. Where people responded in earnest to questions posed my someone imitating me “I’m a pakigirl and I smell. Should my boyfriend dump me?” (or something) Where was the outrage for people like me?
..What about the focus on Muslims/Jews cruelly murdering animals when of course being bashed in the head and then having your throat sliced open is like well humane? Of course this issue needs to be drummed home by the BBC who couldn’t give the NHS the same attention but y’know, leftie bias.
..There was the time white feminism focused on sex selective abortions (a non-white problem apparently) which deserved our attention more than the sex selective IVF favoured in the west. Not racist though right? Not about denying non-white women the rights to their own reproductive health. Pro-choice but only for white ladies.
..Rape, right, it’s an Indian problem. Maybe it happens in The Congo too. But it definitely doesn’t happen in the same way here. Our rapists just aren’t as rapey as the non-white ones. The Asians, they even prey on young girls, like their prophet. Jimmy Saville just wasn’t as dedicated as the grooming gangs of Bradford.
..There are good immigrants and there are bad immigrants, right? If you jump through enough hoops (a 70hr working week (for no pay), making personal contributions into the system without indefinite leave to remain or any of the rights that affords a citizen, eyes cast downwards at all times, especially when there is a white person passing) then someone might pick you as their token Asian pet. This privilege may be whisked from underneath your feet at a minutes notice though. Don’t start getting uppity; know your place in this structure.
We’re expected to take all of this without objection. We’re to accept the unspoken notion that no part of this land (or the lands stolen from us) belongs to us, that we are not entitled to the same level of basic respect and recognition of human rights because we’re not descended from Vikings. We are expected to live with the constant fear of displacement (because we’re not worthy)? Our allies and comrades said and did all of these things. Farage and the other Nazis are just bolstered by the general support of white English people regardless of their claimed political allegiances. Theresa May now has powers to strip British citizens of their citizenship if they so much as suspect terrorism. But.. They already suspect every non-white person of this. How on earth was this bill allowed to pass without so much of a fanfare from the leftie press? Could it be perhaps because the leftie press is focused on dehumanising and othering groups of people they do not like? Trans women for example?
Nazi Germany happened because the Germans were concerned only with themselves. Under the guise of socialism (alarm bells) they convinced an entire nation that the Jews were vermin. Just like our socialists have been doing this past year about us. It was as Pastor Niemoller said.
We would all do well to remember the past because if we forget, we are doomed to repeat it.
*This is how and why
In the last couple of weeks my online security has been compromised in various ways. I’ve had to reset my email and social networking passwords and now I am waiting for the bank to receive details of two transactions on my account I definitely did not make, £32 for ‘Guardian Soulmates’ and £174 that is as yet unaccounted for. This payment was made on the 26th April, the day the police came to take my statement regarding online death threats.
I might be paranoid. But this doesn’t excuse the fact that I am under attack. There’s a pattern to the abuse; whoever it is seems obsessed with my sexual relationships (Guardian Soulmates?)
Now I’ve dealt with severe harassment online for a couple of years. I have had every death/rape threat/slur a disabled woman of colour can expect for being vocal. I refuse to be silenced though and it is because of this I am being targeted by increasingly more personal attacks on my online identity.
£200+ may not seem like a lot of money to some but that’s a huge chunk of the money I have been saving so that I can find somewhere to live. I was already struggling to find somewhere within budget but now I’m well and truly fucked.
I’ve got a month to leave my current residence before one of my historical abusers returns to take his share of my grandparent’s house, the house I grew up in. I’ve been candid about this online and I believe whoever took this money knows this.
What kind of sick unlovable bastard does this? A racist, sexist, transphobic misogynist of course. It is telling that another woman of colour and also a trans sister have been targeted in a similar fashion around the same time. Perhaps by raising awareness of our predicament others may feel safer coming forward? I know that I thought I was alone until I disclosed online.
Online bullying is dangerous and I know all too well how it can make one feel near suicidal. It can have a direct and unprecedented effect on your actual life. It is because of this that I need to ask for your help. There is no obligation but a donation might go some way to relieving the stress I am feeling regarding my stolen funds and housing situation. The bank cannot dispute the transactions until they show in my account and this won’t happen for at least another week.
If you are able to give, please click on the ‘donate’ button in the right hand margin.
Your support (monetary or otherwise) is greatly appreciated. Thank you.
*Where’s the #TwitterSilence for me? What is The Left and why is it relevant to anyone other than the white middle classes?
Socialism is a joke.
(You can stop giving. Thank you so much to everyone for your support)
“It’s not about you Sam, stop being such a princess. Why don’t you just shut the fuck up and think about someone else for a change? Well, if you really were a feminist you’d be thinking about the greater good not just your own problems all the freakin’ time..”
I’d like to be the magnanimous diplomat you’d all prefer me to be. I would like to focus my energies on changing policy, make changes from the top down but that was never going to happen was it? Not with my turbulent past and the colour of my skin. Sorry, what? You’ve seen Europeans with darker skin than me? You think I have light skin privilege? Where have you been my whole life?! I WISH you’d been around when I got called a Paki recently, if only you’d been there to set them straight. You could have shadowed me at school and that job where the platinum blonde admin assistant serenaded me with “there’s a brown girl in the room” whenever I walked in. You could have corrected her “it’s beige, blonde admin girl” but you weren’t there so you know.
I joined Twitter for social justice. In the beginning I was so afraid of racism; I would actually mute monitoring accounts when they were RT’d into my timeline. It was too much, too close to the bone. I started tweeting about feminism and was a little shocked at the level of abuse I encountered but I had the support of my feminist sisters, acting as shock absorbers, sharing the load.
One day however, perhaps because I was beginning to challenge the inconsistencies within our movement, feminism turned its back on me. I was abandoned. Why? Well, racism, of course. Prominent white feminists like Caroline Criado Perez excused their friends for using problematic language and denied that it had anything to do with race. Of course we know now that we were right but those feminists are now outside of our reach. They have the support of the newspapers, the authorities and politicians. People like Helen Lewis set the standard for the sort of abuse I would be subjected to; all white men with the odd white woman (white feminists generally have white men do their dirty work for them) and token black person for ‘balance’. She lied about me and white people everywhere (including those gullible skeptics) believed her because she is white, nothing more or less. You don’t have to call me a Paki in order to be racist, you can just use your power to silence me and leave me open to attack which you did, Helen. I’m not holding out for an apology anymore, this enmity runs far too deep for me now.
Then you have the politicians accustomed to bending the truth for personal gain. Perhaps Louise Mensch had the best of intentions.. No, scratch that, that sentence doesn’t even make sense. Employing the fullstop at the start of her tweet she channelled increasingly more abusive racists to my online spaces and yet has not, even once, responded personally to a single tweet from me. Her intentions were not to understand or defend or debate but to flame the white knights of Twitter into defending her honour which they did. Nobody batted an eyelid. None of the supposed comrades of mine on the mythical ‘Left’. No, in this instance a white woman takes priority over any seen to be doing socialist intentions on the part of the white middle classes.
I refused to be labelled in any way that allies me with any of these people anymore. I am not an anarchist, socialist, leftie, feminist. I cannot subscribe to an ideology that is untruthful in its very foundations; the trendsetters, the commentariat; the academics seem to have abandoned the kind of person socialism seeks to support. I am not white, I am working class, I am a woman with disabilities; mental and physical and yet I am completely on my own. Social support is not extended to attention seekers like me. I hasten to add I have been pleasantly surprised by the support extended to me by some white feminists. People I have preciously launched myself at who actually do understand what it means to prevent violence against women. I’d like to acknowledge that support and the women extending it; @planetcath and @drlangtrygirl
(I will never do this for the point scoring Cathy Brennan because she actively encourages traumatised people to self-harm and suicide – some women really are just complete bastards)
However, I am keen to point out where I have been deserted in this recent wave of abuse. I initially made a report to Twitter regarding an account that was clearly transphobic. I learnt from friends that they were already aware of the account and had tried unsuccessfully to have it suspended. When I approached Twitter about it, the account in question @TrixiiSabine used an argument between myself and my real life best friend to illustrate the point that “you can’t be friends with a Paki”. I think we’re in agreement that this is racially abusive. I think we all know that racist abuse is an arrestable offence. So what did Twitter do about it? Nothing. They still haven’t responded to me on any of this. Not even when I tweeted them to let them know I had been in contact with the police who were baffled as to why it had been ignored when it’s a clear breach of their terms and conditions and ILLEGAL.
I asked these questions before and I’m going there again. Is it because I am brown? If it’s not that, and maybe it’s because you think I am stupid, why so bothered by my opinions? All I’ve ever asked for is justice, so that we are all considered human and afforded the same basic respect regardless of fanbase or identity. I’ve asked for you to understand how your privileges have given you opportunities I would have been so much more grateful for, things y’all seem to take for granted. In doing this however, I left myself wide open to abuse.
I’ve had to deal with it all by myself and it’s just not on.
Disgusted, of British Asian origin.
I’ve been tweeting at Twitter for more than 24hrs to remove the account in the first screenshot with no success.
This account has been functioning for quite some time and it is our belief it was set up to harass and intimidate one of our friends.
When I became aware of them I asked Twitter to suspend the account for transphobia. The person behind the account tweeted those words about me, taking advantage of a disagreement between me and a real life friend.
24 hours I’ve been tweeting, as have many of my supporters and nothing from Twitter.
The other tweets, the death threats, those were aimed at me for telling a friend that she could report the death threats leveled at her, to the police and if they were taken seriously, as was the case for Caroline Criado Perez, then they were looking at jail time. So how did they respond? As if they knew it didn’t matter.
I was surprised to see the most recent perpetrators were swiftly suspended yet the account that called me a Paki yesterday shows as an ‘internal server error’. This leads me to believe Twitter has not deleted the account, but the user has suspended to lay low perhaps?
Well, I’m doing what I am always advising others not to do because there clearly is no alternative; I have reported these threats to kill to the police.
I’ll let you know how I get on.
Update: Wishing bigots would just die is not the same as white men routinely threatening to rape/kill me Cathy. But nice of you to clarify your position.