Fuck Twitter to Death

I’ve been locked out of my account for tweeting this

Someone, probably a Nazi virgin, reported my tweet

The irony of punishing someone for alleged suicidal ideation is flabbergasting. Twitter is happy to keep Nazi incels like @NZealandCaesar online but don’t complain about not getting adequate support in the fight against Nazis. Don’t feel hopeless or express existential angst arising in response to the problem of Nazis.

They want me to input my phone number so they can associate my account with identifiable information. I don’t think I’m going to do that. Twitter Nazis have assisted incels today, they’ve played their sick little Nazi games and they’ve won.

I’m still reporting them to the police. Still taking a lawyer with me. Still gonna see how I can make GDPR live up to its hype. The fight against Nazis only intensified.

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Neutralising The Nazi Incel Threat

For more than a week, Nazi Incels (proud white supremacists who can’t seem to get laid) have been stalking my social media profiles, trawling for information that will reveal my location for the purpose of racist and sexual violence.

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That threat came fairly early on. They had hoped that it would scare me into closing/locking down my accounts because the intention is to silence women, especially of colour, because nazis don’t like it when women speak back, never mind minorities. I stopped reading it after a while, there are only so many threats one’s brain can process without feeling profoundly disturbed.

This is the admin of the site, allegedly. jm-e1527175427625.png

An anonymous account sent me this information. It could be entirely true or a ruse to get us looking in the wrong direction.

 

Kiwifarms had originally targeted me back in 2016 when a member of their forum, Mark Sabine, a lecturer at Nottingham University set up a thread in a similar vein. For reasons unbeknownst to me at the time, Sabine deleted the thread and offered an unreserved apology. I was taken aback, I hadn’t expected it to be quite so easy.

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I couldn’t understand why a troll would use their real name for a start. I’m still not convinced it’s the real Mark Sabine but it should be easy enough to ascertain with a simple email. Mark supposedly teaches queer culture yet frequents a site set up to target queer people. I guess he didn’t think anyone would fight back?

By now we all know what a nazi incel is. For those who need clarification, a nazi incel is a white supremacist who is ‘involuntarily celibate’ meaning no one will have sex with them. Instead of questioning why this might be and making an effort to better themselves they’re weaponising it. Far from being ashamed by this, they are proudly stating the case for forced marriage and promising sex abuse if this demand is not met. Their self proclaimed messiah, another supposedly educated man, Jordan Peterson with his fetish for crustacean porn has been attempting to intellectualise sex abuse with pseudo evolutionary pop psychology that has been debunked all over the internet but it doesn’t seem to have bothered them in the slightest. Imagine if non white men had made a similar statement. Imagine if the asian grooming gangs had turned around and said they were entitled to violate bodies at will and they were not sorry and they would do it again. Imagine the outrage.

Sarah Champion, disgraced Labour MP who resigned as shadow equalities minister following her entirely racist article regarding grooming gangs is awkwardly silent on the growing threat of white supremacist rapists who are emboldened by the authorities’ impasse on the single biggest threat facing women and various other marginalised groups. Selective outrage with regards to sex abusers enables rapists because racism hurts all victims of sex abuse, even white ones.

The internet is heaving with articles alerting us to the dangers of incels and the forums they have set up to avoid accountability.

The internet is enabling a community of men who want to kill women. 

‘Incel Rebellion’

The Official ‘an incel murdered somebody’ thread – Reddit

Hosts like Versaweb have been tripping over themselves to afford nazi incels anonymity when mainstream organisations have been forced to comply with their own community guidelines and take down offending posts. Versaweb  host the nazi site ‘Kiwifarms’ and as yet have failed to respond to correspondence informing them they are enabling abuse. Their silence translates as unequivocal support for nazis and the abuse they mete out to often vulnerable and marginalised targets. The collaborators and enablers, the sympathisers, what are they if not nazis themselves?

On the 25th May GDPR means organisations will need our explicit consent before sharing our data. For months now I’ve been inundated with emails begging to be allowed to continue sending me bumf I have tried to opt out of numerous times over the years. It seems to me they’re really desperate to get my permission and yet I am not confident this will have any effect on nazis stalking and harassing women on the internet. Mostly because the authorities have failed to hold anyone to account for the multiple threats to rape and kill me. However I am in the process of compiling evidence for the police, yet again. Because people have been murdered by nazis and we can shame them into action, even if they don’t personally care.

I have a group of white professionals (mostly male), some with legal backgrounds, prepared to accompany me to the local police station. It’s easy enough to fob off minorities, especially when they have mental health issues and can be harangued into breaking down and disengaging, but white people, white middle aged men, well they know their rights and they’re not averse to demanding them.

Last time I reported nazi incels to the police, in 2014, they said that they could not prove in a court of law that I was distressed or intimidated by the numerous threats to slit me from ear to ear or the images depicting rape followed by promises of the same. They went on to warn me I could be prosecuted for my use of the phrase ‘kill all men’. Well, it’s been a few years since I said those words, once I’d been reminded that my speech was not free. I haven’t responded to many threads promising violence, or the stalking and harassment of my friends and family, many of whom have deleted their online profiles. I have been a good little victim. Let’s see where that gets me.

(PS: The nazis would have had a harder job of tracking me down were it not for the abusive ex partner (also journalist) Shihab Salim Joi outing my full name a coupla years ago in a bid to slander me for exposing him as a domestically and sexually violent abuser. He set up a profile on Twitter which was eventually taken down for impersonation but not before the damage was done. Well done Shihab, for enabling nazis *slow clap* As a father of two daughters yourself, I’m sure you’re pleased with your work. All hail the entitled patriarchy, whether brown or white, they just want the freedom to abuse women and shut them up just because they can. This is usually where I say my favourite phrase but as I am censored you’ll have to imagine it instead)

If you have any information that might help, please contact me on Twitter or via the comments below.

Punish a Muslim Day is Cancelled

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You may or may not have heard about the threatening letters sent to Muslim MPs and homes across the UK calling for a day of violent attacks against Muslims. The letters, entitled ‘Punish a Muslim Day’, feature a table awarding points for violent acts such as verbally abusing a Muslim for 10 points to butchering a Muslim for 500. It goes without saying many people are feeling scared and unsure of what to do or who to turn to.

The authorities are aware of the threat and are said to be investigating but let’s be honest, can we really trust the authorities to have our back? Organisations like Tell Mama have made us aware of a whatsapp message doing the rounds which is advising Muslims to stay at home on April 3rd, the date given by the perpetrators for their hateful day of action. However Tell Mama are suggesting we treat it just like any other day, and not succumb to the fear mongering, as though we have a choice.

Just recently Mark Rowley the former assistant Met commissioner warned that National Action was proving to be an organised threat of which the likes have never been seen before and the public should be ‘gravely concerned’. He said this shortly before stepping down from his role in counter terrorism policing. This certainly fits their MO. National Action, a hate group proscribed in December of last year, are the first far right extremist group to have been banned under terror legislation. Far right white supremacist groups account for 1/3 of all the case work undertaken by the counter terrorism unit. Do we really feel safe enough to keep calm and carry on in the face of such a threat? It’s easy enough to advise people to rise above the violence promised to them if you personally feel safe under the state’s watchful eye but for many of us, we have seen firsthand how the state enables threats like these to propagate through their wilful inaction. They actively promote racial discord, citing cultural reasons as an excuse for why they didn’t do their jobs investigating abuse of white working class minors.

I reported racism a few years back and not only did the police deny any laws had been broken they went on to threaten me for my political beliefs. I hadn’t made any direct threats, just used a vague generalised statement said by many thousands of women before me, but they decided it negated the many racialised threats to kill and rape made against me. I am one of countless victims of police negligence, they are not my saviours, never mind in matters of racialised violence. It is irresponsible for any organisation to advise marginalised folk to ignore their gut instincts to protect themselves and their loved ones and throw themselves out there. These are our lives at stake, we have no sense of English superiority to bolster our confidence in the state. We aren’t here for the blitz spirit. We can’t keep calm and carry on when disgusting white males sexually assault Muslim looking women in the streets. We shouldn’t have to rise above the abuse meted out to our children. I am not too proud to admit I am frightened for my life, I’ve been like this for years but the fear has escalated because I’m worried for my neighbours, my community, people I’ve never met before.

I am forced to think of Bosnia, the Rohingya, Muslims who’ve been systematically targeted and killed by organised militias with very little intervention by the state, because the state arms them and lets them organise but keeps a safe enough distance so as to deny any culpability when it is all done. Why hasn’t the state called Cobra? Imagine if white people were put at risk in this way? We are not just Muslims, we are British citizens, we pay our taxes and yet..

Until the authorities; the police, the state, make a point of condemning white supremacy and the enablers, the Farages and Hopkins, the lefties and liberals, this looming threat will consume us. Until they make a stand, we can only do our best to protect ourselves. Tell your loved ones that fascism isn’t dead, whatever the liberals might say. Trust your gut not theirs. Stay at home on April 3rd and remain vigilant. Doing your job, making money, none of that means anything if you’re dead or disfigured for life.

Britain’s Rejects

My 72 year old immigrant grandmother died in 2002, prompting a rushed visit to Pakistan. She had specified her wishes to be repatriated to her final resting place when the time came. Growing up we’d always objected to their pipe dream plans to show us the motherland, even going so far as likening it to death, given that we were never short of a cautionary tale or two of what could go wrong if they were not truthful of their intentions. There was always talk of so and so’s kid who’d gone off the rails so the folks took them ‘back home’ to straighten them out. This usually meant a forced marriage but there was always the worry you’d never return.

For 20 years I’d ignored their pleas to at least give them a chance and see what they had built with their own hands, for us, so that we had roots and a place we could always call home. My gran, or dhaadhi as we called her, would look at us in disbelief and shake her head, unsure of how else to sell it to us; the stories she’d tell of exotic fruits abundant in the courtyard, trees grown especially for us, her face wrinkled up in a smile as she recalled the exceptional quality of, as she put it, the juiciest mangoes on God’s green earth and other fruits I don’t know the English word for.

Whilst I love listening to her and seeing her clear delight I wasn’t convinced. I considered myself British, English even, and harboured an unhealthy self hate; I wasn’t above sneering at Pakis. Eager to set myself apart I believed the things white people said about Pakistan and Pakistanis and asserted my Britishness whenever it was required of me. I do cringe whenever I think back to that mindset. I think about the sort of white person who’d get off on hearing my disgust for people like me, the kind to collect tokens and play brown people off each other, dividing Muslims and Hindus for example and profiting off the misery that inevitably follows. Divide rule and conquer works to this day.

It didn’t matter when she died though, I suddenly felt I owed her a trip. Almost immediately I was consumed with guilt that I hadn’t honoured this wish of hers whilst she had been alive but I hoped she knew I was with her for her final journey. Barely six hours after she took her last breath we (my twin, dad, aunt and I) were in business class on a PIA flight bound for Islamabad. It was the first time I’d ever flown and my nerves were shot, I’d barely slept or processed what had happened but the hot cloths and silver service made up for the turbulence a little bit. My dad even let twin and I smoke a cigarette! It was that kind of a day, normal programming abandoned, venturing into the unknown out of a sense of duty and family pride. I tried not to think of her, alone, entombed in a wooden box, along with the rest of the cargo.

We landed at Islamabad airport at 6am. I was hit by the heat, as if I’d walked into a wall of hot air and it would suffocate me, upon exiting the plane. The sun hadn’t been up long but it was already 27 degrees. My thoughts went to my gran and the effect these conditions would have on her lifeless body. We waited for her coffin to be released and clung to each other through the chaos and din of the arrivals lounge, we weren’t in Kansas anymore. Random strange men pawed at our luggage offering to carry it, not being entirely forthcoming about the tip they expected for this service. It smelt funny, and the people were scary, staring at us as if we’d fallen from the sky. An uncle herded us out of the terminal and explained we looked different to regular Pakistanis and they were probably trying to figure out if we were worth anything.

It didn’t feel like a homecoming but the worst day of my life and the natives weren’t exactly helping. I didn’t want my worst fears to be confirmed, that we were easy pickings and could be disappeared, never to return. Dad’s cousin thought we were hilarious, batting furiously at the flies that seemed to throng the air, shrieking at the various creepy critters that had dared to greet us. We were a novelty. Fragile. Typical of desis who’d lost their way. A highly amusing form of entertainment for the locals.

The funeral was as expected; the outpouring of grief par the course but I had never imagined my dear gran knew so many people. I was bewildered by the number of women sat around smoking, a practice that was almost entirely gendered amongst the older generations in Britain. I only ever knew one lady smoker, my granddad’s sister in law and she had a free pass on account of her mental status. Here it just seemed to be a way of life, the chilum, similar to a shisha, was a permanent fixture. Granted they weren’t holding penis shaped cigarettes as they do in the west (cigarettes were originally marketed to women on the basis that women envied the penis and smoking would achieve equality or something) but this was really a sight to behold for someone who’d been brought up in a strict household where women most definitely did not smoke. I was also surprised at the relative freedom my girl cousins had with regards to their personal grooming. We’d been forced to keep our hair long, our eyebrows natural and our sleeves below the elbow and yet my cousins had no such restrictions. It’s when I first started to believe our grandparents were trying to preserve something of our culture in the west, that we were a snapshot frozen in time of an era pre colonialism whereas the rest of the world had just moved on.

They referred to us as the English princesses, for being so vulnerable to the elements. In our hurry to bury dhaadhi according to Islamic law within 24 hours, we’d had to forgo the usual preparations; shots for foreign diseases and the like. Within 48 hours we were struck with a mystery bug that was determined to shoot itself out of both ends and stifling temperatures in the mid 50s weren’t helping the situation, especially when the electricity was guaranteed to give out at least twice a day. I had never felt more miserable in my life and decided there was nothing else for it, we had to go home. Everyone else had other ideas though; we hadn’t given it a chance, we needed to eat more and think about getting better, the airline wouldn’t carry us if we were too sick and for a brief time I was petrified they weren’t going to let us leave at all. Maybe this had been the plan all along.

Fortunately the bug seemed to attack in waves and a day later our uncle took us shopping, we hadn’t come with very much stuff, in my case I didn’t even own more than one pair of salwar kameez. All was going well until we actually spoke to the vendors and my uncle clocked they were hiking up the prices. He said if we liked the look of anything to point at it rather than say anything aloud. I was confused, we’d been conversing in Punjabi but apparently even that sounded different to them and English people could afford to pay more.

I felt personally attacked, not gonna lie. I didn’t belong here, as people were keen to point out with every interaction. I didn’t like the heat, I didn’t like the food, or the people even, they were rude and looked at me the way closeted racists did in England. I didn’t feel safe. All I wanted was a cheese and tomato sandwich and my bed, at home in rainy blighty. I asked for fries on one occasion, thinking there isn’t a place in the world you can’t get fries, and bawled my eyes out when they arrived dusted with chilli powder. In the end, I shook off as much of it as I could and sliced up some tomato and onion for the weirdest chip butty ever. I dreamed of Nandos. I vowed to kiss the ground when I got home and never complain about the cold ever again (delirious or delusional, you decide) and made it my mission to pester the folks at all times, ET had to go home. Eventually, 10 days after the ordeal began we boarded a flight home, excited like you wouldn’t believe I made lists in my head of everything I would drink and eat.

I wasn’t sorry to say goodbye to my dysfunctional country of origin, but I did think of what it might be like, 50 years on. There’s no doubting Pakistan is a hellhole for many reasons but it was made this way. It was a consolation prize given to the victims of the British empire, those who once considered themselves Indian, those of my grandparents generation who would’ve been young children at the time of partition. They’ve seen horrors we can only imagine. They are the product of such horrors. To show humanity you must be shown it and Pakistanis are amongst some of the first to be dehumanised. They are the losers of the empire and all the alliances that followed, between extremists bound by mutual desires for power and control and must be mocked and denigrated in order to maintain the global hierarchy. They are Muslims and they were once proud rulers of India, loved by moderates of all faiths. Their fall from grace is the only lasting legacy for young Pakistan, it simply hasn’t had enough time to recuperate.

Our grandparents were refugees of a kind, the land they occupied was destroyed by the British who busted a dam, destroying everything. Britain promised those people refuge from a disaster of their own creation and so they came, naive to the racism that awaited them. They never accepted they were British, my grandparent’s generations, their hearts were too broken, unable to mend. Such is the life of the stateless citizen. I had tricked myself into believing I belonged in the UK but 9/11 changed all of that. The unspoken hate bubbled to the surface and became impossible to ignore. It’s gotten exponentially worse in recent years, there’s no denying it now. They say we don’t integrate but when we do they want to ban us from getting involved, just look at the furore over the Xmas ads, life is impossible for those of us who do not belong anywhere.

There’s no love lost between me and centrist Sadiq Khan but I felt for him today. We don’t belong anywhere, we only have an idea of what it is to belong somewhere and our place of birth is the nearest we can get to realising it, despite what the racists might say.

Toxic Twitter is for White Supremacists

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Yesterday I posted a tweet regarding the suicide of Carl Sargeant, who took his own life following allegations of sex abuse.

I stand by this tweet, at a time when media vultures are desperate to create a narrative that will help cover up the true extent of sex abuse in our society we must take it upon ourselves to maintain the truth even when it makes us uncomfortable. I wasn’t surprised when the usual suspects – white men – turned up in my mentions to tell me to go see how I liked it in Delhi, a nod to the gang rape a few years back and how I was a bitter woman and an attention seeker.

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I didn’t go looking for this man, just to be clear, he found my tweet and approached me just to say I was an attention seeker. I replied:

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I would suggest this was a fair enough rebuke given that he was doing exactly what he was accusing me of, seeking my attention. He went on to say:

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This random on the internet was just looking for an excuse to bully me and so I muted him after the swiftest of exchanges and thought nothing more of it. In fact I had many tweets attacking me for standing in support of victims of sexual violence:

alan clark con

I can just imagine Alan wanking furiously to the thought of brown women being violated in foreign countries, it’s a fetish of his. He blocked me before I could report his account for targeted harassment and abusive behaviour aimed at my perceived race/religion etc.

alanclarkracist

This is a perfect example of white power, subjected me to hateful language and harassment whilst claiming I’m the racist.

alanconalancourseOnly an entitled white male with zero self control/awareness would think it ok to suggest I give a shit at all about whether he finds me attractive or not. Never mind the infantilisation that comes with it, quite sickening when you think of it in the context of sex abuse. He thinks he’s attacking a girl, not a 35 year old woman and this makes it even more despicable.

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This take.. correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t the PIE filled with right wing establishment types, like prince Andrew’s best mate? As if I’ve ever made a distinction between the sorts of men I’d like to see dead and buried. ALL men are capable of sex abuse and ALL men must be held to account.

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White men do not care about victims of sexual violence, they object to non white predators. You can draw a parallel with the ‘coming over here, taking all our jobs’ trope, they’re only upset there are fewer victims for them. This is why you never see white men demand action against all predatory sex attackers.

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That’s SIR Jimmy Savile, 1300 child victims of sex abuse, and everyone knew about what he was doing but no one said a thing, not the BBC, nor the government or the mainstream media. A mentally ill sex pest who used his elite networks to abuse white children at whim but all is forgiven, the real issue is those darkies who’ve been hardwired that way. Timmeh’s account is live still despite directing hate at a group of people/members of a religion. What a fascinating double standard Twitter seems to operate.

Later in the day I went to log in to Twitter only to find myself locked out. The prat who’d said I was an attention seeker reported me for two tweets which I happily deleted upon being prompted by Twitter and yet my account was still restricted, effectively silencing me for a week as I am not able to tweet, RT, like or send media in my DMs. I can read my TL and I can send DMs to mutual follows.

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There are Nazis advocating genocide on Twitter but we must allow the marketplace of ideas for civilised debates even if that means inciting hatred and violence towards minorities but I can’t be hyperbolic and suggest a man eat his own weiner, what if I tracked him down and made him do it..?

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He sent me a tweet calling me an attention seeker and routed a bunch of other white supremacist misogynists my way and when I tried to return the favour (at which point I also muted his account because he wouldn’t stop tweeting at me) he reports me for abuse and I am punished for a week? I don’t think this is just crappy algorithms, in recent weeks I’ve seen many of the prominent woc I follow have their accounts suspended because they were reported by a fragile fuckin snowflake and Twitter has done nothing to rectify this. I don’t think the Twitter nerds are ignorant, I believe they are actively supporting white supremacy behind the scenes – wtf is the Trump account about? – but cannot sieg heil in public because nazism doesn’t pay, at least not this century.

Update: Twitter has verified the account of the Nazi who organised the Charlottesville klan rally where Heather Heyer was murdered by a white supremacist. Twitter is telling us what it is, it’s time we listened and accepted it.

 

The British government and media are lying to you – grooming gangs are white too

paedop ganggrooming gang

There are gangs of sexually violent men operating the length and breadth of Great Britain. We’re all aware of Asian grooming gangs, the papers never let us forget but how many of us will admit sexual violence and misogyny is a real problem in the UK and isn’t exclusive to brown Muslim men? I would even suggest the reason it is so widespread among non white communities is because they witnessed systematic abuse of minors by the establishment and national treasures and figured no one cared so felt secure enough to abuse with impunity.

We’ve been repeatedly smacked with the ‘fact’ that Asian grooming gangs are a blight on British society and we must discuss the race and religion of perpetrators because it is important, to deny their ethnicity is to do a disservice to survivors who were selected for their race.

appearing racistasian gangs moignoring racistVDfear racismMNpolitical correctness

We’ve been discussing this for over a decade. Nobody is brushing it under the carpet, no one is pretending it doesn’t exist. We are all aware of the devastating impact these monsters have had on their young victims, those kids the authorities were forced to support, when they could no longer ignore the scale of the problem. The very same authorities who ignored the many thousands of victims of Britain’s national treasures, 1300 children violated by Jimmy Savile alone. Stuart Hall even got reduced sentencing because he only had 13 victims compared to Savile, as though it somehow negates the impact on those 13 victims. It calls into question the complete shambles that is British justice. Of course it’s a convenient scapegoat for said authorities to complain they were obstructed by ethnic communities and feared accusations of racism, than admit they don’t actually care about white working class children and probably blame them for getting involved with foreigners in the first place. I saw coppers treat white working class women like this. How many of you are aware of the very real sexual violence problem perpetrated by officers of the law? Ryan Coleman Farrow was jailed mere months for allowing countless rape cases to slip under the radar. Women have actually died from police neglect but they don’t want you to know that, it’s so much easier to blame brown Muslim men, killing two birds with one stone; covering up their own prejudices/lack of professionalism and maintaining racist structures with propaganda.

If MPs and journalists and coppers care so much about victims why aren’t they pushing for tougher sentencing of ALL child sex abusers?

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For example (and please note the race of offenders)

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Is it specifically the gang detail of Asian groomers that is so jarring for the authorities and racists alike? Or could it be they just want British victims for British perpetrators? Perhaps that is why sadistic child abusers like these don’t get much of a reaction.

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I don’t think gangs are a problem for MPs and the mainstream media, not when they are white. The ‘most sickening and callous’ of grooming gangs raped babies and toddlers but the media didn’t make as much of a fuss as they did with Rotherham. Why was that, you ask?

The government and media has manipulated the impression we get of sexual violence and predators in the UK.

The agenda; sex gangs are Asian.

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Like we haven’t been doing exactly that on repeat for more than a decade.

Asians/Muslims haven’t done enough to condemn the attackers. All the victims are white.

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(bonus side effect: divide rule and conquer the brown folk)

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I condemn Asian grooming gangs, I hope they all rot in hell. I wish exactly the same for Britain’s national treasures, the establishment, MPs, football coaches, social workers, vicars, teachers etc, majority of whom are white. I oppose those who would seek to make this an issue of race, deliberately erasing the countless victims of white perpetrators. Perhaps Sarah Champion is just securing the bigot vote for Labour, not that this in any way makes her a sympathetic character but it’s more likely she is part of the cover up that has excused the rich and powerful for numerous historic crimes against children. Royals, both dead and alive, MPs past and present, BBC stalwarts and lesser personalities, all invested in the most depraved of grooming gangs, the one that has coercive power and control and the ability to go undetected for over 50 years. This grooming gang was almost uncovered a few times but the powers that be made it disappear. Every time it threatens to resurface again, a spokesperson for the most powerful sexual predators draws our attention back to Asians.

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Asian grooming gangs are a sure fire propaganda tool. It doesn’t matter what else is going on, this dog whistle on steroids fires all the right bigots into a tirade on sexual violence and supposed injustices when none of these pissants give a toss for victim support any other day of the week.

If you genuinely care about all victims of sexual violence you’ll condemn ALL grooming gangs. Anything less is just bigoted.

BBC: A Predispostion for Propaganda?

I didn’t watch Panorama last night. I didn’t feel like I needed to see where it was going, I had my suspicions the BBC were rooting for something to make a focus of our outrage, a scapegoat. We’re not short of real life monsters threatening our way of life, many of them even had jobs at the BBC but it felt like the scene was being set for a ‘debate’, a distraction from the constant slew of actual things that have been proven harmful, like racism and historic child sex abuse cover ups for example.

I have been on SSRIs for 7 years. I started off on Citalopram and for a very brief time I felt as if I finally had the space to breathe and not feel like I was crawling out of my skin. As the meds settled in my system I became aware of the dulling effect it was having on my reality, something that no doubt worked brilliantly at crisis point but as my mental health improved I felt like it was holding me back, I wasn’t feeling as extremely as I did but I also wasn’t able to laugh as hard as I’d like or think too deeply about anything. I tried to come off them at first but was soon reminded of the reasons I became medicated when the symptoms returned; I was shocked by how intensely bad I felt and unable to function so I saw the GP about an alternative. He referred me to a psychiatrist and after a couple of visits we figured the best thing to do was switch to Sertraline, a drug that many users responded to after Citalopram. It’s hit and miss, prescribing mental health meds. Part of the process to healing is trial and error, you have to try things before you know how you’ll respond.

I was pleased with the change in my mood only a few weeks after I started taking Sertraline. I didn’t feel as foggy or tired and I was less fixated, a benefit of this particular drug which is often prescribed for people with obsessive disorders. It worked for me, I was struck by the fact I could pun again, something in my brain had changed. I spoke to others who weren’t so fortunate with Sertraline and went on to try other drugs but our brain chemistries aren’t one size fits all, we still don’t know enough about mental health to make this an exact science.

Before I became medicated I can’t say I was in favour of antidepressants especially SSRIs. I was even an audience member on a BBC talk show about antidepressants hosted by, I think, Nick Ross and said stuff I’m sure I’d cringe at now if I could remember, it was so long ago. I remember there was a big fuss about Seroxat a while back too, it was linked with increased risk of suicide among teenagers. I really did not want to be the sort of person who took antidepressants, someone who gave in (as people were all too keen to point out to me when I first started taking them), who’d failed or any number of negative variations on this, like I’d let people down or myself or whoever. Sadly, I did not get much of a choice on the matter if I had any hope for survival.

I took the drugs despite all my misgivings and prejudices, I really didn’t want to feel or exist in the way I had for so long, and I was scared I would die if I did. I had been seeing a therapist, sometimes multiple times a week but it just wasn’t enough, I felt I would kill myself probably. I never thought about killing anyone else, I couldn’t bear to be near anyone or more to the point, outside my bedroom even, that I kept locked most of the time. I took the drugs because my nephew was on his way into the world and I felt I owed him a cool aunt. I took the drugs because I’d hit rock bottom but inside me something chose to live. I felt almost embarrassed when I disclosed to the therapist I had started them already. She wasn’t the biggest fan herself and I felt like I was letting her down, like saying your therapy isn’t all that but she immediately said “GOOD” and leant forward to touch my knee. She said she’d never advocate for meds and wouldn’t have suggested I take them but was glad I had come to this decision myself because I really could do with them, these drugs exist because people in my situation need them.

I do not regret for one minute making that decision. I never thought I’d be on them so long, and I never believed they’d do me much good but it’s been 7 years and I am so pleased with myself and how far I have gotten. I recently cut my SSRIs by a third. If there is one thing I can say for certain and you must be aware of this before you go in, withdrawal is a bitch and you must do it slowly. I am aware that I could suddenly feel like I made a rash judgement but for now I’m enjoying being a 3rd less medicated and wondering what it will be like when I reduce them again.

The BBC makes a tenuous link between the many millions of users who safely take SSRIs so they can function in this society and the tiny minority who kill but this can be said of so many things it makes you wonder why they have singled out people who take drugs for their poor mental health. Most people who take recreational drugs for example, do not pose a risk to others but some might react violently. We could say the same about men, right? Most of them tend to adhere to some semblance of law, at least on the surface but a minority kill women and children. Should we point the finger at beards?

Once again, the BBC reminds us how little we should care about it, yet they insist we pay for this propaganda too.