Race Relations

My Corona

Struggling with the art of social distancing? Climbing the walls as you self quarantine? Spare a thought for those of us who’ve been in an almost constant state of isolation since the British government and policing authorities decided to ignore the laws of the land and let racists run riot. Most days I have only my dog for company, unless I pop down to the local shop for smokes, then I exchange a few sentences with the shopkeeper about the weather or the latest spate of racist attacks.

I won’t lie, I’m tickled by these shenanigans. The Chinese thought they’d fuck with Muslims and now the world is fucking with them for infecting us all with a virus that made the leap from animal to man, as though it were the first. People are shocked when you explain this isn’t the first time this has happened and in fact, this is what the British were best at, spreading disease as a form of biological warfare, upending entire civilisations in the quest for world domination. I guess the west judges others in the only way it can, via its own cultural lens and foreign policy exploits.

I have underlying health conditions, mostly a sort of hangover from the many years I spent hyper-vigilant and afraid. Eventually these stress inducing bastards take their toll on the body and it starts to malfunction. Added to this the fact I have been a smoker for over half of my life and I could be a candidate for respiratory distress. I’m not afraid however, death doesn’t scare me, if anything I’m curious about crossing over.. it has to be better than this ~gestures vaguely~ and as a millenial, I’m not the only one to have made their peace with it. My brother has been living almost exclusively on Chinese food for the past fortnight, taking advantage of people’s lazy racism for the speedy delivery times but also because he’s a good egg and wants to support the underdog. I fear for some of my elders but on the flipside they won’t have to live through the systematic dehumanisation of Muslims, or worse.

Part of me is convinced I already contracted Covid-19 a few weeks back when I was suddenly hit by the worst cold and flu symptoms. The cold got into my bones and I was shaking violently, in pain, so I wrapped myself up like a chimichanga and rode it out. Then followed explosive diarrhea. Every time I coughed I felt my skeleton judder, a dull throbbing pain from my head to my toes but after a few days I perked up. Boomers have not been so resilient though.

I know people are going to say I shouldn’t laugh at the misfortune of others, cos it could be me next blah blah but coronavirus seems an easier way to go than all the ways I have catastrophised over the past decade. Boomers thought they were so clever voting us out of the EU and electing the Tories but if I were a mystical sort I might feel like the universe or Allah was settling a few scores. Nadine Dorries is self isolating after testing positive, a bit of news that had me frankly guffawing into my lap, especially when her comings and goings in the week leading up to her diagnosis were shared. In fact more politicians are being infected than you would have by statistical chance. A higher power may well be at play here..

Y’all said Corbyn would wreck the economy, but which is worse, Corbyn or Coronavirus? The FTSE 100 fell by more than 10% in its worst single day since the 1987 crash. This is my life now, laughing at the proudly privileged in their darkest hours. However, I’m sure the economy will recover in record time what with all the panic buying. We’re all prepped and ready for the apocalypse and if it doesn’t happen then at least we’re all stocked up till the summer. Hand sanitiser is a bigger commodity than gold right now and as an avid dog walker and pooper scooper I am revelling in my sudden wealth.

Coming from a Muslim background we’re hot on hygiene too. Hand washing is second nature, as is butt washing and ensuring you’re pleasant to be around in crowd situations, so you’re not the focus during prayers. This could go some way to explain why African and some Asian nations have been slow to contract the virus compared to Europe. Perhaps France could take this moment to reflect on its face coverings ban, and question whether there is some logic to it after all.

This entire debacle has exposed the state for what it is, a blag we all buy into that dissipates rapidly under scrutiny. As the state forces through new laws to arrest people suspected of illness, Boris Johnson has implored tech bosses to join the fight against coronavirus, in a move that is surely a slap in the face to the many 1000s of victims of white supremacist forums, who’ve been denied justice with one excuse or another on how it is impossible, because of issues of impartiality or free speech or laws on taste and decency. It could have been as easy as they have just demonstrated, a digital Dunkirk, or Dresden in this case. I stand by my initial hypothesis, that tech bosses and white supremacist governments joined forces to curb the free speech of non whites and spread fascist propaganda and they’ve always had the power to make it stop but didn’t because they want dissenters dead, by any means necessary, whether a school shooting, or incitement to suicide, they were always all in it together.

Just like this here Coronavirus, a reminder from the cosmos, that we might put on airs and graces and feel entitled to more than our fair share on this planet earth but in the end we’re all just scared confused organisms, vulnerable to all the same ailments, sure to return to the earth.

Praise be.

The Week in Racism

Nazi Swastika does not violate Instagram community guidelines.

They’re not even the same tone..

The BBC continues to prove it is a racist endeavour, just days after it showed an image of LeBron James instead of Kobe Bryant, Labour MP Marsha de Cordova was pictured in the Commons but the strapline identified her as Dawn Butler, MP for Brent Central. The BBC seems insistent on driving home the message all black people look the same to them.

Fool me once, shame on you or something.

“best evolve”.. after you, hypocrites

Let’s ignore the piss poor grammar and spelling mistakes, shall we?

Let’s not!

Practice what you preach, you utter melts.

Whilst I appreciate the response from the community who came together to reject the posters in a show of resistance and solidarity, the suggestion that it is a minority of English people who behave in this way is not exactly representative of the truth. About half of the country voted Brexit, because they thought it meant ‘Pakis out’. Those who have since changed their minds have done so because they did not realise it would restrict their free movement as whites. British hypocrisy strikes again. To deny the truth of the matter just prolongs its power.

Coronavirus brings with it a wave of hostility and racism towards people from Far East Asia and surrounding areas, like racists ever need an excuse. Interestingly the memes centre around ‘Asian babes’ and how predatory white males must think before they pounce on someone who may potentially be infected. Desgosted, to say the least.

George Reynolds taunted a black Spurs player calling him a ‘monkey boy’

For all my criticisms of football I have to hand it to the association, they seem to be making strides where the rest of society has stalled, or even regressed.

A Brighton fan was jailed on Friday for 8 weeks, following an incident on the 5th October where he racially abused players then threatened other fans when they challenged him. He has also been given a lifetime ban from the club as well as all other events associated with Brighton and Hove Albion.

Brighton’s chief executive was quoted as saying they have zero tolerance for racism. Well done, that man.

Such a brave patriot, that Sean Small

A 22 year old woman is facing surgery on her pelvis after jumping out of a 1st floor window with her toddler when an armed racist attacked them in their home. A 50 year old man from Co Tyrone in Northern Ireland has been charged with with a total of eight offences including making threats to kill, grievous bodily harm with intent, possession of an offensive weapon, criminal damage, and harassment.

Doesn’t it make you proud to be white, violence against foreign women and children?

Whilst not exactly a racist incident, the extremely racist and fascist government must be called out for its attempts to suppress the freedom of the press. Even Laura Kuenssberg walked out in solidarity with her fellow reporters, which was surprising given it is in large part thanks to her and the BBC that the Tories have lasted this long.

Laura pet, what did you think was going to happen? They’ve already broken a bunch of laws, and lowered standards for us all, did you really think your profession would be exempt? Or have you been forced to act in the interests of your colleagues lest they turn on you for having the morals of a tiger shark foetus?

Last but by no means least, we all cheered the news Hatie Slopbins had finally been removed off Twitter but a couple of things piqued my interest; firstly, that this move came about as a direct result of talks between Rachel Riley and Twitter bosses (just exactly what kind of power does she wield?) and the time it took to get it done. I guess if she’d spent less time attacking a lifelong antiracist activist for being a socialist, she might have got somewhere sooner.

I don’t think Riley is an anti racist, I think this is a calculated move to win back some of her fans, now they’ve seen her for what she truly is; someone who uses racism to score political points when she is actually a privileged blonde and blue eyed white lady with immense power. It can’t hurt in court either can it, to pretend to be someone who does good things? Even if it is just bullshit.

Let go of your Brexit woes

If, like a number of my friends and family members, you have spent the weeks since the election despairing for the imminent future, compounded by the Brexit shambles in recent days then I have a few suggestions to ease your suffering, because there really is nothing the working classes, leftists, people of colour, the disabled or any other marginalised group can do right now, apart from sit tight.

We should remember we have always been good at organising and taking care of each other. We are still communists, anarchists, socialists, whatever position the state takes. If anything we are more of these things, because they rejected the compromise many of us made, to find a comfortable centre for genuine leftists (centrism is not and never will be leftism). Many of us de-radicalised ourselves because the option of a Corbyn led government was by far the best solution, for all except the 1% and wannabes, or at least it would have been a good starting point for a more egalitarian society. We have never been more radical than we are right now, we have undeniable proof democracy is a lie. It is no longer just a theory espoused by privileged middle class white kids, easily dismissed as a puerile response to authority.

Instead of living each moment in dread of the next news cycle, switch your notifications off and ignore the headlines. I have done since the day after the election, when the sneering got too much. The odd tidbit of information trickles through but I’ve stopped poring over every detail, because I haven’t the power to affect anything. As a non believer I still pray because they’re affirmations of one’s own spirituality and inter-connectedness with everything, and they’ve taught me patience, for eg the serenity prayer really strikes a chord with me in these trying times. Can I change anything? A resounding no. I tried to prevent it, dedicated a decade of my life to it, I could not have done anymore. Do I have the courage to step up if I am needed? I think I’ve proved to myself I have and will. I have the wisdom to know the difference too, it is futile to work myself up into a state right now.

Communists, anarchists, socialists, we will be ok. We share. We are innovative. We are battle ready. Muslims live in a perpetual state of charity, so if you’ve got a Muslim friend, you’ll be fine. Brexit is going to adversely affect the very same knuckleheads who voted for it; those who shun outsiders, and think sharing and caring is for snowflakes. It’s going to affect the skilled white working class, and the non skilled white working class. Land Rover cut 500 jobs just the other day and many more are to follow suit. Industry was pretty much dead in the UK anyway but it’ll be nonexistent soon enough.

Whether it is a car or a computer, parts are sourced from all over the world, and added on to products as they make their way through the supply chain. Without free movement and trade deals, those revenues are lost, those jobs are cut. We don’t grow enough food, we don’t make enough medicine, and the immigrants who were willing to do it for us are no longer welcome. We haven’t got the clout to demand things as we have been, we are the world’s toilet. We are a laughing stock, and the world is about ready to turn its back on us. Yet I am the most peaceful I have ever been.

I realised that a lot of the fear I have is for other people. I felt everyone’s oppressions as though they were personally happening to me but with a little distance I realised I could easily exist in a bubble, and recuperate before I am useful again. I tell my folks to make themselves strong, lift weights, pick up a martial art. You could buy a book on the art of foraging, and familiarise yourself on walks to the woods, it’s actually a fun thing to do. There is no better time to become self sufficient, we cannot trust the state to care for the people.

If there’s anything I learnt from the past decade, it’s patience. Love on your nearest and dearest, have fun, go a little wild and stop reading the comments. We’re in it now. It’s on the middle classes and upwards to use their structural power to change things but if they fail, we will rise up to the challenge, batteries re-charged. The fascists, the little Englanders, they’re about to learn the consequences of their humanity hating actions and I for one am going to revel in the pettiness and laugh at their misfortune. The Tory party should prepare for complete and utter annihilation at the hands of their own supporters.

Be kind to yourself, comrades, no one else has the power to make you happy.

A Cautionary Mental Health Story

I learnt a long time ago I could not express myself in the way I wanted to or expect to be treated as an equal on rainy fascist island. I knew that speaking up would make me a target and I wasn’t strong enough to take it. I decided I would write down my version of events anyway, immediately, to remind myself this is how it happened, because things get downplayed, minimised, erased and historically I’ve been easily silenced, and gaslighted, even by people you’d never suspect of such an injustice.

I flagged on social media my first session with a specialist psychotherapist because I felt really uneasy afterwards, like I had been scrutinised and judged. I reasoned perhaps this was what it was supposed to feel like, I was here to learn of the inconvenient truths I’d buried but it irked me that the therapist hadn’t smiled at me once. I learnt about unconditional positive regard over 20 years ago, in a psychology module, as an example of best practice. Therapists must show clients acceptance and support in order to build a rapport and this makes sense, how else are vulnerable people meant to engage with a service if they feel they are being maligned?

I quieted the little voice that told me to run as fast as I could, even though my first therapist told me to always listen to it. I reasoned it was just an assessment, and that it would be followed up by another session to further assess my needs and this process was bound to get messy. I stuck with it, although I had to cancel 4 of the 11 sessions I was booked in for. The therapist would later assert that I had cancelled 6 of the 11, neglecting to mention she had cancelled one herself, and another was rearranged owing to a hospital appointment I absolutely could not miss, to investigate a possible auto-immune condition. There were 3 absences I was accountable for, when I had simply felt too sick to attend. It wasn’t very helpful either that there was no consistency in the times and dates I was offered, for example I might be booked in on a Thursday for 3pm, the following week Tuesday at 10am. This chopping and changing had the effect I suspected it would; on Thursday I booked a dogsitter to watch Frida whilst I went to therapy but it was only when I’d handed her over that my blood suddenly ran cold and I remembered the appointment was for 10.30am. I calmed down after a few minutes when I remembered it was for 10.30am the following Monday. It wasn’t the first time it happened either, it accounted for one of my absences. I had called in to check what time my appointment was only to be advised I had already missed it.

From the first session, I felt unwanted, a burden. She would sigh in exasperation at my expectations (or lack, thereof) and perspectives, and at the end of every session asked what I wanted from the service, as if I had more of an idea of what they provided than she did. I informed her I was not aware of all the services they offered and with this, she would arrange a follow up appointment to continue the assessment. Of the 5 sessions I was in attendance, I told her about everything, my life, my relationships, how I interact with them and the world and she actually said “it sounds like you’re trying to impress me” (!) I responded that I was trying to give her as clear a picture as possible so that she could use her professional experience and do her job to signpost me to the relevant services.. why would I need to impress her? She kept eye contact for too long or not all, making me shift in my seat. Always with the stony face.In every session she would suggest that perhaps this was not the right service for me, and I’d be better suited to group work, or somewhere that was closer to my home. She wanted rid and I had never felt more awkward but I was going to play the game, when specialist psych services are so thin on the ground, you don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. Plus I never want to piss a mental health professional off, they have the power to ruin your life with just one diagnosis.

There is always a power imbalance in a therapeutic setting, it should be a safe space where you are able to let yourself be vulnerable but this is not something I felt comfortable doing here. I felt she was prejudiced towards me for whatever reason and I absolutely did not feel comfortable discussing cultural differences with her. Contrary to what some might suggest, I do not feel like this about all white people, my first therapist, the late Angella Ryan, was white, with French and Irish ancestry but she was also an immigrant, and she was the first person to open my eyes to the inequalities I navigated every day. She saved my life. She was critical of me, but she built me up first. I never felt judged, I always felt she had my best interests at heart, I believe tough love is not completely without its virtues, if it’s coming from someone who genuinely wants the best for you. She knew I was perceptive and didn’t fear me for it, or try and minimise my gut feelings, she actively encouraged me to heed them.

I called in sick for my last session, I felt so heavy I could not open my eyes. I had a sore throat and was experiencing bowel issues, as one might with irritable bowels. A few days later I received a letter informing me I was no longer on their service as I had repeatedly failed to commit to attending and how she was right after all in her assessments that a local service might be more suitable to my needs, and with this came an epiphany; I was relieved. I wouldn’t have to appeal to disinterested and potentially bigoted professionals with coercive power that I was worthy. It dawned on me that my body knew before I let my brain accept what I had already intimated deep within me; that I was not thought of as an equal or someone worthy of acceptance by this person who had behaved in a way that is familiar, on a cellular level. My body reacts to microaggressions even when I am trying to fool my brain into complying with an illegitimate authority. Interestingly I touched on authority with the therapist, because she suggested I was a ‘rebel’ for standing up to historical abusers, instead of a ‘survivor’. Rebel to me suggests I have no respect for authority, and am a contrarian for the sake of it when in actual fact, legitimate authority is all I really crave. I have no parental figure in my life I can turn to when I feel weak, which is why illegitimate authority rubs me up the wrong way.

It was in her rejection that the most valuable insight was revealed; my body cannot abide bigots of any kind. I had a sick record to be ashamed of before I had my breakdown. I wasn’t making it up, I had operations on my ovaries, and a couple on my back. I have irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, hypermobility, CPTSD, anxiety, depression.. except there are sometimes days when I feel like I am in peak fitness. Those days usually involve a lot of laughter and love, I feel safe and protected and the world is just a blip on the horizon.

I’m kind of sick of feeling like my illnesses are of my own creation and that I could feel better if I just did xyz.. I eat incredibly well, almost nothing processed. I take vitamins and supplements, I do cardio and weight training, I take my dog for walks, I sleep 7-9 hours a day and I try to laugh every day. I try to remember to tell someone I love them and am there for them, and I let love into my life. My sicknesses are not for lack of trying on my part, they are a natural reaction to the racism and ill treatment of minorities in Britain, along with all the misogyny and sex abuse.

In this respect my specialist psychotherapist inadvertently helped me realise why my abiding patterns are so hard to let go of – they were never in my control.

Or at least, they could be, if I leave and never look back.

They wanna live like Common People

With less than 2 years since they were married, Harry and Meghan announced they would be stepping down as senior royals to focus on their own work away from the prying eyes of the scavengers we call the British press. There is no doubt it is in part due to the controversy surrounding sadistic Prince Andrew in recent weeks but that’s hardly the crux of it, they’ve proved (since her internment) not to have the slightest regard for her well-being; hosting state banquets for fascists like Trump (never mind the swooning speeches in his honour) and those closer to home, for eg the Blackamoor badge wearing Princess Michael of Kent. I would imagine Markle has never felt so unsafe, and Harry, for the first time in his life, has some appreciation of what life is like when you are not white (irrespective of all her other privileges).

One only needs to read the comments, snide remarks about how she’s holding on to her man and he’s never looked so miserable. In every shot, Harry is pointedly staring at something in the distance, bothered by whatever it is that has grabbed his attention whilst Meghan has on her camera face, her features fixed like Fort Knox, impenetrable to the braying mob making demands of her. I recognise that face, as people of colour we have long cultivated an image we present of ourselves in the face of unrepentant racism – for survival – that we somehow didn’t hear or understand what was said and therefore won’t react. They like to bait us, racists, they want us to fly at them so they can confirm we are savages, caught in the act. Personally, I am not bothered what racists think of me, if I’m a savage then so be it but that’s my privilege (?) as an unrefined working class granddaughter of immigrants.

What really riles me about this entire incident (making it my business) is the faux outrage from certain sections of the white supremacist commentariat, namely one Sarah Vine (famous for her appalling taste in men). She has stuck the boot in at every opportunity with microaggressions and continues to attack Meghan Markle, now suggesting the latter is undeserving of the honour bestowed upon her by the British monarchy and its loyal subjects. She asks “what happened to the enchanting couple we fell in love with?” Sarah, duck, that’s not love you have been heaping on them all these months, you sad, deranged, damaged adult child.

How can we expect this she ogre to appreciate the incongruence of her words? The truth is an inconvenience that is easily remedied with coercive power. Sarah Vine reminds me of every power tripping racist I have ever met; constantly reaffirming that you are shit, because you are not white, yet you must show (on request) gratitude for the slightly elevated experience you get for marrying a white guy. It’s a reminder that you will never be one of them, and then they have the gall to pretend they liked you (for a poc).

“Go home if you don’t like it” they snap when we complain of racism. They want us to suffer or get out altogether. How dare Meghan Markle take her power back? That’s what Vine is really saying, that the privileges of royalty negate the myriad of ways she is oppressed as a black woman. It really is insufferable the way establishment hangers on attempt to ingratiate themselves by fawning over the worst humanity has to offer. The royals are a motley crew of paedophile rapists, racists and adulterers who haven’t done an honest day’s work for centuries. At least the olde worlde kings – and even some queens – fought their own battles, alongside their subjects. I have no problem with legitimate authority, but these tiara wearing benefit scroungers are as vulgar as can be. Look at what you have to do in order to be accepted into the fold, poor Kate Middleton is a literal sliver of the woman she used to be. She also has a stage face and speaks as though she isn’t quite sure of herself but you wouldn’t know it from any of the official photos.

For a woman marrying into the royal family, there is only one role; stoic, submissive and enamoured with your prince charming, regardless of where he’s sticking his dick. I have a feeling Meghan Markle had to draw the line early on and I respect her for that. Even more for rejecting the royals and holding on to her man. For Prince Harry I have a little begrudging respect, I still haven’t forgotten his little paki friend but he has been using his position to raise awareness of the insidiousness of racism and a little goes a long way from the top.

As for the royal family, I had never quite appreciated how dysfunctional they were but the way they so readily sell each other out has been a revelation. For sure, Prince Andrew should be disowned but the way his daughters are rumoured to be paying for the sins of their father, well, that’s just shameful. In a similar fashion, senior royals, ie daddy and granny are distancing themselves from the disenchanted couple, shaking free the dead leaves in dramatic statements about how they are heartbroken and will shun the deserters. They love money and power so much, family members are completely expendable.

I guess we realised that when Diana died (who’d be so proud right now, not even kidding).

We Are All Uighurs

By now we have all heard about the Muslim Uighurs in China, being detained in torture camps or as the Chinese government refers to them, ‘schools’ or ‘re-education camps’, to rehabilitate people they believe pose a terrorist threat. I first heard about them two years ago, in sporadic news reports that were quickly refuted by Chinese activists I’d come across in my radical activism. Whilst the reports seemed credible, activists reasoned that the people/states alleging these crimes had ulterior motives; for example, the US establishing its own oppressive regimes against Muslims could be using China to deflect from this fact. It seemed plausible, China is a threat to the western world by all accounts and the US is hardly a paragon of virtue in the so called war on terror, Muslim ban case in point (not forgetting the violent threats against Muslims in congress).

There is no denying now there is a modern day holocaust being conducted under our very noses. The Chinese aren’t even denying it anymore, but they are saying something important. We can’t just brush this detail under the carpet in dogged pursuit of half truths, whatever is convenient for us, economically or otherwise, or we’ve lost the struggle against the oppressive establishment wherever we are in the world. The pro government Chinese commentator Victor Gao says here 50 countries signed an accord supporting China in the fight against terrorism, using methods that are lawful (which include torture) under Chinese law. Mehdi ignores this repeatedly, instead binarising the issue, placing China at odds with the rest of the allegedly peace seeking and non violent world, which is just patently untrue.

It is plausible that the convention of 50 odd nations at a summit for counter terrorism initiatives might have sanctioned torture and concentration camps as a necessary evil in the war on ‘terror’ (Muslims). They’ve been doing exactly that at Guantanamo for almost 20 years. When Mike Pompeo, the US secretary of state, came out in support of Arsenal player Mezut Ozil following his widely reported criticism of China’s human rights abuses of his fellow Muslims, my irony meter blew a gasket. The US is no ally to Muslims but it is an historic rival of China and would love any excuse to invade it.

Muslims are a target wherever they are in the modern world, from the New Zealand terror attacks to the US ban on Muslims. Like Jews in the second world war, they are considered vermin and I have no doubt in my mind the 50 or so countries signing on to the global enterprise in the war on terror did so fully aware of the potential for ‘final solutions’, especially in nations where the law on human rights is tenuous at best. It is perhaps why the UK is seeking to strip Britons of our human rights, so that it is easier to usher in that (sorely missed) ‘golden era’ Boris has promised us, which translated to war, rape and famine for the rest of the world.

Churchill saved the Jews, an accidental legacy, driven home by the victors of a war against fascists (who wanted everyone to speak German), even whilst we had black shirts operating on our own doorstep, and the black and tans in Ireland. Myanmar commits a genocide against the Rohingya, displacing 730,000 Muslims and the western world is nowhere to be seen, instead leaving it to an African nation, Gambia, to launch proceedings at The Hague. I’d be very suspicious of western efforts to free the Muslims, not when they are the driving force behind many of these actions. Aung San Suu Kyi speaks with the confidence of a trickster who has the backing of western powers and the ability to claim up is down, she was untouched by accounts of rape and murder, much like the Chinese Victor Gao. For the Gambian foreign minister who brought this case to the UN, Abubaccar Tambadou, Muslim solidarity no doubt informs his actions but he added, “this is about our humanity, ultimately”. I believe him, not least because Gambia has made a concerted effort to respect human rights since its dictatorship ended 3 years ago.

Be under no illusions, the Chinese government has interned Muslims for the purpose of torture. It is not denying this, I don’t think, but reminding us it is not alone. Unfortunately for China, it hasn’t learnt from history but maybe we can, and this time when we say never again, we might have some chance of keeping our promises.

The P Word is racist and everyone knows it

Apparently somebody* repeatedly said the word paki on BBC Question Time last night and no one smacked her in the mouth or booted her off set. Of course what we (visibly Paki people) needed was for this to become a ‘debate’ in which white people talk over us and for us, in the manner to which they are accustomed.

Dave asks why it’s ok to say Brit and not Paki. Let’s see now Dave, did anyone ever call you a dirty Brit whilst stomping on your head? Did they ever use Brit as a prefix for the corner shop, or is it just a shop, as it is to the rest of us who do not speak in racialised terms? Is Brit a perjorative term for all White Europeans? Does it have a history steeped in racist divide and conquer? See, if there was a swastika with the word Brit next to it, it would mean something completely different to the same image with the P word.

The word Pakistan is an acronym for Punjab, Afghan, Kashmir, Indus and Sind. Stan means ‘land’. Many native Pakistanis believe it has another meaning, pak means pure, put together it becomes the land of the pure. Native Pakistanis aren’t as bothered by ‘paki’ because they haven’t had to live under the beady eye of fascistic white Britain, nor have they learnt to associate it with actual physical violence and marginalisation. Pakistanis never had the power to self determination though, not as the losers of the British empire. They have been subjugated by the west since ‘independence’, and their neighbours, with whom the conflict still rages on.

Paki reminds me of another term bastardised by white supremacist colonialists that affects me personally. If you’ve ever seen a Carry On film you’ve heard the term ‘khazi’, meaning toilet. In Pakistan there is a caste system of sorts though it is doesn’t carry as much weight or power as the Hindu one. If anything it is a legacy from a time when Hindus and Muslims lived together and adopted each others traditions. My paternal grandfather’s caste was Khazi. This meant that he was a scholar, a judge, an authority. It was only in my 30s, many years after I’d heard the label being misused so offensively that I learned my Mughal ancestors had changed their names to escape the genocide British soldiers had planned for them, forced into the mountains to escape the slaughter. They adopted the name Khazi instead of Mughal, a demotion but crucial if they were to survive. The British Army adopted the term no doubt to express their delight at taking a shit on us from a great height. This is what the British empire means to anyone not invested in its bloody violence and coercion, demoralising and degrading, brutish humiliation that has ensured generations of Pakistanis cannot hold their heads up high.

Paki, like khazi, and the N word and every other label thrown about by white supremacists to abuse others are rooted in domination and toxic masculinity. These labels have been used quite successfully to disempower and traumatise the people they are inflicted on. One word has the power to split open centuries old wounds encoded in our very DNA. Autoimmune conditions such as lupus affect people who come from nations colonised by white supremacists. It is as though the body is under such a sustained attack that it turns on itself, desperate to find the thing that is wrong and make it better. Every time a white person spits out the P word, we experience a spike in adrenalin, a fight or flight response and every last white person knows this. They KNOW IT. Raised cortisol levels eventually take their toll. People from African and Asian communities have been admonished for their health issues, being so many more times likely to suffer from heart disease and diabetes, it has been suggested we simply do not know how to look after ourselves YET racism as a cause for mental and physical disability has not been researched enough.

Next time a white person ‘debates’ their right to use racial slurs, just call them a gammon. A salty, fatty gammon with a sizeable rind. It hurts them to be associated with such a poor cut, I’m sure many of them would rather be labelled bacon but lardon might be pushing it. They have the right to play devil’s advocate, we reserve the right to compare them to their favourite cold cuts. Don’t let them derail you with claims of classism, if they would rather identify with a bresaola, let them have it. It’s all pig.

It’s no longer a time for appeasement, where we roll with the punches and earnestly seek to educate the ignorant masses on how we are all equals in God’s eyes, no, it’s time to give as good as you get. Get creative, be a petty tit for tat queen.

*The person in question was Sikh and referring to herself being abused with the p word but the point still stands, what are the BBC doing broadcasting it from anyone’s mouth? Why isn’t it being challenged? BBC question time seems to push the boundaries back when it comes to the normalisation of racial slurs and polarisation of political views. It’s interesting that they let a Sikh person express their distress at being labelled with this slur and not a Pakistani, because there are Sikhs and Hindus who are desperate to set themselves apart from ‘true pakis’ because they have rejected us and still cannot appreciate we look exactly the same to whites.

I found it interesting to see Shappi Khorsandi so affected by it because she’s not even south Asian. This awful word is used to control an entire continent but don’t forget the Arabs, and the Brazilians, and even some southern Europeans. It is a deeply racist word associated with that beige-y brown skin tone and shouldn’t be spoken on national television. Shame on the BBC. Stop paying your tv license.

**What is the BBC playing at, broadcasting a racial slur when they fired Tommy Sandhu for racism against ‘pakis’?