fascism

Solidarity with Owen Jones but not POC

Hearing the news Owen Jones has been targeted by fascists again. Whilst 3 of his attackers from another incident are awaiting sentencing, fascists started a hashtag on Twitter targeting the left leaning mouthpiece, for his sexuality among other things. Homophobia is wrong, fascists are always wrong, but this has a touch of the old schadenfreude for me.

Speaking as someone who has been victimised by fascists, for various strands of my identity, with little to no support resisting them, I’m a bit low on sympathy. When we, the ‘fringe lunatics’ were targeted, it suited everyone to ignore it, as though we didn’t exist. If anything, they, Owen Jones and his ilk, probably thought we deserved it. We were just as bad as the white supremacists, the hard left, for using bad language and assuming we had a part to play when we were nobody. If they thought their popularity would save them, they were wrong.

Solidarity isn’t difficult, it shouldn’t be a privilege afforded to those who have earned it (in a broken system), it isn’t something you should monetise or stratify on the basis of existing inequalities, benefiting those with power whilst those without are pushed further under the bus. I can’t think of anything more insulting in this struggle than to see a white man being hailed as a revolutionary for his resistance to white supremacists. What about the countless people of colour who’ve had their accounts suspended on Twitter, for daring to retaliate? There were no supportive hashtags for us, no outrage.

If anything, Owen is part of the problem. There is a select group of approved spokespeople who comply with the system, even when they are (allegedly) the opposition. They went to the same schools, they speak the same privileged language and they agree to keep the dialogue between themselves . When we challenged harmful attitudes on matters such as racial identity within (allegedly) left and liberal circles, they closed ranks. They had nothing to feel ashamed about or sorry for, we were the real bullies and oppressors. If they thought their whiteness or proximity to it would save them from oppressive white supremacy, they were wrong.

6 years ago I was attacked on public transport by a racist and the packed bus sided with him. My attackers were never brought to justice and the news barely caused a ripple on social media. Around the same time fascists targeted my online spaces so that I no longer have a Twitter or Facebook account. They led a sustained campaign of abuse stretching years because they haven’t been challenged by anyone with any power. Compare the reaction to the attack on Owen Jones, how quickly justice was served, and the swell of support on Twitter, resulting in a trending hashtag. If you’d like to understand how we have a fascist government in its 3rd term, you only need to look at the way we operate as a society, how we repeatedly victimise the most vulnerable and reward those who maintain the status quo. Owen silenced me once, many years ago and continued to ignore my tweets and appeals for solidarity, because it wasn’t his problem I guess. I said then this slippery slope to iniquity was in their hands, and they could change its course, and they ignored me. I don’t feel bad about being right in this instance, sometimes people have to to see and feel it for themselves to believe it exists.

I can’t say whether Owen has the wherewithal to approach this with the deference he should have employed all those years ago, but I can say for certain it will only get worse if he doesn’t. Owen isn’t a primary target/victim, but a cautionary tale for all white people who aren’t heterosexual, in peak fitness, on the right wing; if you tolerate this, then you’re definitely next.

Vote for Your Lives

The announcement of an early election has hit me in waves of wildly differing emotions; apprehension, annoyance, excitement, fear, swinging from one end all the way over to the other as new things occur to me. This is a pivotal moment in British history and what happens now will define us for the rest of human existence, which sadly isn’t forever but might still be a fair while.

The country is at its most polarised and when all this has blown up and settled again, the ushers must be held to account. It seems as though whatever happens there will be blood, racial purists are too tightly wound to let it go. In all fairness it’s not like we haven’t had ample time to prepare minority communities or make the perpetrators aware of consequences, we just haven’t made the effort.

We are all complicit, for the times we turned a blind eye, and pretended it had nothing to do with us. I’m not a saint, I was almost 30 before I decided I could no longer play the game, and actively started to challenge inequality, even though I had been a community worker for years. To be a feminist, I had to ignore the class and racial divides that informed the framework under which we worked, the kyriarchy that places white women as saviours and white men as their co-conspirators, even in women’s services. I had to challenge the ‘friends’ or casual racists and misogynists who refused to accept they were part of the problem. It meant turning my back on school friends and even members of my family and starting again, making a promise to myself to be radically honest, especially when it is not in my best interests, because that is when we are most easily swayed.

It could have been so easy for me, I’m an ‘other’ but in the exotic, interesting, could be from anywhere sense, and presenting as ultra feminine, I’m not a threat. All I had to do was keep my head down and laugh at all their racist jokes, and I, personally, would have been ok. Except that’s only how it works in the small pockets of rainy fascist island where multiculturalism has won the day (in the doomed words of Scummy Bundle) and the rest of the UK is actually a hotbed of white fascist nationalism stuck in a time warp when Britons ruled the waves. They hate foreigners and they will prove it.

It’s no longer about being politically left or right, the spectrum is a hot mess. It comes down to voting for more racism, more misogyny, genocide even, or not. To vote Tory is to vote for social cleansing, nothing less. A vote for the Lib Dems isn’t much better, their current leader is more Tory than some of their card carrying members and anyone with a memory and a healthy grudge will not forget their fascist appeasing history, from their failed student fees pledges to their complicity in austerity measures.

A vote for any other party other than Labour is a final nail in the coffin for the poor, the disabled, the marginalised and oppressed. We are all one accident or illness away from disability, we cannot say for certain we will never seek asylum in this rapidly changing climate, and health care is an inalienable human right. The rich did not make their riches, they inherited them from tyrants and thieves who held the world to ransom, leaving rivers of blood in their wake. That wealth never trickled down, the chasm between the richest people in the UK and the poorest has never been wider. White supremacy has ensured the upper classes never get their comeuppance for their subjugation of white working classes, not whilst people of colour and other minorities act as a buffer between the two.

This election has the power to change entire nations and bring in a dawn to a new era. We could begin 2020 with a renewed sense of hope and love for this world we occupy together. With a leadership focused on humanity and what we have more in common than that which divides, we can really thrive. We can revive our beloved NHS, bring wages in line with the cost of living, make the tax dodging multi nationals pay or fuck off. We can start healing the rifts in communities, exploited by fascist governments and media conglomerates.

We can start healing the world by leading by example.

Twitter is Dead to me

I’ve been asked a bunch of times when/whether I will be returning to Twitter and so I’ve decided to announce it here; I have never been more repelled by the idea and most likely won’t. I haven’t really been paying any attention to the news though the odd bit of information seeps through, like the deliciously shadenfraude week piss-haired Boris had recently, and the entitlement with which he boasted of his plans to break the law, a call to civil disobedience if ever there were one.


There’s no point to Twitter for me anymore. When I first joined I was completely unaware of the extent to which white supremacy would inform its ethos. I think about who I was in 2009 and how much I wanted to tweet Stephen Fry and how far I’ve come since. I no longer get star struck by the rich and famous. Twitter revealed the ugly side to celebrity, the self interest and wilful ignorance of the immensely privileged, which ensures their status.


Tokenisation of minorities was never more glaringly obvious. Gnasher Jew and theDSGGroup are both minorities themselves but these tokens denied Britain is oppressive to poc, just because they hate socialism and believe they are exceptional amongst their respective diasporas. They had me, a lifelong anti racist, removed for hateful conduct against minorities. The many racist rape and death threats I experienced were disregarded, apparently not violating their misogynous white supremacist guidelines, aided by the notoriously racist West Midlands Police (to whom I reported the threats against me) who claimed racist rape and death threats were within the realms of taste and decency but I could face criminal prosecution for saying kill all men. I stopped saying it, and surprisingly, managed to kill not even one of the jeb ends to which I referred. Meanwhile, nazi incels who were just crywanking gamers back then have gone on to kill a number of people, in prolific incidents that don’t seem to have any effect whatsoever on law enforcement and their sense of urgency.

Everything I’ve ever tweeted or blogged was to raise awareness of fascism and how we are all complicit and hurtling towards it without a care in the world. We have pointlessly racist organisations like Prevent targeting minorities who resist assimilation whilst an actual fascist government pushing racist campaigns and agendas sit in power and no one has thought to refer them to our award winning anti extremism program. Proof that Prevent is a racist endeavour targeting minorities to subdue them and enforce assimilation with the hodge podge white supremacist culture on rainy fascist island.

I never wanted to tweet about racism, when I first joined I’d mute anything connected to it, because I was afraid and never wanted to acknowledge it and make myself a target. The London austerity riots put an end to that. I had to speak up against the racist and classist punishments being meted out to the poorest of people. 6 months for looting a crate of water seemed a bit excessive and served as a stark warning that if we tolerated this outrage, worse was to come, but this has always been the cruel harsh world of the Tories. At the time I was completely flat on my back recovering from my second discectomy and felt so helpless at what was happening to our country. Collective punishment is a recognised step in the process to genocide but I barely managed to scrape together 1000 signatures condemning it. I did meet a lot of my closest friends as a result, these people cared when most didn’t, and I wasn’t going to let them go.

With each handover in this utter shambles of a government they have become increasingly more hateful and violent in their power and control. This is what I hoped to prevent. This is something I never wanted to see and it is why I spoke out against the so called leftists and liberals who were tacitly encouraging the rise of white supremacist nationalism via their hot takes on how a Farage of the left would ease all our troubles (never forget Helen Lewis is a dyed in the wool racist with the power to claim she is not despite all the evidence to the contrary) to how Islam was an conspicuous failure (Richard Dawkins picking up where his barbaric ancestors left off in medieval Europe burning books and slaughtering those who wouldn’t convert to Christianity by denying and erasing 1000s of years of scientific and cultural excellence in one egregiously dishonest tweet). White westerners would still be afraid of water and flinging their shits out of a bedroom window for their neighbours to wade through, were it not for the ingenuity of Muslims.

I saw this coming in 2013 and instead I was silenced, and ridiculed, until I was left shouting hysterically into the ether, ignored even by ‘my own side’. There is a tendency on the left to assimilate with the gatekeepers of your chosen profession. I watched as previously supportive comrades faded from the sidelines once they’d been published in the Guardian, no longer eager to RT everything I tweeted. Solidarity is like, actually, the hardest word. It’s difficult to side with the belligerent, I get it, but people are rarely so animated when life is good. I had hoped Pastor Niemoller had cleared up the dangers of self interest for us but apparently not.

There is nothing more I can say about our circumstances. I have never had the structural power to really affect change. Instead I had hoped to appeal to people who do, but the more power they get the more drone like they become, never really telling the radical truth, instead conforming to an idea of the deserving. The most marginalised are edged further out, instead of being welcomed into the fold. We’re all focused on Brexit with each camp claiming the other is fascistic but from where I’m standing, they all look the same. Yes, Brexit is bad, but so is a Europe for Europeans.

I’m done fighting for the 2013 status quo. I’m quite happy to fade into obscurity and put all my energy into the specialist psychotherapy I’ve been referred to, on the NHS! Even my GP was amazed and couldn’t understand how it had happened. I am grateful for the opportunity to work on myself as I should have been in 2010 instead of freaking out about gross human rights violations and the shameless lies that allow them, asylum seeking cat indeed. Imagine throwing a whopper on that scale and still being allowed to become an unelected prime minister. Democracy? As a side dish, perhaps.

If we were mutuals and we share at least one other mutual and you want to stay in touch, give your details to the mutual in common. This is my only regret regarding Twitter, the thousands of likeminded keepers of truth and guardians of beauty I can longer reach. Y’all made Twitter just about bearable and I am grateful for all your support. Ironically, all those who bemoaned radicals for creating echo chambers (because we had zero tolerance for bigotry) ensured Twitter itself became a white supremacist echo chamber. Future generations will use it as an example of how not to do business. Heck, rules and standards might make a comeback if we reject white supremacy.

JK Rowling and the Order of the British Empire

In this capitalist world where celebrity is everything, endorsements from the rich and famous can win or lose an election. Part of the reason Brexit was such a shambles was the utterly confusing mix of ‘idealist’ lefties and unapologetic bigots all on the same side. This is not to say I believe Galloway is an idealist or even a leftie for that matter but he says he is (even though I had some trouble reconciling this idea with the images of him sharing a platform with Nigel Farage). Whatever the leftie Brexiters thought they were doing, they weren’t prepared for the violent backlash against anyone deemed not English enough and in the weeks that followed there were some heartfelt retractions and apologies. Turns out if you ally with right wing fascists you only lend credence to their cause.

Perhaps this is why people like JK Rowling believe hard left and hard right are one in the same; they saw some of them mingling together for good ol’ Blighty and imagined the need for independence was unifying, they can work together so long as they kick back at the uber state. Personally I couldn’t understand how anyone could claim to be left yet relish the idea of having a national identity, separate from the rest of Europe because we are Englanders and we should be proud of such greatness. Nothing leftie about that if you ask me. Nationalism is not socialism but I can see why it could be so confusing for so many, this theory that the far left and the far right come together like a horse shoe. I can see why people would think in this way but I have to add, it is a bit of a reach and sounds like the opinion of people who repeat truisms parrot fashion. It sounds like the brain fart of someone who has never attended a counter demo against a far right rally for if they had they would know that the far right are always the first to attack and it is on the far left to defend. The far left resort to violence because it has been proven through history fascists only respond to this kind of protest; you can ask them nicely to leave and see where that gets you.

Far right knuckle-heads repeatedly threaten communities where the population is majority non white. Far left comrades; black, white, brown, Jews, Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Atheists, LGBTQ, disabled and many others defend these communities because we know an attack on one group is an attack on us all. Do not tar these very distinct groups with the same brush, JK and friends, it only magnifies your political ignorance and detachment from reality.

Neoliberals, Blairites, Red Tories etc would like for us to accept this idea they know what’s best for us, even though they haven’t the slightest interest in what makes us who we are. I want to talk about JK Rowling specifically because she was presented as their ace card – surely no one would dare question the almighty creator of Hogwarts, they assumed. With such a huge following I guess they thought we’d listen to her. Well, actually, a bunch of us were going to notice JK making false equivalencies between antifascists and fascists especially when she has a track record of ignoring minority voices pleading with her to honour their cultural practices and not misappropriate native ideas. This white lady with immense privilege routinely blocks brown people for saying she is stealing their culture and not compensating them for it. Heck, she isn’t even acknowledging it. It does feel suspicious doesn’t it, when we say it out loud and join the dots? A white lady picking and choosing how she would like to represent ethnic minorities, ignoring their protests at being misrepresented, hinting at the fact they and their supporters are just as bad as the white supremacists who would have us all wiped out.. It’s not just me, is it?

sturdyalex

Couple this with the fact that Blairites seem to glaze over whenever you bring up the Iraq war and the devastatingly harrowing legacy we left behind, choosing instead to vote for more bombs then gushing sycophantically about how much richer they got under Blair.. We cannot lay claim to greatness as an island until the war criminal has been held to account. We cannot claim to be a democracy when up to 2 million people were silenced when they marched to Stop the War. We cannot turn our backs when generations of Iraqi children are condemned.

When racists mock non whites for having a chip on their shoulder, for rinsing their oppression dry with the excuse “it was all a very long time ago and I wasn’t there, don’t blame me” they are choosing to ignore the ways in which non white cultures are still being carved up for mass consumption, rewarding the Columbusing white purveyor whilst various ethnic majorities struggle to ensure our basic survival. All she had to do was listen and come to an agreement with the people she is using to propel her successes; to give back what she took from them, in a manner befitting the native tradition. She actively chooses to ignore them. It’s why I had to interject when I saw JK conversing with an old time hero of mine, Sanjeev Bhaskar, in response to a Twitter user asking how he felt about JK supporting racist Blairites. His response was in earnest but coupled with the subsequent tweet from JK it presented Sanjeev in the light of a token brown person, his testament erasing the many voices who feel JK has profited from our ideas and stifled debate from the very people it concerns. Kudos to Sanjeev, I appreciated his frank replies to me, and the exchange prompted me to write this post, something I have been avoiding this past week, partly due to the inevitable white knighting from scary dudebros if they chance upon it but also because it would be ignorant of me to leave out the bit where I admonish the usual suspects for their erasure of the important points being made here. Of course Helen Lewis and Laurie Penny were going to circle jerk their support for this beloved children’s author of whom we’re all just jealous, for being so smart and original. The same faces who’ve systematically erased and silenced poc protesting erasure and silencing have propped each other up to the exclusion of everyone who is not rich, white and not famous.

They can’t have Sanjeev Bhaskar, not when already they have Panju.

sanjeev

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Further reading:

National Geographic – Native Americans to JK “We’re not magical”

Magic in North America Part 1 – Ugh

Natives in America – Dear JK Rowling: We’re still here

You are exactly like all the others, whatever they say

If you were one of those people who insisted it is not Islamophobic to scrutinise Islam and Muslim people when you are neither of those things yourself then you personally contributed to the actions which led to a Sikh man being identified as a Muslim terrorist (by Gamergate trolls who exist only to torment vulnerable people cos ethics) and reported to the rest of the world before the information was even verified. This happened beacause the western world is largely ignorant of the rest of us and experiences it as a sort of quaint skewed little fairy tale which best fits their centuries old prejudices. The media were fooled because they are perhaps the most ignorant of the bunch and a brown face to them is always a terrorist. When a poc is probably responsible, as it is whenever there’s a disaster then due process becomes a privilege only afforded to white people. It’s consistent with the experience I have of the western world, where it doesn’t matter what you do to distinguish yourself from all the others, you’ll always be a paki, regardless of whether or not you are actually from Pakistan.

I’ve been asked where I’m from more times than whether I’ve had a good day, I know this much without doing the maths. Once upon a time I humoured it and asked people to guess and they did; Maltese, Greek, Arab, Iranian, Afghani, Latina, the list goes on and on. White people literally see colour before they see anything else and depending on your answer to this question draw conclusions before you need say anything further. I was always wary of saying Pakistani because I’d grown up feeling like the proverbial shit on one’s shoe for no apparent reason, it was just a feeling that was ever present. I used to say I was Kashmiri and this was partly true, my mum hails from there but I always had a sense it was preferable to identify as Indian, as all the Muslim Indians I knew liked to rub it in, for why, I had no idea, but it was there, this unspoken rule. I imagine now it was the residual tenets of divide rule and conquer which had passed down the generations, infecting us before we were even born. It’s apparent in the token few who deny our existence and experiences of the world so that white people can write us off as bullies and attention seekers, this idea that we must only object because we are jealous and not genuinely critical for the greater good. They will attach themselves to each other as allies and ambassadors for one another just to keep you out and struggling.

The ignorant world we find ourselves in is a direct consequence of white supremacists and their token allies. Every time a white person says to you you are not like all the others and you’re actually some kind of special snowflake, it is a lie. You are maybe a toy to the person who says that to you, someone they can wind up and watch make a fool of themselves but you are most definitely just like the others to all the white people you haven’t yet met, and probably most definitely the person who would say such a racist thing in the first place. If you’re a poc and you’re still struggling with observing and identifying divide rule and conquer, if Veerender Jubbal’s case has not made your blood run cold in horror, that the people in control of narratives can get it so very wrong, then you alone will be responsible for the ways in which you are abused.

A Sikh man (wearing a Sikh turban which is completely different to other brown people’s head coverings) can be thrust onto the world stage without his consent, without any viable reason for this attack on his identity (not that racist targeting is a viable reason even when the subject is Muslim), have a Quran photoshopped into his hands (replacing the ipad) and the media will probably get away with it, but we mustn’t let them. Remember that time little old me made a mistake that barely a few thousand people will have seen (though they will have most definitely witnessed my unprompted apology) yet the media acted as though I had killed someone with my false allegation of racism, the way they used it to whip me with because it was just such a terrible thing to accuse someone of being a racist shitheel. Well it’s actually worse to be a victim of racism, even more than being falsely accused in a system where actually, racism is inherent, it being a proud nation built on the looting and erasure of other people and cultures, and unrepentant in its ways.

The media is massively racist, whatever they might say. They just proved it.

Not All Muslims

Holocaust is so last century 

holocaust-childrenCAMP

“Could you all form a queue? Women and children first. No, you won’t be needing that, not where you’re going..” This is how it goes down doesn’t it? That’s what I remember from the films rated PG, obviously the grown up ones were a little less polite and more blatantly murderous.

I was 12 or thereabouts when I first learned of the Holocaust. I remember thinking “oh my God, they mean people like me” and banishing the thoughts from my head because it was too painful. It’s fine to visit places glorifying the war dead such as the Imperial War Museum when you’re a child growing up in your coloniser’s world and you’ve been brainwashed into thinking you need protection from the state (instead of constantly fending off attacks from the state) but to think of those people, young Anne Frank for example, as people who were helpless against their attackers in the same way you’d probably be.. It was easier to distance the self from those horrific events so far in the past they could never hurt us again. I had the same sharp attack of existentialism when I found I was a carrier for a genetic disease. Playing Holocaust Bingo has been a lifelong habit of mine but I had hoped we were past such barbarism.

#KillAllMuslims is trending worldwide. I’m sure that has a lot with America coming online but still. When I reported swathes of racist abuse to the police they cautioned me with legal action over my use of the political phrase ‘kill all men’. I could be committing a crime you see, with my intentions against 4 billion men. How are they supposed to know I’m only joking, or being sarcastic to highlight an important message or venting my frustration? I’m actually professing my feelings on the gendercide of 4 billion men right? Well, I might have had the potential to do that if there was already worldwide backing in my terrorist hate campaign against the menz but there wasn’t. Perhaps if I had a militia movement with its own uniform and everything I could understand their genuine concerns but no. I had none of the support there is for a Holocaust of Muslims which has been growing steadily for decades and it’s not that we haven’t tried to warn you; it’s that people just don’t care. Will the police be cautioning the thousands tweeting those words for terrorism? Course not.

It’s difficult to refrain from drawing comparisons to a violent past when the present mimics it so vividly. Most people won’t see it, because they’re too busy paying back over inflated mortgages and struggling to heat and eat so their empty stomachs will trump your right to life. If you look back at this time a century ago though, you’ll notice the worrying number of similarities. Perhaps you think we’re too evolved to go back to a time of such cruelty and lessons have been learnt, you can be a bigot without calls for gas chambers but I disagree. Human beings are just not that sophisticated or special. There are but a handful of stories with finite conclusions. We may live in a country that is traditionally a seat of power and therefore too precious to join in on a global war (Gorbachev called it) but I don’t think that’s true. We start wars, we don’t stand back and let the others have all the fun/claim glory and many of us have been battling this for a few years now whilst the majority of the mainly white middle classes have attacked us for pulling out race cards and serving self-interests.

Will I be able to look at my nephews faces now without being reminded of Sophie’s Choice? Shall I start writing a diary now so that future generations will know we objected at every opportunity? Which of my family members will I lose? Where can I access all of my money if I needed to? Cash machines only let you withdraw so much in a day. How many friends can I count on? Who’d be the best in a violent situation? How can I protect all my loved ones with this borked back? What if I had to run? Will the piece of paper calling me a threat to myself and others (for the purpose of sickness benefits) now serve as my own death warrant? Have I made myself an obvious target by calling you all out the last couple of years? Will there still be people calling me a lunatic for catastrophising actual violence against non-white people, that is fast coming to its natural conclusion? Where can I learn Krav Maga?  Who can I trust? If I wear a bikini all day every day, will that prove my non muslimness?

Am I going to die a horrible death? If it comes to that, is it better to go by one’s own hand?

If you know a Muslim, reach out your hands to them, today, tomorrow and every day from now on. They need you to make that connection. They need to know they are relatively safe in a sea of white faces. Be brave and challenge your own and remember not all of us who look Muslim are Muslim yet we are in danger of the same dehumanisation. Sikhs, Hindus, South Americans etc, we are all under attack. Don’t let the white supremacists divide conquer and rule. Let there be only racism and not racism. I hope we can avoid the millions who’ll die for the powerful few laughing at us all right now.

A person like me

What is the point of social media for someone like me? When I say ‘me’ what exactly do I mean? I’m not under any illusions about my existence; I don’t see myself leading you all to revolution or winning a Nobel peace prize or anything. I haven’t the knack for self-promotion for a start. In order to do this I’d need an internal editor capable of presenting an image that fits easily in a white patriarchy; the kind that asks questions but lets you come to your own conclusions, no doubt confirming your own biases, whatever the message. No, there isn’t a place for someone like me, not when I spell it out for you that people like me are suffering, if not fighting for their lives.

I may have been heard if I hadn’t turned the spotlight around on the people mendaciously constructing a world that doesn’t reflect the reality many thousands of ethnic minorities (and ‘others’) experience on this rainy fascism island. My primary malfunction was assuming that the world was ready to hear how the individual contributes to the unjust and unequal system we find ourselves trapped in. The beginning of the end for me was initiated by another woman. A feminist no less, one of the ‘race is not a feminist issue’ brigade, as I discovered when they felt buoyed enough by the support of other white people to say whatever they liked, without consequence.

The world of social media is a microcosm of the world I cannot be a part of irl. The same white gatekeepers exist in positions of power that mark someone like me out as a troublemaker, a loose cannon. Instead of saying this though, noting that we’re all human and fallible, apologising for our prejudices and making promises to do better, it has been standard practice to obliterate the dissenting voice instead, by subjecting the speaker to all of the things they have been protesting against.

I am a survivor of male perpetrated violence and sexual abuse. I was subjected to this violence whilst I was still curled up with my twin in our mother’s womb. I am a survivor of immigration and now realise that a lot of the violence I and the other women in my family were subjected to was exacerbated by the ways in which the men of my family were treated by the British Empire. I am learning about my heritage and I can finally understand the ghosts that haunted my grandfather, a child who witnessed partition and then never spoke of it again. He was in the army, we knew that much. He had his name crudely tattooed on his arm in biro ink, in case they needed to identify his corpse I presume. On leaving the army he came to settle in Birmingham and worked extremely hard for 5 years before he could bring over his wife and 3 small children, my father being the middle one. When he eventually did call for them, they were almost lost forever when the plane they had been ordered to leave – to make space for VIPs who were given priority – crashed over France killing all those on board. My family is a miracle. They survived the empire and they made it to this country in one piece.

However, the struggle for basic survival didn’t end with them, whatever the white knights of Twitter seem to think. It’s a bit rich for these white saviours to mock us with stories of how our dark men are mutilating our vaginas and killing us for talking to boys and how much worse off we’d be if we’d been born in any of the brown countries. The fact that my female cousins had a private education in Pakistan with one of them awarded a scholarship for a doctorate in engineering isn’t something I’ve ever felt the need to share to silence the hecklers, as if they would listen or believe me anyway. I don’t need to be reminded of patriarchal violence and control; my great grandmother was beaten to death by her man. It wasn’t the Asian or Muslim in him that made him do this or ensured she was victim to it. It was power and control. Patriarchal power and control; the kind that rears its ugly head when your country is under attack and ‘your women’ are being raped, being as they are merely vessels for the patrilineage. The kind that prompts my apparently relaxed Sufi like ancestors to suddenly turn inwards and toughen their cultural praxis so that others cannot accuse them of allowing the British to bastardise their values. Of course that’s going to be amplified when they arrive in said coloniser’s country. I see the anger and disapproval they pelted me with as I was growing up as a reaction to colonial power and control and their abuse of my person as a manifestation of their own post-traumatic stress disorders and Stockholm syndrome. My grandparents were promised a home away from home but when they arrived here they were faced with severe violence and abuse yet their reaction to it was to accept their dehumanised status and suffer the blows. That pent up rage and hurt had to make its exit somewhere and it was people like me who bore the brunt of it. I forgive them though, because I know it wasn’t their fault. It was yours ‘Great Britain’.

I shunned my brown Muslim family the first chance I got, running away from home aged 15, cutting my dark waist length hair into a bob, eating all the pork products I could ram into my mouth (denouncing the Muslim God as I masticated), just out of spite. I thought the drunker I got, the more they’d accept I was one of them. I had to find a white boyfriend cos that would give me the protection I needed from both racist whites and vengeful brownies. I was annoyed at my gran for not telling us a distant cousin had married a white man (who’d converted to Islam for her) and that she’d instructed the other women to keep it a secret too. She was afraid we were ripe for the poaching y’see. She was right. Maybe if I married a white man I could have a properly white sounding name too. I was already called Sam and had dropped my uber Arabic surname because of the lack of opportunities it had lumped me with. A mere 6 hrs after I’d begrudgingly westernised my name, I was given my first interview in 3 months. That’s how racist Britain was in 2005, regardless of what we were told.

I’m not proud of the ways I have ducked and dived the judgements racism has thrown my way. I am not ashamed of it either. I am able to reason that survival is cruel and I did whatever was necessary. White people make it impossible for you to exist in a way that honours your cultural background then mock you for leaving it behind. This is the exact reason why I give up, why I’m done trying to get people to think. The issue here is not one of co-existing in a tolerant society and resistance to this liberal way of life but the shifting of goalposts so that it never matters that we do our best or bow our heads, it’s just not good enough. White Britons want us to jump through hoops like the good little Asians do, they want us to change our beliefs/personalities depending on who is calling it at the time, even if it is some beer bloated ignorant pig of a chav (I’m working class, what of it?) who thinks they’re better than you cos their ruling classes stole from yours. On this matter of working class whites, I am done with trying to understand a section of society so downtrodden and put upon by the illuminated ones “It’s not their fault they’re poor and stupid, their racism isn’t really racism, they’re just ignorant”. Stop right there and hear me on this; I left school at 16, I don’t have a formal education or trust fund and I am not a racist either. When I look at white people I don’t see degrees of racism based on their level of education/class. I see people who recognise my humanity and those who want me silenced/dead because they believe I am not human enough. Call me a paki and I’ll call you white trash.

So y’see, I know why my peers and even those with a much smaller vocabulary than me are being published in the papers, their voices resonating with all who look like them. They are the ones who know how to play the system because it has been set up to benefit them. I know how this game goes but I’m not a very good liar and it’s never been about a high flying meeja career. I want to say what I need to say and for it to be heard and believed as my lived experiences. However if anyone actually did that then they would have to admit how they benefit from the status quo and nobody wants to relinquish their privilege or share it with someone as outspoken as me (they think I think like them and want the things they want and this scares them).

I am a British Asian woman who tried to be all that was required of me but soon realised that meant I had to be dishonest and dissociate for the privilege of success in a white capitalist patriarchy. I have grown to hate this country I so loved once upon a time. I don’t want to bomb it or teach anyone a lesson, terror is terror, whoever experiences it, even the knuckleheads but I will smash anyone upside the head if they ‘do a racism’ in my presence. I am shackled and gagged on social media, I am prevented from defending myself, I do not deserve solidarity and so I give up, take it, keep it for yourselves. We’ve come too far to backtrack the racism of the past year and now I fear we’re hurtling towards the inevitable. Sticking around without the backing I need from white ‘allies’ is waving myself like a red flag to a bunch of fascist bull shits.

It’s safer to behave as though you do not exist.