These words are really powerful and hateful.
I read recently that a Sikh man in America was shot on his own driveway with somebody yelling that exact sentence to him. It upset me on so many levels, thankfully the gentleman in question wasn’t fatally wounded, but many have been in the past, most recently Srinivas Kuchibhotia, who was killed, and his friend Alok Madasani, who was injured when shot at in a club, originally from India, living in the US and working as engineers.
Whilst at the moment the USA seems to be in a bit of unrest, living in the UK has not always been that safe either for ethnic minorities, possibly even less so because of Brexit.
I’ve mentioned before that the area of the UK I live in isn’t heavily Asian/Black orientated, even so I’ve been very lucky not to have experienced much racial abuse whilst living here.
But those words ‘go back to your own country’ have been said out loud in my vicinity. I was in my mid-teens and at the Gurdwara (Sikh Temple) when maybe three or four white British kids came up to the open doorway and yelled those exact words to the congregation at the Gurdwara at the time. It wasn’t pleasant to hear.
All my life I have wondered at the stupidity of people.
To me yelling ‘go back to your own country’ is ridiculous, because I’m already in it. My dad is British and my mother Indian, as I’ve previously stated I identify with both cultures and nationalities. What gets me is that my skin colour apparently means I don’t belong here, I assumed that where you were born was your national identity, well der me for not realising that because I’m brown I should go to a country I don’t know or speak very little of the national language, oh how stupid of me.
If these kids had paid attention in history lessons, they’d know that the British Empire had a long arm and most Indians/Pakistanis don’t see the UK as a foreign land when they first migrated here, the British were invading countries for HUNDREDS of years so that those from India felt a kinship with the UK as our histories are so entwined. India didn’t invite the British for a cuppa and they just outstayed their welcome, they invaded.
Growing up here I have come across people who have been quietly racist, who believed in the most radical ideas of the BNP/UKIP by comments they’ve made around me, this doesn’t bother me, I just disengage from these people. Internally I giggle; the hypocrisy of some of the white British population who do hate those of colour is so huge! These are the same people who will go to tanning salons weeks prior to a summer holiday in Spain so that they look darker and not so pale abroad. If skin colour is your biggest issue then why are you trying to be the same colour as me? Yet hate people like me because we’re already tanned?
I know that racism isn’t always about skin colour, hell plenty of people hate Europeans and they’re white. Its lack of education or even wanting to educate yourself, because doing so may change your view of the world, god forbid if that happened, you might learn something.
Being multi-cultural has, I suppose, made me more open minded, I hope those kids who shouted those words grew up to be. Becoming better informed and understanding another culture (or race, a word I hate), may just open your mind and make you a more grounded human. What’s wrong in learning about other cultures, you don’t always have to agree with them. Hell, there are some I don’t agree with because of the way women are regarded in their society!
But just following the masses and saying you hate foreigners or people of colour in my opinion is stupidity at its highest level, you don’t even know why you really hate these people. If it means they should go back to their own country, or the country you perceive them to be from because of skin colour or accent, maybe you should take a DNA test to see where you originate from, because newsflash, the UK is an island that has been invaded many times over!
Me, I was born in Birmingham, don’t know how much more central than that you can get and I love being British so I’m staying here.
Have a good day xo