I don’t want comfort. I want God. And I feel like too many tie those two together without any real forethought. But God is not answers. God, is a never ending spiral of questions that quench your thirst for wisdom.
When I was little, I wanted to be white.
That’s the colour the sweet, popular girl at school was. That’s the colour the beautiful, breath-taking supermodels on the billboards. And that was the colour all the characters in my favourite tv series were. Which role models looked like me? Beyoncé is now the third woman (behind Naomi Campbell & Halle Berry) to grace the cover of Vogue in the magazine’s 123 years of publication, and people are raving as if this is iconic. That’s not iconic. That’s ridiculous. The third in 123 years. But you say there is equality.
My mother moved from France to England because she didn’t believe she, a young black woman, could get a respectable teaching job where we were. My mum forced me to read English story books, meant for an age much younger than I was yet it was still extremely difficult. She made me read every single day and I hated every minute of it. I see know that she did this so I could speak English perfectly by the time it mattered, by the time people started to assume I was illiterate, uneducated and ignorant from the colour of my skin. And even though my mum spent hours teaching me the English I am able to speak so fluently now, due to her patience and encouragement, you can still tell English is her second language. She asks me how to say certain British expressions to fit in, She asks me to proofread emails for her, out of embarrassment that she feels her English isn’t sufficient enough to be taken seriously, it sickens me that while their mastery of the English language is more than proficient, it doesn’t matter, because the rest of the world doesn’t care. But you say there is equality.
I grew up, watching the world’s understanding of my cultural heritage being reduced to the “black best friend”, being portrayed as domestic help, sassy and thugs. I grew up being asked “but, where are you really from?” as a reply to when I told them I was born in France. I grew up, being told I had to be the servant when I played families with my white friends, when I held in me the fact that when slavery was finally abolished, slaves received no apology and the slave-owners often received a minimum of £50 per slave in compensation. The slave-owners received paid compensation. But you say there is equality.
I live in a country that when a well-known television presenter says the racist n-slur, on air, he keeps his job .I live in the 21st century, where the only understanding I can get about the story behind my heritage comes from my own parents, where the only times I can see people who look like me on screen and aren’t portrayed in a degrading, racially comic, stereotypical way is on YouTube. The caricatures on television teaches us that we are brash, aggressive deficient at English and poor. But you say there is equality.
Who would want to black? In the few instances coloured people made an appearance on my television, they were always the criminals, the delinquents, the poor or had a funny accent everyone could laugh at. Obviously no way someone who wasn’t white could be educated, wealthy or even just a generally good person.
But still, you love your jazz music, your fried chicken. Please, enjoy your holidays to the Caribbean, your corn rows and Morgan Freeman.
Emergencies are a funny thing. A few days ago, I was out with a couple of “friends” (this in quotation marks because a) I didn’t really know all of them and b) they are no longer my friends) and we came across an elderly lady lying face down in an alleyway. I automatically assumed there was a problem seeing as this woman was quite old and she had an overturned shopping bag on the floor next to her. We all rushed over and asked her what had happened. She replied “I was just walking down this road and I fainted. I have a knee problem so I can’t get up.” Then she started to become a bit aggressive, saying things like “get away from me!” And “I don’t know you!” Now apparently, one of the people I was with had seen her around, he told me that her name was Lorna and she did this all the time. I didn’t really think this made the situation any less serious so I tried to call an ambulance. In the meantime, two of my “friends” were trying to convince this old lady, who was obviously not in the best state, that they were brother and sister and that she was famous.
Anyway, after frantically trying to remember what the UK emergency number was, I finally got hold of someone who could help. I answered all the basic questions (How old is the victim? Is she breathing? What is her name? Does she have any abdominal pain? Is she able to talk? What is your address?), I was told “According to your analysis of the situation, you do not need an ambulance. For further assistance, please call the NHS number.)
I was shocked. Completely shocked. There was an old lady lying on the floor (by this time she was no longer responding to us) and “according to my emergency, I did not NEED an ambulance.” Thanks, British health service.
It took another two calls on separate phones to finally get an ambulance, of which I was even more shocked by the attitude of the health worker. He was blasé, coming up to us and audibly stating “Yep, I know you,” and continuing to tell us a story about how once she had ended up in New Cross (a town about 30 minutes from where we were). Then he half-heartedly got her address then told us we could go.
Was I really that wrong and optimistic to assume we would get adequate help the FIRST time we called an ambulance?
Was I really that wrong and optimistic for being disgusted when my friends were laughing and filming this poor old woman?
And was I really that wrong and optimistic for expecting that the health worker assigned to help the situation would actually be HELPFUL?
If so, then I really don’t feel safe.
“There is blood on our hand, for we have killed great potentials, with rusty iron swords of discrimination and prejudice. Oh this place, this place smells like God has bled to death.” – Unknown
I feel like everyday, humanity crushes dreams. There are so many suicides, each day, each second, that they are overlooked, casually swept under the carpet as if they never happened.
Talents are wasted because someone wasn’t gifted with a ‘pretty’ face. Instead of someone being recognised for their musical talent, a woman who released a sex tape is now a millionaire and has her own reality TV shows.
People are murdered daily based on a belief of a God that may not exis, beliefs that have been twisted and bent to suit their opinion and children are sent to war for a country that will not remember them.
Often, I am ashamed to call Eaeth my home and humans my people.
I nominate Elm, her blog is so funny and interesting – I can always count on her to bring a smile to my face 🙂
Thanks again to A Teenage Poet for the nomination!