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Racism

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I’m not proud to say it but i am a little racist.

I’m this way because of experiences i had trying to bring up a baby in a mostly Asian town.

So before I moved to Rochdale and had my son, i wouldn’t have thought of myself as racist. I grew up in a white town and was a teen before the first non white family moved in. I didn’t have feelings one way or another about race. how could I as I didn’t have any experience to basis any opinions on.

So fast forward a few years I’m twenty one heavily pregnant and living in Rochdale. Muslims past my house to go to mosque, and there where times when gangs of teens heading there threw comments my way. “Slut. Whore. you should give your baby to a proper family.” just some of the things said.

I was twenty one and in a committed relationship. we’d been together nearly three years when we moved to Rochdale, and been engaged for two.

I mostly ignored the comments thrown my way. I had bigger things to worry about. Things like have we got enough nappies and are the baby grows going to fit the baby when he comes.

After I had my son, I had an hour with his dad while a bed was found then both of us where wheeled away as it wasn’t visiting time. I’d have to wait six hours to see my family again.

Again didn’t think much of it. rules are rules, and after nearly a two day labour I didn’t feel like talking to anyone anyway.

That night another new mum and baby where wheeled into the ward. An asian mother not much older then myself. with them came ten family members. seeming shouting at the top of their lungs. the midwife asked them to keep the noise down and left them to it.

two hours and many complaints by me and other white mothers later, to which we where told we can’t kick them off the ward theyd cause to much trouble, I called my other half and made him complain. within moments of him calling who ever was in charge of the hospital that night the family where finally made to leave.

The rules should be the same for everyone. My son wasn’t even 24 hours old and for most of that he’d been wide awake and very gassy.

Soon that family slipped my mind I was home an trying to get used to breast feeding every hour and half on the dot.

fast forward seven months and my son and I are at a mums and tots group run by the local sure start centre. There was an even spilt of white families and Muslim families. i know this because they weren’t mixed. the white families at one end of the room and the Muslim ones at the other.

My son at the time s was starting to motor along on his own and as long as he wasn’t in danger of being hurt i left him to it. He and a Muslim child not much older then himself wanted to play with the same toy. They were happily sharing the toy when the boys mother in the full body covering came over grabbed the toy and her child and moved them back to their side of the room.

This made my son cry and me very angry. I tried to talk to the woman but was ignored and a few minutes later i was told off by the staff there for causing a problem.

I admit I might not have been as polite as I could have been. Telling the woman that her actions are why children grow up to hate her and others like her. My son was just playing with her child and they were making friends.

There where times when I’d be out shopping on my own or with my son and the male Asian shop workers would serve men in the line behind me before they served me. or would ignore me when i asked when something was.

I was spat at in the street by Asian’s, women, men and children. once it hit my son in his pram. I caused a scene then an there and amazingly nothing happened to me or the family even though there where police officers across the street.

Over three years living in Rochdale i experienced a lot of racism aimed my way, to the point where i would only enter a shop if there where white staff working there. I didn’t feel safe if there was a gang of Asian boys near me on the street, where as i felt completely safe if it was a gang of drug smoking white boys.

Something i never thought would happen as i grew up thinking gangs of white boys where quite scary and to be avoided.

So in short after my experience in Rochdale I am Racialist and don’t like being around Muslims. I know that not all are like what I experienced in Rochdale, but that was a town over run with people acting like that and it has coloured my view of all Muslims.

So what got me writing this post? The BBC is running a season about race and how attitudes to it affect people. And it got me thinking.

75% of people say they are in no way racist and wouldn’t like to be with anyone who is. But race crime is up and far right groups are on the rise. So people are lying in public about not being racist but are behind closed doors.

I know my saying in public that I am a racist after my experience’s isn’t something that going to win me many friends. But, i cant lie about it. I feel safer around white people. My son never had a new friend taken away by a white mother. To date I have never been spat at  by any one who wasn’t Asian, or been ignored in a shop by someone who wasn’t Asian.

I don’t like feeling this way. Or the fact that the experiences I’ve had had led me to feel this way. I get on with the Asains who run my local take away across the road. But it took a few visits before i felt comfortable in there.

One of them asked my why I didn’t seem comfortable there one day, and I told them about my time in Rochdale. They listened and then told me that, that was part of the reason they and their family had left that area and set up shop where I live.

They saw people being mistreated for not being the same and even being mistreated themselves for not being as uptight as others.

With the boys at the takeaway I know I can ask them any question about their faith and the lives of their families in the mid east. They want to teach people that not all Asians are bad and often enjoy the same things as any one else. They want me asking questions of them. They see it as their job to teach people things.

I have to say through them in a mostly white town I have learnt more about their faith and community then I did living amongst it in Rochdale. I hope that they’ll still answer my questions in time to come and help me turn my thinking around on all Asians.

If my experiences in Rochdale had been like the ones I’ve had in that take away then I wouldn’t have any racist thoughts or feel less safe around Asian gangs then I do white.

Work in progress here, but I’m prepared to put the time in as i don’t want to carry on thinking the way i do.

And, in the end it’s up to all whatever their skin colour or faith to say yes we’re a little or a lot racist but we want to change. We want to get on with one another and feel safe no matter what. Until then race and faith crime will probably carry on rising  and more people will find themselves in the position I have. With racist thoughts because of what they themselves have experienced while trying to live their lives in a peaceful way.

Is being raised a christian a bad thing?

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According to Richard Dawkins it is.

he was raised Roman Catholic and claims a lot of the teachings mess with people’s heads long into adulthood.

From the age of seven I attended a Church of England church every week. And I believed in God and everything that comes with it in the way only a child can.

After I was confirmed into the faith I became an altar girl and every other week preformed those duties for six years, before I started questioning my faith and eventually came to the conclusion it wasnt for me after not getting answers I needed to stay in the church.

Some of my happiest childhood memories involve things that happened through the church. Much of that because I had I fantastic vicar who really knew how to get kids involved in the church.

So untill recently I would have disagreed with professor Dawkins.

But my child who sadly doesn’t live with me came out with a statement because of the way he’s being raised a christian that broke my heart.

his father recently re found his faith, but not before knocking up his then girlfriend less than a month after thy got together. he found faith and they got wed in what I consider to be a cult church not a real church.

I didn’t marry my ex before my son was born as I felt the money was better spent on preparing for the baby and I hated growing up knowing my parents only got married because I was coming along. they had an unhappy marriage, and like a lot of kids I blamed myself for them  not being happy. I didn’t want my son knowing we wed because he was coming before the planned date we had already set.

My son told me because I didn’t marry his father before he was born, he’s not a real child like his half-sister. That god doesn’t love him as much as her because we weren’t married and that we don’t love him properly because we didn’t marry. That he shouldnt be loved as much as her because we didnt marry.

None of that is true.

At least not for my side of his family who love him unconditionally and will do anything to make sure he knows he is loved, wanted and very much a proper child.

but because people at church and his own father have said things along those lines in his hearing he thinks it true.

My ex claims no ones said it around him when I challenged him about it, but my ex isn’t good with the truth, even more so when it could make him look less than good in others eyes. So I don’t believe him. plus by going to a cult church were I know I’m considered less than human because I refuse to believe in their god I wouldn’t put it past them to say nasty things about me to him even if it something that makes him unhappy.

My understanding of being a proper Christian is loving everyone no matter what and not making them feel bad for something they didn’t have any control over. Even more so when that person is an impressionable young child.

When I found out that this half sibling was coming I worried that he would be treated differently to her and think he was worth less than her and because of the way the so-called christians around him are behaving it has happened.

And it breaks my heart that he is moved to tears by what so-called christians have said to/ around him.

It’s not christian and I have come to the conclusion that raising a child in the way is worse than anything I was accused of as this is something which plays on his mind a lot and will more than likely do so for the rest of his life.

it saddens me to say it and believe it as I wanted him to have the same happy memories of church and associated events that I had growing up. but because I wasn’t married to his father when he was born he’ll never know the happiness I did as a child at church. the half sibling might since in their eyes she is a real child who is loved properly and god accepts her in a way he doesn’t my son.

 

Christian Evangelists.

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I was reading eariler about a Christian group in Bath being banned from promoting themselves and their “healing powers” outside the Abby. I myself feel that this was a good thing to do. These people arent assoicated with the Church of England abbey and have no way of proving their claims.

I myself when pushed say i am a church of england christian, as that was the faith i was brought up in. However I don’t feel that i can truely be a christian follower as i have always had more questions then answers and never managed to get answers to my most important questions. Like for example IF God allows people to die horribly in natural disasters then surely that means god enjoys letting people be in pain and therefore god is satan as well. If god loves us all so much and only wants the best for us why has he given satan and demon cart blanc to tempt us, and then punishes us for being just as weak willed as he made us? To name but a couple.

My father spent ten years of his life crusading with a couple of evenelists and had true faith, he lost it when he saw people use faith as a way to get rich. He saw people who truely believed int he power of god and his kindness in letting a mortal man weild his power and heal them. Only to come back the next week and need healing again as it didnt work. And these people blame themselves for not being good enough, praying enough, not always having a kind thought in their minds etc.

Not once stopping to think “hang on, i have a medical condition and the doctor is giving me drugs for it. Drugs that are proven to work for my illness. I am a faithful follower and do my best to behave as the bible says i should. My god is supposed to be a kind god who doesnt want to see children suffer so why is he letting me suffer.”

Now i know that there is proof out there about placbos working just as well as the drug in trails. And that it has been put downto peoples faith in them reciving the real drug and expecting to get better. But that doesnt mean that groups like the one mentioned above should say they can heal you by praying or laying on hands.

In my fathers experince a lot of the people who are atracted to these type of christians are ones who are going through a hard time. have hit rock bottom like i have the past few weeks. Going off what my father says if i accutaly left the house and went to the nearest large town my current mental state is the excate state that these people look out for and prey on.

Yes i could love to have someone take away the pain i feel. Yes i would love to be able to find forgiveness for the pain i have caused and has been caused to me. Yes i would love to know that there is someone bigger hten myself who loves me and wants the best for me.

But i dont think that i am going to find that in a street preacher or a group who claim to be able to heal me and mine. The things we have gone through and the hurt and pain both emotionally and physically isnt something that will be taken away with a prayer and laying on of hands. Just like a lot of the illness that these groups clai to be able to heal.

In a lot of cases i believe that these people are giving false hope and in some cases even endangering lives by telling people they will heal them and they dont need to take the meds the doctor gave them. In the cases for terminal cancer that is cruel and could be stopping people taking meds that would prolong their life giving them more time with the people they care about.

There are the odd cases where going to these people and allowing them to take you under their wing does make your life better. We have all heard storied of drunks and drug addicts being taken in by these people, finding faith and leading better lives from then on.

When i worked in Blackpool i regularly chatted to a street preacher and was genuanly intreasted in what he had to say. At the time i was studing religon at collage level and disscussing the things i had studdied that week with him often helped me get those things straight in my head, or getting a real life persons perspective on what he and his church believed about x,y and z.

He never managed to persude me to go to one of their services, which maybe i should have done. But i had better things to do like studying and spending time with my boyfriend. I may have learnt more about his faith and htat if the people he shoce to surround himself with after getting off the drink. But if i’m honest “happy clappy” churches tend to freak me out. i left one church because people started throwing themselves ont he floor almost having fits, screaming and making animal noises. Thats not  my idea of practicing a faith. Thats just drawing attention to yourself away from the reason why your there. Its like i never understood the whole shouting out during a “normal sermon. By that i mean one aimed at adults. At the church i attended, where i was an alter girl. There was a service once a month where the vicar would get the kids to come to the front and he would give a sermon by getting them to act out scenes in the bible or testing their listening when he was reading the passages from the bible. More often then not the kids where given sweets for getting the answers right or just cause he felt like it.

Sadly he died and the only person who ever really tried to help me amswer the questions i had was gone.

I know this is an emotive issue and one where i may be in the minority. i look forward to reading your comments.