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racism, yeah it's happening

Updated on July 8, 2016

Raciscm? Yeah, it's still happening.

I’m fucking mad. First time in a while that I’ve been truly fucking mad.

Mad enough to write about it.

Why? I’m black. Not fully black, (half Ghanaian), but I am brown on the outside. My afro is pretty damn black. Now to clarify i’m not actually specifically mad about being black, in fact I love it.

No, I’m mad about all the shit that has to come with it.

‘What shit?’ you ask. It’s okay, don’t act like you don’t know what i’m talking about. It’s not a swearword, you can say it.The ‘R’ word.Yeah, racism.

‘But racism doesn’t exist anymore.’ Is that what just went through your head? Well, I’ve got news for you.YES.IT. DOES.

I mean deep down in the back of my mind I was pretty sure it was still going on, I just pushed it aside. It wasn’t until recently, when I actually started to really think deeply about this issue.

What happened?

Well, a couple of weeks ago me and my ‘friend’ were at a uni. And yes most people there were white or of other races than black.Anyways, at some point there was no music playing. I asked her if I should put on my phone. Do you know what she actually had the audacity to say? What a girl that went to the same school as me, and lived in West London, just like me had the audacity to say to me? Well, here’s what she said, “Yeah, you should put your most ghetto” - yes ‘ghetto’, “song on and everyone will know it’s you.”

I was shocked. I was offended and hurt. This girl who was educated in the same institutions as me, lived in the same area as London as me, and had the same friends as me decided to make that comment in a room full of people that were white or of other backgrounds that were not black descended.

You wanna know something funny? I don’t even listen to rap all that much. You wanna know something else? My brother’s in a touring heavy metal band, yet she only sees me as ghetto based on the colour of my skin.

I think that says it all really.

In that moment I felt isolated. Yes, I actually at the age of nineteen felt the feeling of being isolated in a room full of people that I knew.

The only thing I could feel thankful about in that moment was the fact that no one else heard what was said but me and her. In a university like that, someone talking about you in any negative way (even if they don’t mean it) could change how absolutely everyone thinks about you, and she was insensitive of that. But of course, she was white, so according to her any person of black descent who has one or two rap songs on their phone must be ghetto right? Right. But if a white person listens to rap music they’re not ghetto?

I didn’t say anything back to her. I just watched the way she paused for a moment, and took a double take, as if realising how wrong what she said was. But she didn’t apologise.

Another time we were together we attended a club night, and a particularly large amount of black people were there, just having a good time, like us extremely lucky to be so cultured people do. And you know what she says when we leave with my other white friend walking behind us?

She actually says, “This is the most ghetto night I’ve ever been too.” And there we have it. The confirmation that she only links black people to the word ghetto, and confirmation that she is a low-key stereotyping racist.

The same night she actually has the nerve to ask if my AFRO is a weave. Yeah, she went there. At this point I look over to my other white friend who actually has black cousins from St.Lucia, and her face is a picture. She’s about as pissed off as I am at this point.

This girl and many others are too ignorant to see that they are a part of the reason racism still exists. If one person says something like that it just sickens me to think how many other people are going to think it’s perfectly fine, and it’ll only keep escalating. The next time she uses that word to describe black people we’re going to call her out on it.

Kind of astonishing really when I’m mixed raced, and she says things like this about me like this about me when I have a white mum, and both of her parents are caucasian immigrants. Just goes to show some of the things she’s probably saying about fully black people. Just goes to show she’s an low-key racist

I won’t be here much longer to here her remarks. I won’t be ‘token black friend’ while she makes slyly racist comments about our families and myself at the same time.

Sorry white people it doesn’t work like that.

If you weren’t racist you wouldn’t link the word ‘ghetto’ to black people all the damn time. If you weren’t racist you wouldn’t think it’s cool to hang out with a load of black people, you’d just do it without question. After all, we are people just like you. You’re words hurt, but we’re still strong.

We keep going despite everything else racist going on in the world, and despite 5 black people being killed in the last two days and one found hanging from a tree. Despite multiple black POCs being asked to change their hairstyles to keep their jobs, we’re still here.

We didn’t go through four-hundred years of oppression, and slavery to end up being forced to leave the countries we were already forced to be colonised in.

It’s sad. So many black POCs out there will deny racism exists, and insist that they’re as free as the white people in this world, yet recently a member of parliament in the UK was told ‘this life isn’t for cleaners’, and why?

Because she’s black. Not a coincidence is it?

It’s 2016, and yeah, we thought racism died, but the harsh truth is that it never did.

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