I hosted another of my barbecues yesterday. I started this tradition a year or so after I moved to this close, some 18 or so years ago.
All my neighbours (unless they have a good reason not to) turn up year after year,and my friends too,they bring food and wine,and we all spend a very pleasant afternoon,laughing and sharing food. And because for the last two or three years I have been on my own, they all stay behind and clear up ,and wash up and put things away. They arrive well before the starting time and bring their own barbecues and also volunteer to cook and clear up.
There is a great deal of good will, friendship and kindness.
My best friends are White English women,and the same goes for all my friends.
So where is this racist, bigoted and divided England some keep reminding us about on this site and elsewhere? Some from abroad often ask me how do I cope with the “racism and prejudice” they believe the UK has?
And are quite taken aback when I tell them I haven’t met any.
All right may be I have lived in a select area,where there aren’t that many immigrants, and may be the areas where saturation point has reached such prejudices occur.
On the whole,my experience of living in the UK( 1970-todate) has been wonderful. I have made great friends,never felt any different and have had a wonderful life.Even on a place like MT,where I have been omnipresent from the day it started,i have met friendship and kindness.
I cant say anyone has ever been racist to me. On the main Telegraph site I often comment and more often than not I get many upticks from strangers,once I got 65,and was well chuffed.
This morning a made a light hearted comment and one person was rather upset and suggested that he will look up which town am at and something about my brown face! I think some five people up ticked my comment and then about four others have challenged the other person! I did respond but others have already defended me.
So how come my experience of living,working/blogging has been so positive, it surely is not just unto me. When I listen to the phone ins on the BBc’s Asian network,am shocked how angry some are. It has got better over the time ,but they all come and it is all “them and us’.
Because these broadcasts are not mainstream,perhaps the media doesn’t cotton on to them, or because people stay in their little groups,these mutterings are not challenged?
Am sure racism exists, show me any country/culture where it doesn’t? The sub Continent is riddled with it, the caste system is riddled with prejudices, sectarian violence causes murder and mayhem everyday,and then people constantly complain about this country being discriminatory .
At least the people here are civilised and fair minded, there are laws to protect the so called minorities(don’t get me started on those),which are often exploited. There may be pockets of resentment too, i have no doubt,but often the pendulum swings too far here.
Immigrants and other minorities have got so many rights and laws to protect them ,that they have abused by the very people,they were meant to protect.
I find it objectionable that the indigenous people cant take pride in or talk about their heritage , without being accused of gloating and boasting.
There is something very wrong somewhere that this country,despite of being tolerant and accommodating is constantly accused f being something it is not.
I think that is shameful.