Black Lives Matter: A Letter To My Mum
Due to the current global Black Lives Matter protest, I decided to ask my Twitter followers if my next post should be one of my usual ones or a letter to my mum about her continued ignorance. The latter won. For those who don’t know, my mum is white and I’m of mixed ethnicity (black/white), and my mum has a long history of dismissing anything that isn’t about her directly.
When an unarmed black man (George Floyd) was murdered by a police officer, who took almost 9 long-ass minutes to kill him while in custody. All while 3 other cops stood by and did nothing to help him, ignoring his pleas that he couldn’t breathe. Your first thought was to look for an excuse for why the cop murdered him, an unarmed black man, who was already in police custody.
Then your first thoughts over the protests about black people being sick of institutional racism and abuse of power was to go, “but look at this white guy” and shared a far-right post with me, your black son.
This is how I would have liked my mother to have reacted
But this is what I got from you instead
And well, you know what I replied
But this is what Lee Rigby’s family had to say about the far-right using his memory to silence black voices
This was quite the tale of two mum’s over Black Lives Matter. My partner was horrified by what you sent me, as were their parents because it’s inexcusably ignorant what you did.
A black man was murdered by the state, by people who have sworn an oath to protect him and his fellow citizens from harm. They instead murdered him, and it’s by no means the first time. Black people have to have the ‘talk‘ in which they warn their children about how to interact with the police so they don’t become a victim of their brutality. But even if you do everything right, they still might kill you. Make no mistake, police brutality against black people isn’t just a problem in the US, it exists here in the UK as well.
Your first thought is to always defend the bigots and make it about white people. You defend Boris Johnson by saying he’s not a bigot or a racist, even though he routinely makes racist and bigoted comments. Such as referring to people like your son, as piccaninnies with watermelon smiles, homosexual men as tank-topped bum boys, and referring to Muslim women in niqabs as looking like ‘bank robbers’ and ‘letterboxes’.
You’re not interested in hearing about the black struggle. You silence black voices and want to refocus it on white people or yourself. You even found a way to try and make the Black Lives Matter protest about you, just because you had a black child. There is no comparison between you having a black child and suffering the inconvenience of discrimination by association in my presence as a baby, and my everyday struggle with racist abuse, bullying, being assaulted, and the fear of being attacked at any moment.
I wish I could say it’s the first time you’ve done that, but it’s not. When we talked on the phone last January and I told you about how I would have a suicidal breakdown when I went home for lunch at primary school, the only thing you cared about was alleviating your guilt. You hassled me and hassled me to forgive you, even calling back after the first call to hassle me again to forgive you. What you didn’t do was offer any sense of compassion, remorse, or empathy. All that mattered after hearing my story was how it made you feel because it’s about you.
Your religious belief that you’re going to do something special for god, even though it still hasn’t happened after three decades and your claim god gave you cancer as punishment, which left you disabled, has made you into a person who is oblivious to others suffering. You told me countless times that you can’t be a good person if you’re not a Christian, yet you’re not a good person with your god.
You’ve been like that all my life. When I was attacked by 3 people at high school, I was left utterly humiliated by this racially motivated attack. I was suffering from panic attacks, anxiety, and depression, and when I wanted to quit martial arts class a few weeks later because I was so fucked over by what happened, you made it about you and told me that I ruined your life by being born. It didn’t matter how I was feeling after being assaulted in a racially motivated attack, nothing else mattered by how it affected you.
My entire life you’ve dismissed my experiences of racial abuse, my mental health issues, and my health issues, and I’ve endured it even though you are one of the biggest sources of misery in my life.
Why do you think I never call you? It’s depressing to talk to you, and I never know what far-right little Englander comments you’ll vomit up that you’ve heard somewhere.
Why do you think I never want to visit you? I left home as soon as I could and I often chose to spend Christmas on my own rather than spend it with you, because being around you is sole destroy. You’ve justified slavery to me because god says it’s ok in the bible, you just need to treat them as god outlined you should. You’ve even regurgitated far-right comments about keeping immigrants and refugees out because there may be rapists and terrorists amount them.
You have these distasteful views, which we’ve argued about more than I should have needed to, even though you claim to be a good Christian. If you were really a good Christian, you’d want to help immigrants and refugees, rather than discriminating against them using far-right stereotypes to colour millions of individuals as being only the worst a person can be.
Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it
My father was an immigrant, and I’m a child of one. The far-right people you quote to me are the same people who wish I wasn’t here. Do you have any idea how much that hurts to hear there words coming out of your own mother’s mouth? I don’t even know why I’m asking, you’ve always been oblivious to my pain, and don’t care about it when I try to tell you about it.
I’ve even asked you to stop talking to me about your religion and saying god bless, to make it easier to deal with you, but because only you matter, you ignore my wishes and attempt to have boundaries. You just can’t help yourself.
I’ve endured all this my entire life because your views have left you isolated and alone, so I endure. Your religious views have ruined your life, so who else do you have besides god? You’re entitled to follow any religion you like, even if it’s detrimental to you having an actual happy life. But what you don’t have the right to do is to try and force it down my throat at every opportunity.
When we chatted the other day, you even found a way to dismiss my experience and tell me to be grateful to a country that made my childhood a living hell. Our home town police would hassle me just for walking the streets when it was dark, even when I’m waving goodbye to someone as I left their house, not even making it 10 feet before the police car that drove passed me decided to spin around and pull up beside me to harass me. With my friend still there in their front garden watching it all unfold.
That wasn’t the only time that it made zero sense for the police to stop me. Another time I literally just got out of a taxi and was stopped by the police as the taxi pulled away. When asked what I was doing, I just pointed to the taxi and said getting out of a taxi. I’ve got loads of these stories, as I’m sure most black people do.
When it wasn’t the police hassling me, it was getting it from other people in power at school. I had a teacher in primary school who routinely beat me and humiliated me in front of the entire class. I was the only member of our class to receive this abusive attention. One time that I’m unable to forget was when I was picked up out of my chair so I couldn’t touch my chair with my feet, by my hair, because I was helping my friend spell the 4-5 letter words they were struggling with. But it didn’t stop there, the teacher then proceeded to verbally abuse me and hit me with their other hand while everyone watched.
Then there were the dinner ladies and cub scout leaders who would force-feed me food, and when I got racially abused and bullied, I got the blame, not them. Every day during primary school I was subjected to bullying and racial abuse, where I was attacked all the time, chased home, and everyone ignored my blight, including you.
You don’t know what it’s like to fear being on your own when outside, knowing you could be attacked again, simply for being black. I. Do. You don’t know my experience, nor have you ever cared to know my experience, because you’ve never asked, even though you know I’ve been racially abused a LOT.
I’ve had people try to run me over in their cars, throw trash at me as they drive by, and obviously had racial insults screamed at my as they drive by. I’ve also had people tell me that they were scared of me before they met me, simply because I was a black man in a white space.
I spent my entire childhood wishing I was white so the abuse would stop, so I would be accepted as having a right to exist. Do you have any idea how badly that screws up a child? I even took a brillo pad to my skin to try and scrub the black off me during a breakdown.
I was suicidal by the time I was 8-years-old for crying out loud, 8! Why should I be grateful to a country that abused me so much that it almost killed me before I even made it into double-digit figures in age? It saddens me to know that decades later children still feel like I did as a child, all due to racism and people with attitudes like yours (Children whitening skin to avoid racial hate crime, charity finds; and Babies being racially abused in UK as hate crimes against children recorded every hour).
As a white person, having a black friend, a black coworker, or a black child doesn’t exempt you from being a racist, and certainly doesn’t automatically make you an ally.
You dismiss the struggle of others, especially those of people who don’t look like a white little Englander. At every turn, at every chance, you show your ignorance to me, and it hurts more because you’re my mother. I’m sorry I was born, and I’m sorry I wasn’t at least born white. You should have had an abortion or put me up for adoption.
You dismissed my mental health issues, you dismissed my health problems, you dismiss my experience of racism, and yet again you easily fall for the far-right propaganda. After all these years, you’ve never once been my ally, and you’ve never shown even the remotest of interests to try to be either.
As you can imagine, living at home in an environment like this and growing up and having to suffer racism on a daily basis, for well over a decade, will have a significant effect on your mental health. But you simply don’t care how badly my childhood screwed me up, you just tell me to get over it, like saying that is some kind of mental health magic bullet. Oh look, I’m cured, thanks, mum.
What I and others like me want from society isn’t some special status, but just to be able to live ordinary lives like the majority of people do.
Basic. Human. Rights.
Basic. Civil. Rights.
This shouldn’t be controversial, this shouldn’t be something that still needs to be fought for, it should be something that universally exists without a second thought. If you’re not going to be apart of the solution, at least get out of the way.
No doubt you’ll disagree with what I’ve said: because I don’t matter. But this is how you’ve made me feel about you through your words and behaviour over my entire lifetime.
Your Unwanted mixed-ethnicity black son.
Black Lives Matter News
I thought I’d round off this post with some Black Lives Matter news articles because it’s important to see just how important this movement is.
Protesters supported the Black Lives Matter movement with messages condemning racism, injustice and police brutality after the killing of George Floyd
The family of the murdered fusilier have previously spoken out to condemn the use of his image by far-right groups such as Britain First
Protesters reported men ripping up signs, yelling homophobic slurs, and spitting on people. And the police greeted them as friends
Jacob Bracken, 38, charged with two felony counts of assault of a firearm
Video showed him brandishing AR-15 at George Floyd protesters in Upland, California, on Monday
He was among a small number of Trump supporters who faced off against hundreds of Black Lives Matter protesters
In the wake of protests against police brutality, Cameron Welch, an 18-year-old, shared a video on TikTok listing all the instructions he has to follow when he goes out.
George Floyd’s and Ahmaud Arbery’s killers face charges, but activists are urging the country not to forget Black women.
“It is hard work to get her to see the world through my eyes, even when the facts are staring her right in the face ― or in the neighborhood where we both lived.”
Shelby Township police chief Robert J. Shelide has apologized and been placed on a paid leave while officials investigate inflammatory tweets that he posted
In one tweet he called for ‘body bags’ for ‘vicious subhumans’ involved in recent demonstrations over the death of George Floyd
Officer in Ely, told driver he was pulled over ‘because you’re a black male’
The footage from July 2015 was shared last Friday amid Black Lives Matter rallies
Driver said he didn’t report it at the time for fear of ‘reprisals or repercussions’
Matt Hancock pressed by HuffPost UK on data suggesting ethnic minorities are 54% more likely to be punished under coronavirus rules
Protesters confronted by armed men – including members of the so-called ‘boogaloo movement’ – in different parts of America
In a video widely shared online, one man can be heard shouting ‘go back to Africa’ at BLM protesters
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Unwanted Life readers.
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