Understanding White Privilege and Our Mental Colonisation | Woolwich to Boston

For the past two months, I have been hitting twitter hard with white privilege. And unsurprisingly, white twitter followers (and non followers) are filling my mentions with the likes of ‘you racist’, ‘go back to your country’. Now most who follow me on twitter, don’t really know my origin, I don’t look like a white European, my name isn’t that common, you’d only guess if you were from the same country, but due to the nature of my tweets (pro Palestine) I’m regarded as Arab or at least some ‘rag head sand nigger Muslim’. I am Muslim that’s for sure, but everything else is questionable.

Now coming from an ethnic minority in the UK, having been born here (but I firmly argue that I am not from here) and been brought up here, I have decided about 2 years ago that I will go back to my own country (good news for EDL). This derived from the concept of reclaiming my roots, which is arguably one of the hardest things to do for people like me who are born out of their homeland. See people like us, we exist in a ‘third space’. At home we’re the western one, and in the West we’re the foreign one. On 3 month long summer vacations back home, my grandmothers neighbours would call me that ‘English’ girl and I’d go to my grandmother almost in tears. Returning to the UK, I’d get the complete reverse. I only fully grasped this notion of mental colonisation by the works of Frantz Fanon and observing my mother. When I was younger I’d get angry with her for not learning English, always having me translate wherever we go, for having only friends from our ethnicity, for not making an effort to assimilate. By no means was I ever embarrassed of her, or our country (in fact she raised me with a nationalist ideology), but at the same time I still saw her like my coloniser did. I’d also hate it when white people would treat her like she was inferior to them because her English was poor, as if organising verbs and nouns was a measure of her worth. Both she and I have and are reduced to the food and stereotypes of our country, and I realise now that my singling out by teachers wasn’t just because I was ‘loud’. Although was lucky to grow up in East London, home to a large Black and Asian community and it was only up until college and university that I was exposed to a white community and things like orientalism, racial prejudice, stereotypes didn’t occur to me until the invasion of Iraq.

So let’s talk about white privilege and what it is. Now this isn’t a topic that there is little on. Do a google search on white privilege and you will get countless pages and articles talking about it. So I’m going to include paragraphs and quotes from a range of sites (since Twitter has made a lot of people lazy) compile them here with my own analysis and thoughts, and end having to explain myself on twitter what I mean what I say ‘white folk’, or ‘white privilege’ (or respond to bigots with white trash, hell yes). Let’s look at society for a moment. Social privilege is an exclusive benefit granted to persons who are members of a demographic that holds power in society. So who dominates the social infrastructure? Are they white? Yes. Are they men? Yes. Are they wealthy? Yes. Do these factors amount to privilege? Yes.

Here’s what a white guy on the internet had to say about his privilege, quite correctly so;

First, I have most of the common social privileges. I’m white, straight, male, able-bodied, cisgender, Christian, and have a rather “non-threatening” and common appearance. I’m not ashamed of any of these; they’re part of who I am. But I do recognize that I have an easier time in life because of them. For those of you about to foam at the mouth, ask yourselves this question: How often do you feel legitimately threatened on a daily basis (physically, financially, professionally, etc.) in society because of your membership in one of these groups?  I’ll bet it’s not often. I’m sure it happens, of course, but it’s nowhere near the frequency of someone who belongs to a different demographic than yours. White, straight, cisgender, able-bodied, Christian men are the most dominant cluster group, by far, in the US (and UK). We disproportionately have the most power in every sphere of influence by a whole lot. This doesn’t mean I hate myself or anyone else in my cluster demographic, but it does mean that I have a responsibility to recognize my privilege and help those without it achieve equal opportunity. It means speaking up against oppression of any kind, even if the person doing it is someone I love or respect. It means pointing out–and acting out–ways in which we can be more inclusive of those who belong to oppressed groups. It means not taking it personally if someone in an oppressed group talks about how they’ve been oppressed by someone in your dominant group. It means not getting angry if someone doesn’t compliment you on “being aware” of a problem or working to fix it. That’s your obligation as a human being, and you shouldn’t demand a reward for it. It means not trying to one-up someone who talks about their oppression. 

Another brilliant post that I applaud:

Haven’t we all heard it before? -“I got bullied in school for being white. You can’t tell me that’s not racist!” No, this is called you being picked on by a mean child. -“Someone called me cracker!” This is someone calling you by your privilege. -“People can be racist against white people too.” No, they cannot. There is an inherent logical fallacy in your argument that will never make it true. However, white people can be discriminated against. Discrimination is different from racism. Let’s start from the beginning. Your first step is to accept that “a hatred or intolerance of another race” is not the definition of racism. The dictionary is wrong. Get over it. Racism is when intolerance in government laws, attitudes and ideals of a society are ingrained in a culture to the point where patterns of discrimination towards a certain race are institutionalised as normal. If you keep this in mind, you’ll understand that reverse racism doesn’t- and can’t- exist.

There is another saying “Racism (or sexism) = prejudice + power. POC (people of color) can be prejudiced against white people. But they can never have power, i.e. a whole system of structured support that backs them. White people often don’t understand how much power they have. Just ONE white person has more power to do actual harm to a black person than one hundred black people do to that white person. A white person can KILL a black person without any consequences, while if the situation was reversed you can bet the killer wouldn’t see the outside of a prison cell for a long, long time. When white people complain about reverse racism, they are not complaining about losing their RIGHTS. What they are complaining about is losing their PRIVILEGE. White people can never call someone else racist against them because that ‘someone else’ does not have the power to OPPRESS them. The person has the power to be mean.To hurt feelings. But not to OPPRESS. THAT is the key difference. When a POC is mean to you, they are JUST being mean to you. Their entire society is not ACTIVELY discriminating against and oppressing you. Their society is not one where it is difficult for them to not be racist against you. But yours is. And you need to accept that.

Also white privilege doesn’t mean you have a perfect life and etc:

It means that white people do not have to deal with institutionalized, systemic racism in addition to their everyday problems. It means institutionalized, systemic racism does not cause white people’s everyday problems.It means when white people go home and turn on their TVs after a long, hard day at work, they can rest assured knowing that they will not only be guaranteed to see people who look like them on the screen, but they will never have to actively search to find a positive depiction of people who look like them. It means even when white people buy their groceries with food stamps, they don’t have to worry that they’ll be followed around the supermarket for “no reason.” You think you have no white privilege because you’re poor? Think again. You think your white privilege disappears because you’re not a cisgendered heterosexual? Think again. You think your white privilege disappears because you’re disabled? Think again. It means that all problems white people face are not exclusive to white people. People of colour face those same problems, too. But in addition to any problem white people face, people of colour must also bear the burden of dealing with an entire social, cultural, political, economic climate that works against us each and every single day. And here’s the thing about the effect of racism on PoC’s everyday lives: it’s not like adding one more little thing. This isn’t simple math. Racism isn’t just a “minus 1” on our radar. It informs, guides, and shapes the way every other problem is handled. Think about it. When white people are pulled over by the cops, their biggest fear is jail time. When black people are pulled over by the cops, our biggest fear is that they’ll kill us and we won’t even get 30 seconds on the 5:00 news. 

White Privilege Checklist

Personally thats all I’d need to hear on the concept of white privilege, and all makes sense in the world. But I guess if you’re a white person, you’re a tad too sensitive. You’re not used to people telling you about the privileges of your race, so when someone is just talking about ‘these white folk’ you immediately take it that we’re talking about you. Now if you know yourself not to be racist, why are you so quick to defend? As for white privilege whether you like it or not, whether you want it or not, you have it. Now I’ve heard it all on the white front. ‘I didn’t chose to be white’. ‘It’s not my fault‘.Well sure, if your ancestors cut down all the trees, it’s not your fault, but you still don’t live in a forest. ‘You’re scaring white people from our cause‘. Hold up. Really? I have to convince white people to do the right thing? To be decent human being’s and call out oppression in this world (that is caused by your group)? And by saying ‘white folk’ I’m spreading hate? (And to all the Muslims saying “oh but there are Muslim white folk” are essentially saying “I do think you’re being racist but remember white Muslims do exist”, just take a hike). Even responding with ‘cracker’ to racists would not be spreading hate. Do you even realise that the word cracker comes from white masters ‘cracking’ the whip? Unlike ‘nigger’ there is not a history of the words cracker, white folk or white trash being used by a group of people who have systematically oppressed, enslaved, murdered white people. I’m gonna pull a white move (yes white move) and say, but I have white friends! Yes, I could count them on one hand. But at the same time we’re friends because they are decent people doing the right thing. They check their privilege. They know that their opinions on racism is irrelevant. They know that our liberation from their dominating group comes by being our allies, by listening to us by allowing us the platform their fellows deny. And most importantly, they know when we say ‘white folk’, when we say ‘ugh those white people’, we’re talking about the rest of the group that practise racism and do not recognise their privilege, which is not them. Part of white privilege is that society is crafted to appeal to white people. And when PoC voices the reality of privilege, the message is not crafted specifically for white people. Therefore, they will naturally feel as if they are in a hostile environment. They will naturally feel alien. That’s a part of being an ally. Confronting privilege, a gift received from white supremacy through the deaths of millions of PoC throughout the years, should make them feel pretty damn shitty. If they feel bad, it just means they’re taking the first important step. And if you’re ready to be allies, see here. But having said that, when we talk about racism, and we get angry at white folk, it isn’t because we’re blaming them for their ancestors. We’re blaming them because time and time again, they simply do not care or value us as human beings.

Effects Of Thinking White People Are “All Like That” (not that I do, but here’s to proving a point):

  • Literally nothing other than white people having their feelings hurt on the internet
  • There is no real world consequence of this

Effects Of Thinking People of Colour Are “All Like That”:

But I’m not writing this to convince white people by no means. I haven’t got the time to sit down and educate white people about their privilege. I have my own struggle, my own people, my brothers and sisters of colour and faith telling me that reverse racism is real (and that its not reverse racism ‘its just racism’). This breaks my heart, and makes me pity our state. I’ve lost many friends to mental colonisation. I’ve lost them to the books, the theories, the language of the Anglo-man. I’ve lost them to the dream of being accepted by the coloniser who constantly tells us we are inferior, and to be accepted we must leave behind everything that we are. I’ve lost friends who trampled on their own name, who have shortened them to Western lexicon to comfort the tongue of the Anglo-man. But no matter what we do, no matter how hard we try to be like our colonisers, to the coloniser, we will always be the other. We are always reduced to the colour of our skin. When they call out ‘Paki’ they reduce you. They take away your experiences, hobbies, histories, pack them up and smack a label on them. The ‘Paki’ label, the foreigner, the other, they dehumanise you. So it breaks my heart when my brothers and sisters are trying to hard to assimilate, constantly apologising for actions that they have nothing to do with (e.g. 9/11), constantly trying to prove that we are a compassionate people, that we are ‘British’ and ‘American’ people. Embracing the label of the coloniser is nothing to be proud of. What has been done in the name of Britain? What has been done in the name of America? Not only to our people but countless of other races and groups? These countries thrive on our destabilisation, thrive on our resources, decide that progression in our countries are measured by their imitation of western society whilst sending drone strikes and NATO, yet we still want to bare our chests and shout at racists that ‘we are British/American too!’? We are not. We never will be, and that’s OK. We are not British-Indian, we are not British-Pakistani, British-Ugandan, we are Indian, Pakistani, Ugandan alone, and that is OK. This is not a call for segregation by any means, but a call to reclaim our roots, our history, our culture and love for who WE are it in it’s purest form whilst living in the West, the same West that tells us we’re savage, our countries are savage, our cultures are primitive, all whilst eating our food and wearing our gold. It was the same in 9/11, 7/7, Boston Bombings and now Woolwich. It doesn’t just bring out the already existing white supremacy in full force, but it brings out those of us who has been colonised. A scramble to ‘apologise’ and say ‘we have to stand in peace’, not only to white people who were already looking for an excuse to display their inherent racism (and Islamophobia), but to their own people. We need not apologise for anything, just as white/christians feel that they do not need to go around apologising for the acts of what happened to those in Iraq and Afghanistan. Retweeting white people saying ‘I read the Qur’an, Islam isn’t terrorism’, because only when a white person voices what we’ve been saying, does it hold value. The last straw for me was a photo of 3 young Muslim men sitting around flowers holding a photo of the soldier who was killed in Woolwich. The soldier who spent time in Afghanistan as a machine gunner under the British Army. The soldier who did not go to Afghanistan to save his people, but went to Afghanistan because the ruling white supremacist class of his country wanted him to go to Afghanistan. Afghanistan, a predominately Muslim country, with Muslim civilians that were massacred, had their bodies mutilated for kill sport trophies, urinated on their corpses, had their holy books burnt, that Afghanistan. Of course, we can’t say whether the Woolwich victim killed anybody, did any of these things, but the fact of the matter is he still participated in an invasion of a foreign land in the name of corporate greed and global hegemony. And he had a choice in this. The British Army is not a conscripted service. Those who choose to join do so out of their own free will. Now I’m definitely not making this argument to condone the attack, I do not by any means. But to keep calling the Woolwich victim ‘innocent’ would be naive in every sense, and to honour him as a ‘hero’ would be to spit on the graves of those murdered in Afghanistan and Iraq. 

Apart from non-white races and ethnic minorities saying ‘you are being racist’ when all the above in mentioned, some instead resort to “we’re all human” which is something liberal white folk also resort to, the colour blindness ideology. First of all, thank you for pointing out the obvious, that we are part of the human race, second of all, nobody claimed otherwise and said you were a unicorn. But once you claim being human, and human alone, you whitewash everything that a PoC is. You deny the lifetime of struggle that comes with being Black, Brown, Asian, the struggle that comes with being a woman, being working class etc. Colourblindess simply denies racial/social inequality to those that live under it. I am sick of seeing ‘we need to work with each other, not against each other’. Yes! How beautiful would that be? Just how great would unity be? But how unity achieved? Through the elimination of white supremacy. And where can we find white supremacy? Right in the core of society, in the laws, in the institutions, in the government, in the media, trickling down into the public mind frame who essentially is the grease to the machine that is society. You see, Black/Brown/other ethnic women wake up in the morning, look in the mirror, and see Black,/Brown/ethnic women.White women wake up in the morning, look in the mirror, and see women. White men wake up in the morning, look in the mirror, and see human beings. This is how privilege works.

It’s time to be unapologetic for who we are.

56 responses to “Understanding White Privilege and Our Mental Colonisation | Woolwich to Boston

  1. Pingback: Understanding White Privilege and Our Mental Co...·

  2. Absolutely amazing loved it this is just incredible beautifully written as well! Keep up your work and i look forward to your future posts.

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  3. I didn’t read anything past the incorrect definition of racism.
    I assume you make some points about white people being racist in your article, but what you actually fail to understand is that racism is not something only white people do. Any race can be racist. Racism is defined as “prejudice or discrimination directed against someone of a different race based on such a belief”.
    This is different to what you said, that it’s defined as the oppression of non-whites. Whites can be oppressed too, as is what happened in Woolwich – it was a racist attack by members of the Islamic race (I know Islam is a religion, but in the same way Jews are considered a race, I consider Muslims one) against a while British individual, where the perpetrators were heard shouting Islamic battle cries, similar to what suicide bombers shout.
    Think outside the box, and look at both sides of the argument. It will make your points hit harder, and it will increase your reader demographic beyond the arty liberal and pc-warrior.
    X

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    • And all I’m hearing is someone upset about their white privilege being called out. Too fucking bad. And Islam as a race? You really need some reevaluation on your definitions, and that includes the racism definition. The dictionary isn’t some higher authority to be referred to and held as absolute truth. “Islamic battle cries”. You’ve amused me, now be gone.

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    • I stopped reading your comment when you said you stopped reading the article. Any point you were trying to make is invalid. And you look completely ignorant.

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    • ‘Racism is defined as “prejudice or discrimination” ‘

      This is absolutely incorrect.

      ‘Race’ means group. The suffix ‘ism’ (Greek) means to ‘keep the prevailing conditions. Let nothing change.’ Racism is a power relationship between groups of people where one has so much control and monopoly of wealth, power, and resources, that they can misuse another group to its own advantage.

      Of course racism is falsely taught to be an issue of getting along with people, liking people. When people are asked, ‘What is racism?’ they usually respond with, ‘It’s prejudice.’ Prejudice simply means to have a preconceived judgement/feeling toward something based on previous experience. For example one can be prejudiced toward a particular food type that they have a liking for based on their prejudice. Prejudice has absolutely nothing to do with racism.

      An African, for example and for the reasons given, residing in the UK or USA cannot be a racist. What power, wealth, and resources, do they own??

      To put this in context Bill Gates and Larry Ellison alone have more combined wealth than all 36,000,000 African ‘Americans’ put together in the USA.

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  4. Selin, this is truly amazing. Nothing but respect to you. Inshallah Allah yeshawfich kol il kheer.

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  5. I love this article and I’m glad you’ve written it.
    Really interested to know if you think that white parents of mixed race children experience racism or discrimination when they receive abuse toward their child or themselves on the grounds of their child’s race? personally i am undecided but think its an interesting issue x

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    • For the example you’ve given me you need to understand the white parent still has white privilege. If they apply for a job, chances are they will get it compared to those who apply, are black/brown/ethnic with foreign sounding names. If the white parent goes shopping, they will not be suspected of stealing, when they switch on the TV they will see white people overwhelmingly represented, the want to speak to the manager of the store, the parent can be confident they will be white, the white parent’s race will not be blamed for their particular behaviour/attitude. It does not eliminate white privilege. As for racism, the parent is not experiencing a racist attack – their child is. The white parent is being discriminated against for choosing to be with another person of another race – not because THEY ARE another race. Two totally different concepts. But I’m glad you appreciate the post.

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  6. Thank you for this great article! Keep staying true to yourself.
    “The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor, is the mind of the oppressed.”–Steve Biko
    Your writing reminds me of Biko, who was also influence by Fanon.

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  7. This blog compelled me to completely reevaluate my perception of racism, truly thought provoking.

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  8. I’m extremely interested in the issue of oppressive mental colonisation which sadly exists in our society today, especially when an individual of ethnic minority is born in a western country such as the UK, our mental colonisation is something we do not even realise. I’m glad you brought awareness to this in your article, it was extremely well-written Selin. You would never see anything like this on a western education syllabus!

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  9. Great article, incredibly thought provoking for me, being a white, straight, male living in the west. I admit I tried to take offense a couple of times, especially to all white people being called inherently racist, which I sincerely hope isn’t true. But a thoroughly eye opening read. Thank you.

    I’m interested to know you think there is any relation between what you talk about in your article and ‘xenophobia’ in asia, I’ve had (white) friends living and working in China refused service in restaurants, threatened on the street, and treated harshly by law-enforcement. Would you consider that racism? To those I’ve talked to they see it as the ‘price’ for experiencing an living in a different culture, what do you think?

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  10. Found this article to be very interesting and intelligently written. But saying that as a Asian man born and raised in London,I don’t like being told that this (London) is not my home, that I have some magical homeland that will some how explain to me who I am.

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    • To begin with, you’re not supposed to ‘like’ being told that you do not belong somewhere you believe that you do. There is no mention of a magical homeland – but there is YOUR homeland. A land where people that share your identity live and belong. It doesn’t matter if your mother, and her mother was born here before you, you still are of different colour, different culture, with your roots somewhere else. I recommend you go to your ‘magical’ homeland, stay for an extended stay. See what happens.

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      • The great irony is that your protesting of ‘white privilege’ is actually your protesting of a magical homeland for white people, especially in a European country. White people would be lucky to be treated half as good in majority non white country as minorities in the west are treated. It is people like yourself with the privileged mindset. You want your own land while demanding white people give up their power and heritage so you all can expand your influence. The fact that it took you until college to see a white community in England kind of destroys the notion of ‘white privilege’ existing in that country anyway. I bet a white immigrant growing up in the land of your ancestors would never see anything but absolute native control, so how the hell could a white Brit have privilege when they are a minority in their own cities?

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  11. I’m failing to understand what exactly a non “PoC” is supposed to do to help counter the advancement of the sense of entitlement that is inherent in dominant race groups. Your article was very thought provoking and well-written, but as I continued to read I felt as if the information presented was a vast generalization of certain cultures and failed to accurately represent the situation that is presented among different racial groups. Perhaps I am just failing to fully grasp the idea of “white privilege…”

    p.s – If this came off as rude or a personal attack, I am deeply sorry as I did not intend for it to sound as such. I am just curious as to how you compiled the information you used to fuel your arguments.

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  12. Hi, this article is brilliant. I would just like to ask if it’s ok that I translate bits of it to swedish and post on my blog? I’ll write that is is, just a translation of your words and direct people here.
    (Ps my blog is small and i don’t make any money off of it. I just want to spread your wisdom)
    Ok, this is getting long…. But anyways, you rock!!

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  13. Pingback: Racisme : définition politique | Ms. DreydFul·

  14. I just want to say thanks for writing such a great post that perfectly describes what I spend my life describing to people. Its made for a handy “read this then get back to me” link. You beautifully and eloquently and its a pleasure to read. x

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  15. I’m failing to understand what exactly a non “PoC” is supposed to do to help counter the advancement of the sense of entitlement that is inherent in dominant race groups. < i.e. whites are the "dominant" race – how can whites no longer think like this ? simples – uze ain't all that (no offence)!

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  16. Another great post masha’Allah – keep up with the awareness – I know too many people of colour who try to ‘be white’ (not like that is possible!) in order to be accepted by the whites (again not like that is possible!) and get pure pissed off if you call them out on their idiocy – claiming that “we are all human blah blah blah – stop bein’ so racist”. -.- oh well.

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  17. So a black girl is born and raised in South London, daughter of black parents, all black as far as you go, she is a fourth generation immigrant. All her friends are black, most of the people at her school are black. They watch British TV, follow British celebrities, go to the cinema and watch British, American and occasionally other foreign films. Religiously and culturally speaking they attend a methodist church, regularly attend African dance classes and on frequent occasions they wear traditional African dress.
    THIS is her identity. It is a DIFFERENT identity to her great-grandparents’ one, it is a DIFFERENT identity to her white peers’ one. But it is an identity and it is one that is shared between all her friends and other people who may be ethnically distinct from their birth country.

    I understand where you’re coming from, and I know what you mean by feeling like an outsider in both situations, I have felt that myself. But I think you’re wrong to say that people who associate themselves with the country in which they were born and brought up are fools and are deceiving themselves.

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    • To begin with, I’m not disputing the identity you feel that you acquire growing up here. What I’m disputing that you can feel as British as you want. You can be the 16th generation, but at the end of the day you will still be BLACK. You will still represent something OTHER than ‘Britian’ or ‘Britishness’. No white English person will look at you and say, there we have a good hearty British person. They will say ‘so where are you originally from?’ aka I see that you’re Black, your not one of us, you came from somewhere else. They identify you as the OTHER immediately. I have a thick East London accent. I do not look European. I have been told ‘oh but your English is perfect for someone who isn’t from here’ (I was born here) but immediately they assume otherwise. ‘You must of went to a smart school’. Because my people are backwards and illiterate? The point I’ve made in the article is that we can cry ourselves to sleep screaming that we’re British because we do ‘British’ things but you will never be seen as British. Never. And that’s fucking great because hell, I ain’t British. I may have been influenced heavily throughout my upbrining by a British/Western culture, but I love my motherland. Her food, her language, her literature, her culture, I love it all and it belongs to me, it’s where I came from it’s where my roots lie, it’s where my parents, my great grandparents lived and worked on it’s fields. It recognises me as it’s OWN. But to the UK? I’m the child of an immigrant.

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  18. I’m aware I’m responding to this from a position of white privilege, and I may show that in some of the things I say, but I hope that doesn’t invalidate some of my ideas and questions which come from a knowledge that racism is real, and institutional, but not knowing how to fight it.

    I recognise that racism is one-way, but I’d like to know how, and whether, a white male can help fight racism if, as you say ‘their opinions on racism is irrelevant.’ and that white privilege is something irremovable. How do we become allies if any true act of empathy, or attempt to reduce our privilege, is impossible? Please don’t think I’m trying to justify apathy by implying we are powerless, I know we aren’t, I’m really asking as a genuine question.

    Secondly, and this comes from being aware of my own family and our privilege, how do you think we can fight racism if its source isn’t malice, but apathy? I don’t think of my parents as bad people, but I know they are ignorant of their privilege and apathetic to most things that don’t immediately affect them. This isn’t a criticism of your article, I know you clearly said this isn’t designed to educate white people, but an observation that it wouldn’t shift white people’s apathy. Outcries and riots always look and feel like change, but achieve little. If there isn’t evil to expose, or topple, or fight against – if the enemy is simply indifference and a desire to remain comfortable, what do we do?

    I hope nothing I’ve said has offended, or been based upon any unjust assumptions. If I’ve exposed any ignorance, or inert racism please call me out on it. Thank you for contributing a valuable article on a profoundly important issue.

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  19. Hi there. Great article. Really insightful and helpful as a white middle class guy. Would be interested in your thoughts on my Dad (Irish) being detained at a UK port (in the 70s) because of his name and he had a beard. Thanks.

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  20. I’m sorry… Maybe this makes me racist in your eyes, but judging any individual by the colour of their skin is racism, if it be black or white or any other shade of the spectrum! Oppression can occur due to racism, but any person can be oppressed regardless of their skin colour. A person should be judged by the actions they carry out and by their character.

    You don’t look at a book cover which is green and think “Thats a green book.. Thats a good book”. you look at the contents within said book and judge it by that. The same should be said for people. You don’t look at a man and think “That guys white! Hes a good man” you judge him (or her) by her actions or personalities…

    I love a quote by a some guy who is asked how do we get rid of racism…


    Stop talking about it. I’m going to stop calling you a white man. And I’m going to ask you to stop calling me a black man. I know you as Mike Wallace. You know me as Morgan Freeman. You’re not going to say, “I know this white guy named Mike Wallace.” Hear what I’m saying?

    Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GeixtYS-P3s

    The guy who said that just happens to be Morgan Freeman… His skin colour just happens to be Black… Does that matter? Of course not.

    In my eyes, which many will probably disagree with, the way to stop racism is to stop defining people by the colour of there skin. Judge people by their merit and character, not if they are black or white.

    Some people in this world happen to be terrible people, cruel and horrible people… it doesn’t matter what colour they are.

    Oppression is just one of the many things which our generation has to eradicate, it is not certainly not limited to the colour of your skin. (Anyone want to look at North Korea or Nazi Germany??).

    The world is moving forward… But anger doesn’t drive that progression. Unfortunately there will likely always be bigots in this world, some of those bigots will be white, some will be black and others will likely be any other potential shade of colour you can be.

    Be constructive, don’t add fuel to a fire.This world is whatever we make it, its far from perfect, but that’s our challenge…

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  21. “though was lucky to grow up in East London, home to a large Black and Asian community and it was only up until college and university that I was exposed to a white community and things like orientalism, racial prejudice, stereotypes didn’t occur to me until the invasion of Iraq.” Ok, so you weren’t really oppressed, you just hopped on the hate white people bandwagon once you joined college. It’s very pathetic how you lie… this is a disgrace to people around the world who are actually oppressed and knew this before they took a liberal feminist class .During your interview you didn’t dress like a modest muslim and based on the way you look/dress, it seemed like you received a lot of male attention, which means you most likely do this whole im oppressed/white privilege shit for attention and not because your life(which is a lie, you know since you grew up in the suburbs with mostly immigrants/very few white people and didn’t learn about white people until university) was a struggle. PS you do nothing for the colored community in terms of actually engaging and teaching the less privileged)

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  22. what a croc of shit. white,black,brown,ginger,yellow,green,blue,purple multi fucking coloured… what does it matter!?? its 2014 stop focusing on the mind set of an old yet still present domineering european world view that one is superior over the rest. be proud of your skin colour if you must but at the end of the day its inconsequential. its not black vs white its poor vs rich, its a system that regurgitates hate and an ignorant public to perpetuates it. on a side note its not like the europeans who have a history of war, slavery & cultural destruction in the quest for domination im pretty sure the arab kingdom have done their far share of raping & pillaging of motherland Africa. that said we need to move past the whole, white people this black people that because at the end of it all we all bleed red…

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  23. First of all I just want to say that you are racist towards white people. And you’re consistent labelling white people as white people is simply wrong. I dont disagree with everything you say there is systamtic racism which is embedded in media,music industry,hollywood. But is every single white person responsible for that? The major studios and record labels are owned by few. I grew up in East London and I must say I am content with this country I have been given equal rights, minorities in this country like you and I have been given equal rights so stop complaining about racism. And no I am not a Uncle Tom or whatever, I hate the foreign policy of western countries I am still proud of my my race and religion. Racism exist in all race. As a Indian myself I can tell you that racism is also within indians aswell. Some indian people consider people with darker complexion ugly, so stop pointing fingers. Read Malcolm X’s autobiography. And the profanity you use is sign of insecurity. One more thing do something more constructive with your life.

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  24. One more thing I can garuantee you that if you had grown up India, you would not have been given quality education unless you were wealthy. Now you would probably bring up British Imperialism, yes they did take our lands and dismantle our economies which forced our parents to come to the western world, again is every single white person responsible for that ? And plus we are at much blame becuase of a lack unity. Activist like you have a small thinking capacity do you actually think boycott has any effect ? Do you understand the extent of financial power the zionist have ?

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  25. There are ignorant people all over the world, black, white, asian, you name it, and they will do some very publicly understood wrong things. In this article you have pointed out some ignorant white people, congrats, that still does not prove a valid point. There are racist people in the world, and you took some of those people and put their comments in your blog, in no means does that make any of what they said true. I know many people from different races and different backgrounds, and a lot of them are very nice and good people, while some can be very racist, which has nothing to with skin color. I could do the exact same thing you did in this blog and find tweets and post of ignorant people of color, cause really that is all you did. You proved that their are ignorant people out their who are still racist, but you saying that white people are privileged is crossing a line. All people have the same opportunities and it is what you do with those opportunities that help you succeed. No matter what your skin color is, you can achieve what ever you want, and become anyone you want, if you work at it. Hard work and determination are two qualities that in no means have anything to do with the color of someones skin, so take a step back and really think because you have just proved to everyone who reads this blog that you are one of those ignorant people. And I know if you write a reply, I should take it very lightly, cause really I can’t change your opinion only you can and if this does nothing, your opinion will probably stay the same and their is no way to change your mind. You are set on your opinion but really even from reading the article have nothing to back it up. Your opinion is flawed cause you see everything the way you want to see it not the way it really is.

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