scribbles tagged ‘riot’

the wild, wild, west…

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011 | tags: , , , , ,  |

nigger whore!

Calls from the coach-load of Police cadets to my 15 years old friend, Diana. I moved myself between her and the coach to block their view of her coloured skin. I’d grown-up in a middle class white suburb of Bristol. Diana was one of the ‘half-cast’ (mumsie’s term) people in the large town. Everyone knew them by name, they were special people. I’d always been proud that the intelligent, beautiful, articulate and aware Diana was one of my friends. The day after the St Pauls riots Diana asked me if I’d come with her to check that her grandmother was ok. In all innocence and a broad local accent I didn’t hesitate

Year, coarse, me luv!

Banksy

I didn’t understand why she’d even asked. To me it was a mini adventure. I’d never gotten off the bus at St Pauls. I’d ridden the bus through to the city center. Seen the prostitutes lining the streets, heard the reggae booming from loud speakers hung-out of townhouse windows. The place seemed alive. I’d always wanted to get off the bus and look around, but it was Bristol’s black ghetto, nice middle-class people didn’t go there. Bristol was a major port in the slave trafficking triangle. A side effect of Bristol’s role in slave trading was a large local Black population. Few had moved into the suburbs, as Diana’s mother had done when she married a white man.

The police continued to hurl verbal abuse. Not at me, I appeared to be invisible. Abuse directed at Diana who cowered behind me. It was obscene that these ignorant people could reducetThis strong, intelligent, fifteen year old girl to a cowering wreck

My belief in the police as a just arm of the law forever shattered

10 years later I bumped into Diana in a Bristol bank. She had 3 small children in tow. From our brief conversation as we waited in line I discovered she was unemployed, single, with 5 children all fathered by different men. She apologised for herself. There was nothing left of the beautful potential I’d seen, she didn’t seem to know that she was worth anything more than being a low income mother. She never really had a chance. I felt guilty for viewing her motherhood as under achieving, for hearing her self apologies as confirmation of failure. Knowing that I am where I am because I’m white, priviledged, and have a plucky ‘dont mess with me’ attitude validated

Rioting again in London town, not Reading town

My life is littered with luck

the wild, wild, west…
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