This is only a quick blog post as I am currently writing about attitudes towards sexual desire in the 17th century which is an essay worth 35% of my twenty credit module. However, I have been thinking a lot about the Woolwich incident in regards to racism (if you haven’t heard about it then google it) and it has made me write this blogpost. I didn’t have any intention of this being funny, I simply wrote it to point out some of the ridiculousness of some of the reactions I have seen and in regards to racism in general.
1) Closet racists are worse than open racists.
This is something I realised when I was on twitter when someone wants to prevent someone for setting up a society for making a racist tweet on Twitter. Now, obviously I don’t advocate racism but there is nothing worse than someone who starts a sentence with ”I’m not racist BUT…” and then proceeds to go and be racist anyway. Then there are the people who use the line ”I’m not racist, some of my best friends are black!”. I have had the displeasure of someone not only be racist in front of me but then proceed to class me as one of those best friends who are ”black” because I’m not black, I’m mixed race. At least call me by the correct racial term.
2) Those who are racist usually have a weak grasp of the English language themselves.
After the Woolwich incident a lot of people were complaining about having to see racist comments on their Facebook newsfeed, but I didn’t see any on mine which is probably because racists wouldn’t want to be friends with me and vice versa. However, I did see a lot of racist things on Twitter and what I found amusing was that a very large proportion had a very tenuous grasp of the language themselves. Now, if you are going to go on a long rant about how people are invading the country, can’t speak English etc etc that is up to you. However, nothing undermines your hate fuelled rant more than it being littered with spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. At least be articulate when arguing your ridiculous points.
3) Everybody chooses to ignore history
I know this is not strictly racism but Islamophobia usually goes hand in hand with racism. Acts of terrorism are not new. Obviously, I am not saying they are good, but terrorism has been around for centuries and centuries, so I don’t understand it when people say ”All muslims are terrorists”. If you look back in history you will see quite a few religions have committed acts of terrorism, including Christianity. I mean Guy Fawkes tried blowing up parliament in the name of Christianity, so just because a minority of extremists from one religion commit terrorism, it doesn’t mean every single person who follows that religion is going to go around killing people.
4) The media fuels it.
There are many examples I could use but I am going to use just one. The Woolwich incident involved a man being beheaded, and I think we can all agree that it is tragic and the person who did it is a monster. However, (I can’t remember the details as I only read one article on it) only a few weeks back a Muslim woman was also beheaded and there were no media reports on that (so little coverage that I cannot even remember her name). I am not saying that one attack was worse than the other, but the media is often guilty for helping fuel existing racism in people and instill it in others.