Racism Ruined my Night
Those who Don’t Know they are Racist also Don’t understand how their Racism is seen by Others
23rd June 2016, the Day of the Brexit vote, I suddenly stopped being a British Citizen in the eyes of some Brexiteers.
And it didn’t stop there. LinkedIn also saw alleged ‘professionals’ resort to that sort of denouncement. Step-by-step. Comment…
Throughout the rest of the year. From allegedly professional people. I’ll leave you to make what you like out of that. It appears that hasn’t subsided.
LogDate 23rd February 2017
A lad called Max Lane jumped on to Quora to ask a question, which I answered. Here’s my current profile.The bio is important.
Then out of a random somewhere, whilst in the pub after an event on Artificial Intelligence last night, I get this response as a comment to an answer I gave him on Quora.
Wait “you arn’t (sic) a British National”
Sorry, let me just get this right… by putting the ‘e’ back in, since that might change the meaning.
“you aren’t a British National”…
Narp, still reads like the same racist tripe. Totally delusional comment!
And he got that from… Honestly, I have no idea!… Given my bio said “UK Born and Bred. Live here…”
Wait, let me check my passport. Maybe I have had this wrong all my life.
Ah f**k it man! This must mean my passport is fake news maybe? I’ve only had it for 40 years! Is it not valid? Because 22 year old Max Lane from Bradford (of all the places you’ll find British citizens with brown faces, he said this from Bradford!), who studied for a Mechanical Engineering degree at Sheffield Hallum University, works at NPS Engineering Group as a design engineer, decided that one day, I wasn’t a citizen of the UK. Fuck me, it matters not that I’ve held my UK passport and citizenship since birth, 18 years longer than him (longer than he’s been alive even). I am more British than he f**king is!
This is a dangerous, dangerous path for “native-Brits” to tread. Not because of the statement, but because of how the mental models of Max, Sean and Dan, act first to “disappear” and deprive British Citizens of colour, without any thought to fact, or reality. It creates division within the very fabric of English society they wish to protect.
Racism is Insidious
The biggest problem for me isn’t just that he made the statement. It’s that he, and the others, went there first. Didn’t check their facts or themselves. This is the key aspect to all of this. Before checking any facts, even the statement on my bio in front of his face in the answer, he immediately mentally categorised me as a “foreigner”. On no evidence! The mindset is the problem. If he did this with my facts, what did he do on the EU referendum? Did he understand any of the facts? Even on immigration? Almost certainly not!
People like Max are slipping into that mindset without understanding anything about the dynamics of their own thoughts, nor how it applies in the wider issue of racism. Max is 22 years old. He doesn’t remember the 80’s, where 9 year old asian kids were punched in the face by people about his age all the while shouting “Fuck off back home you paki bastard!” and hearing that as the 9 year old’s mouth bleeds, teeth missing, before he’s then kicked in the face once more by the adult. Nor does he know the effect of racism on Irish people in the 60’s and 70’s, the very people that built the canals and almost all the UK’s man-made waterways for 200 Great, British years, bringing total prosperity to the country and making it the Empire it was. His understanding of racism and his position on ethnicity and race comes from his environment and whatever it is other folk have told him to think. Whether that is home, work, pub, Daily Mail paper, or whatever.
In organisations, culture is the worst possible behaviour the management are willing to accept. The same is true of neighbourhoods, schools, colleges and any other community base.
This is a dangerous, dangerous path for “native Brits” to tread. Not because of the statement, nor its hypocritical dismissiveness of Remains and ‘elites’, but because the mental models of Max, Sean, Dan, and others’ autonomic, reactionary, involuntary jerk toward a “them over there” internal and external narrative. “Disappearing” British Citizens of colour, without any thought to fact, or reality. Their actions, some weird form of hypnotic group-thinking, mob-ruled, zombie-ism.
Brexit appears to have caused some sort of brainwash, where people, Brexiteers in particular, seem to lose a grip on reality. Where fake news effortlessly spreads like wildfire through brains unaware and unprotected from the effect it has on them. All it takes is one ignition, the whole mob to think the same thing at once, and people start dying. Akin to what we saw during Brexit.
I’m not going into the politics of this as it isn’t of interest to me, bar the catastrophic level of stupidity that it’s path of the last 12 months has introduces into all unrelated and loosely related facets of British life. However, such “brainwashing” leads to the rise of dysfunctional behaviours, poor business culture and of course, to Trump, North Korea and the inimitable comparison, the Nazi’s. We are humans capable of extremely abhorrent behaviours off the back of a “mistake”. Yet, those that perish under that premise don’t get a chance to rebuild or forgive once the deed is done.
In organisations, culture is the worst possible behaviour the management are willing to accept. The same is true of neighbourhoods, schools, colleges, charities and any other community base. This is so insidious and subtle that each individual person regards it as a mistake they made, and if it is was a one off, it certainly could be. It is after all, one data point. However, it isn’t a mistake. Not in the numbers the receivers are seeing it in. After all, Max “made one mistake” I alone have received several such “mistakes” and there are others who have received significantly more.
It is certainly not a mistake in the degree of the shift in cultural intolerance. 1994 to 2015 there was nothing. Then suddenly, they opened Pandora’s box and BOOM!
Remember, Max isn’t the only one. Another major contributing factor to racism flourishing is people’s unwillingness to believe it is happening and unwillingness to step in and stand up against it. The problem with majority-on-minority racism is that if you aren’t part of the minority, you’ll not experience it and then experience the anxiety that comes from standing in a majority ethnicity environment, like a high street, wondering what happens next. Do they all think that way? Am I going to be set upon? Even EDL’s Tommy Robinson experienced that as he drove through Luton.
People not being heard was in no small part, what led to the surprise “empowerments” in the last 12 months. As someone who was a trustee, voluntarily running a national charity brand working for the good of desperate people, who needed representation and places to turn, I lobbied for people to have a voice [for confirmation, in case folk think it’s some form of asian/muslim/minority exclusive charity, to create another false position in their heads, it was a Citizens Advice Bureau… in Salford]. There is little people can tell me about taking voices away from people and to do so en masse. I spoke up for those people, yet now, they come. For people. Like. Me.
Not everyone has the capability or capacity to defend themselves and in any event, a baying mob of even a fraction of 17 million people is impossible to obliterate even with a nuke! The Leave voting numbers alone are 6 times higher than the number of immigrants in the UK. So the reliance is on as many others, often those with principle on the side of the party in offence. After all, a dehumanised person, someone without citizenship, becomes someone without right. Indeed, in some eyes especially across the pond, even ceases to be human in their eyes. Would you take orders from your goldfish?No, I guess not. Yet, that is the next step of the sleepwalk.
Do we awaken before then?
Summary & Follow-Up
As is clear, I’m not the sort of person to stand for that level of sh*te. I, of course, wrote an email to his employer and a response to him via Quora. Initially, he attempted to hide his tracks and change his name, which is the first stage of some weird defence, the path of those who wish to save face without apologising and admitting they were wrong, especially in such a fractious position.
Around an hour later, I assume he got to work and was met by his director, who had the email by then, since 8:53am apology received via Quora and separately via FB later on.
The employer also responded and for balance, I also include that response here, since I am convinced NPS Group were unaware Max did this at the time of the incident and are thus, innocent of wrongdoing.
As far as I am concerned now, I consider this particular instance/matter closed and for the sake of moving on, “accept” Max’s apology. However, like everyone else who experiences such things, I won’t forget it. I’m damn sure there will be more as time goes on and it is people like Max that contribute to exactly the rise in racial tensions and hatred that the UK has seen in the last few years. Many don’t even believe the spike in racism ever happened. Yet they don’t understand that this is the dynamic that goes on in their head, and is what fuels that sort of spike, in the context of anti-immigrant sentiment. They’re firing “friendly fire” at non-immigrants. If you jump towards a racial conclusion for an explanation despite the facts (or using fake facts) you’re a racist, because your mental model is racist by default, pure and simple!
The question is what happens in the UK next?