BLM post. Thanks for this.
Racism in the UK is REAL. I face it regularly and experienced it once I turned 16 thankfully My mother and father prepared me for this and told me once I turned 16 I would be treated like a threat/criminal. So I understood to remain calm despite people's ignorance and hatred but it doesn't change and hasn't changed.
Being originally from the Caribbean this is a fact.
Whether I was in the US/Canada or Europe - its in your face in major cities and less so in the suburbs unless you want to date someone's daughter.
Or here in the UK - its more subtle with workplaces never giving you an outstanding although you outperform your peers and put in more hours. Or being passed over for a promotion despite you then being the pillar of info that when the shit hits the fan you get called to help and not the person who got the promotion even though its their job.
The only Times I have transcended racism is when performing on a stage or as a competitive athlete representing a country. FACTS. The famous imagery of "Josephine Baker - Dance Monkey Dance" never left me and reminds me how little has changed in acceptance of Black Lives.
Despite being a pillar of my community
I have been stopped and searched with my 3 kids in Islington and Tottenham
I have been stopped and searched with my wife
I have been questioned politely by police outside MY HOME as to why I was "hanging around" - its a nice neighbourhood.
I have been "randomly selected" stopped and searched at immigration in the UK and Europe and let's not forget the Texas experience where I missed my connection flight and had to sleep at the airport for 5 hrs before my next flight due to me being randomly selected as I was boarding the plane.
I have had 3 strip searches while travelling to/from the UK
I have had mouth swabs and Shoe swabs when travelling with my business colleagues internationally. "Another random selection" While they weren't.
Even though I have never committed a crime. I am an Ex- Olympic Swimmer, I have adopted 2 boys, I have had 2 Enhanced Criminal Background checks performed in the UK. I have a blended family and step family of mixed race. 3 girls and 3 boys. Yeah big family love it.
All they see is "Fear/hate" Yes racism is alive and well in the UK.
So I share this to make you aware to educate your children, prepare them and for those who were unaware this happens in the UK. It's alive and well.
So Black Lives Matter!!!! The most ridiculous thing of this all is ...
If you only knew me you'd find out I am of Carib descent. Native to the Caribbean(the word is my language and it means Land of The Caribs) Yes the people who were there before the Europeans and Africans. But there is no Box for that and so all you see and fear is "Black". I wish people would get to know me so they would learn about the Caribs and OUR history.
Anyway signing off I strive to live and treat everyone with respect and forgive those that are ignorant. Much love for this thread. Hope this prepares others and awakens others to the reality of the UK. Racism towards "Black" people even though you may be Carib is Alive and Well.