In the northeast, I have had three direct incidents of racism. I am not including any microagressions here.
I didn’t buy a couple’s house in Yarm. I wanted to buy it. I would’ve been happy there but I got a survey done and the answer back from hte Surveyor was ‘No,’ so I had to pull out. My mistake was saying hello to the couple in the street some time laterI i got a wave of race-related verbal abuse. I was so stunned I didn’t respond. Nobody came to my aid in Middlesbrough Town Centre.
Lesson Learned: – sort out your own stuff because no one will leap to your aid.
The next time I was verbally abused I was with my 10-year-old son. A boy who looked about 15 yelled some obscenities which I will not repeat. He was on a bike and cycled off. I was younger then so I sprinted after him and caught up with him, made him get off his bike and asked him to repeat what he said to my face. I would probably have let it go if I hadn’t been with my son but I have to be a role model for him, Ive got to let him know consciously and subconsciously that ‘we aren’t going to put up with this shit.’
so i held the 15-year old boy by the collar for a while, he protested that he didn’t say anything. He started shouting, loud enough for other people to become interested in hte situation so I let him go because in Middlesbrough Town Centre who would they believe? Him or me? Anyway, me catching the boy wasn’t for my benefit – it was for my son’s.
Lesson learned: Always remember which battle your fighting.
The last time I was verbally abused I was at a bus stop outside a pub in Middlesbrough. The person having a go with some of the classics: a few N-words and Why don’t you go back to where you came from? The irony that I was waiting for a bus was lost on him. I argued back saying ‘Why should I listen to you, you’re pissed and you have mullet hair cut in the 21st century?’ He was goading me. I think he was looking for a fight. After a while he staggered off.
Lesson Learned: Never argue with stupid people, they’ve had more practice.
My response varies depending who is around. If it’s just aimed at me, I might let it slide but my kids are a different matter – They are still impressionable, still developing their personality and the thickness of their skins.
I remember when my son was still at primary school. He came home and said that a boy had been racially abusing him outside the local library. My son told me where the boy lived so we walked down there, followed by an ever growing group of kids eager to find out what was going down.
When I got to the boy’s home I was invited in by his mum. I sat down, explained the situation and then asked what she was going to do about it? Parents hate to be embarrassed, especially in their own home.
The boy apologised and then got torn a new arse by his mum. When we left, me and my son could still here him getting bollocked. I later heard that he lost his X-Box.
Even though Incident 2 and 4 happened at least 10 years ago now, my son still remembers them and the positive outcome.
Next time I’ll talk about my dealings with the police. That post might not be so light-hearted.
I have been reminded by my son that the boy from incident 4 had his X-Box thrown out the window when we left.