Put a fiver in the swear box…

Put a fiver in the swear box…

Hi there.

Thanks for popping in. A little while ago, I decided to curb my swearing, because I felt it fuelled negative thoughts and anger. I felt that using angry language just made me angrier. How am I doing? Some and some. Some days there are no f***s; other days there are more than I would like to admit.

Today I read about the 5th black man found hanged in the States, and I am fucking wild. So let me put a fiver in the swear box for an hour, and vent.

Racism? It disgusts me. I am not black, so I truly cannot know what it feels like to be the target of racial discrimination. But I was married to a black man in the 80’s and 90’s, and my children are mixed race. So every time a young black man is murdered, my heart breaks. I lived in California, a so-called liberal state, but I saw plenty of really insidious racism, and felt it first hand.

I have met white racists and white supremacists in the States. I have listened to their insanity, and believe you me – I have argued with them. But there’s no arguing with insanity. In fact, I remember meeting a Klan member, a really wealthy white dude who collected very expensive classic cars, who threatened to burn a cross in our front garden. In Carmel. Yep. California. He was all over me. Loved my British accent. I will never forget how he turned when my husband walked in. He just went mad. Called us both vile names and hurled abuse at us. Rob walked out, and I got to hear him warn me not to go to sleep that night, because he was comin. 1992, that was. The year my Mark was born.

My husband’s father, God rest his soul, was a very angry man. Thing is, he watched his best friend get lynched by a mob when he was just 16. They let him go. Don’t think it ever left him though. Thousands of black people were lynched, and nobody was held accountable. Black people were tyrannised for decades. It was nothing less than racial terrorism. And now we see a pattern emerging. One hanging after another one. 5 within a month. Black men hung from trees. The authorities are arguing they are all suicides. I say BULLSHIT. George Floyd is murdered, and now black men are hanging themselves? Get real.

I know this isn’t a topic for the faint hearted, and I NEVER usually speak out about politics or unrest. I always say there’s no point in feeding the fire. But THIS Terror on black people HAS TO STOP. There has to be the revolution. This cannot go on. We privileged white people cannot understand what black people endure – we really cannot. But we could at least bloody open our eyes and try to empathise! Try to grasp what a lifetime of bullying and suppression will lead to! We have to walk a mile in a person’s shoes to properly get it. BUT. We can surely see the difference between right and wrong!.

I cannot stay silent on this subject. I have to raise my hand and say I am right there with the BLACK LIVES MATTER protestors. Maybe not physically, because of the pandemic. But certainly in my heart.

I have a beautiful black son living in Northern California and a beautiful black daughter living in New York. Sure they’re half white, but to the average redneck, they’re black, make no mistake. Their father is a Superior Court Judge, a Doctor of Law. He is also mixed race. When we were married, he wasn’t allowed to play golf at a particular golf club in the Hamptons. “No Blacks, No Jews”. That’s what it said above the entrance. Not that long ago, eh? Do you understand why I am so wild?

I had to pull Grace out of a private school in this country because of racial bullying. That wasn’t long ago either. I am just sick to death of ignorant, ugly bigotry. It’s everywhere – and it’s on the rise again.

Please stop and think about lynching as a sport, as a pastime. That could be my son. That could be my son!!

Enough said. Sometimes you just have to speak your truth.

Love always

Barb xxx

54 thoughts on “Put a fiver in the swear box…

  1. I agree with every word you say. Our son’s “significant other” is dual nationality British American and she is also mixed race white and black. We don’t know the half of what goes on over there every day. Speaking with her before all this happened was a real eye – opener life must be precious regardless of race religion culture. Free countries should be just that.
    Take care love Chris x

  2. I am saddened to hear that you and your family have suffered in this way. Personally I don’t see a persons colour, I try to treat everyone as I would like to be treated. Stay strong. We are all with you

  3. Thank you for speaking out Barb. People over here seem to think it is about a few statues and black people wanting to scrub out our history – well it is their history too!

    It made me so angry to see the post about the pinching that I just had to have a good cry to wash out my soul. My throat clenched every time I think about it.

    I can’t say I know how it feels, all I can say is that I empathise, having been discriminated against all my life.
    I’ve been talking to Grace about it all and I asked her to educate me, and that I hope she feels comfortable enough to correct me if I need correction.
    We ALL need to keep an open mind and realise that we might make racist remarks without even knowing it or meaning to. Think what I’m trying to say is – change starts with me, with each of us.

  4. Barbara, I agree with all that you say but nothing will change for the better in the US until they vote out the white supremacist who currently resides in the White House. If Obama was the hope of our generation then how did right-minded people ever let him be succeeded by such a vile person?
    Until we all stand together, no matter what race, creed or gender we are, then things will remain as they are. I too would stand with the BLM protestors if it were safe to do so and I have never been to a protest in my life and am a white woman in her fifties. This is the time to stand together, in peace but with determination.

  5. Not only black people my 12yr old grandson bullied for his beautiful Sicillian looks inherited from his Dad. We are all human underneath time it stopped. Be polite and kind to all and usually returned.

  6. This afternoon, I found a copy of an old Chinese proverb, which a teacher colleague wrote for our calligraphy group. It reads;
    If there be righteousness in the heart, there will be beauty in the character.
    If there is beauty in the character, there will be harmony in the home.
    If there is harmony in the home, there will be order in the nation.
    When there is order in each nation, there will be peace in the world.

    If only everyone could have righteousness in their hearts.
    I am with you Barbara. Hugs. Annette. X

  7. Think you should be paid for saying it in this context. I hadn’t heard about these lynchings but have heard similar before. I was good and mad to hear a black four year old ask me if he would have my wrinkled white skin when he grew up because he was being bullied at nursery. By the staff. Last year.

  8. Racism is abhorrent. It has to end and we should be learning from our past not reliving it! I dealt with racist bullying when I was a head of year and its a very difficult situation to solve but for everyone’s sake it has to be stopped.
    I am appalled by some of the attitudes of people I see behaving in the most terrible way towards some one who may have a different skin colour or religion to themselves.
    You are right when you say it has to stop before more beautiful people lose their lives.

  9. Can’t add anything extra to what you say.
    Agree with you 100%.
    Hugs and have hope for the future.

  10. I actually got to see my son and his dsughters yesterday for the first time since Christmas. Believe it or not, we spent at least an hour talking about the racial problems around the world. I was truly shocked when he told me I had just used a phrase related to the slave trade – the nitty gritty (look it up). The only way that I can see to make any real headway through what we have unknowingly accepted for generations, is to talk openly and try to understand each other. I have always believed that it is the person inside the skin that is important. None of us can control the colour of our skin nor should we try. It should make no difference to your ability to get the job you want, the education you want and deserve, the home and life you want. I have spent a lot of time recently thinking about all of this and I logically know that I can only control what I think and do, but it is hard in this country when you think you are non-racist and then find that a phrase in common use that you have grown up with is actually racist. We all need to learn about each other. To me, understanding is the only way to start to heal the differences. xxx Maggie (Silvercrafter)

      1. I understand what you mean, Maggie. Recently I was talking to my younger son and used the word ‘Oriental’ to describe somebody from the East because I didn’t know what nationality the person was. I was told that ‘that is not a word we use now, Mum’. In no way did I mean it nastily but the word is no longer used.xxx

  11. I’ll stand there right beside you, helping any way that I can. Thank you for speaking out like this, we, as in humans, need to realise that no one human is worth more than any other, whether they be black, white, cream, insipid, pink, purple with yellow spots on.
    We are all human beings and everyone matters xx

  12. I hear you Barb. One of my step daughters is mixed race as are 3 of my Grandchildren, and my best friend. I’ve also had a black boyfriend who was very gentle and treated my white son with the greatest respect.
    My granddaughter (who is 8 years old today!) was called a N***a c**t by another child when she was 6 years old. Made my blood boil 🤬. What sort of parent (a) teaches their young child to use language like that and (b) teaches their own children to be racist. I know there are countries where white people are not treated well and I know there are countries who treat women with distain, but I was always taught that 2 wrongs don’t make a right.
    Ps. Mark and Grace are both beautiful people, inside and out. So much like their Mum and Step Dad xxx

    1. That is so shocking. I heard many things in the secondary school, which was appalling, but to come from a 6 year old…words fail me. It is the parents who need educating.

      1. The truth is that no-one is born racist. It is something that is learned in some way. Proper, balanced education is the only way I can see to overcome these prejudices and that can and probably will take generations to change totally. All we can do is to educate ourselves and each control our own knowledge and behaviour. xxx Maggie (Silvercrafter)

  13. I agree with all you have said Barbara, I’m married to a black man and have mixed race boys and I too have suffered at the hand of racism. It has to stop, enough is enough. I too don’t talk about things like this, but I just had to let you know I was proud of you for standing tall and speaking out xxx

  14. I too swore when I read your words and got a good telling off until I made hubby read them. Then he understood. I’m still steaming 🤬

    Thank you for sharing this Barbara. I didn’t know about the lynchings and am appalled with what is going on today. To me racism is a no no, I do not care about black, white, yellow or pink with blue and orange spots on the skin or their social status but I do care about character. If someone is willing to learn, work hard to achieve something worthwhile, treat others with respect and generally be a good person then they too should be treated with respect.

    My mother was a racist, despised all foreigners of any colour, so how she managed to marry a Russian and have us I really don’t know, but I was forbidden to tell anyone about him and he must have been very hurt although he never showed it.

    We all come into this world the same way, we should be allowed to live our lives in peace and harmony. I just wish people could take on board the sentiments in Annette’s Chinese poem. I am going to get out the Calligraphy pens and make a poster with these wise words to hang in the window by my front door. May take me a while as I am out of practice but it will keep me occupied for a while.
    You have two beautiful children Barbara, I hope they stay safe in these difficult times.
    Love always. Stay safe 🍒🍒🍒

    1. Been sitting here stewing !!! If I believe the documentaries on human evolution it would appear that we all came out of Africa and it was migration and climate adaptations that changed the colour of our appearance so in the end we are all the same under the skin.
      Nuff said – I’m going to bed.
      Night, night. 🍒

  15. I read about the young men found hanging from trees (only 2 though so the number has increased)and wondered why more hasn’t be said about it. I don’t know what else to say as I just feel sad and sorry. X

  16. Well done you Barbara for speaking out. Racism in any form is abhorrent. It is such a shame that the Black Lives Matter campaign has been hijacked by those only interested in causing damage and trouble in some areas. Hats off to those peaceful protesters, having the courage to stand up for their convictions. I am slightly uneasy about large numbers of people gathering in the present circumstances but I do understand things will never change if we all take the path of least resistance and sit back and do nothing. Let’s hope this is the beginning of a change in attitude. xx

  17. ALL LIVES MATTER. Whatever colour we are on the outside our souls are all the same. In my life I have been to school, worked and employed people of different colours and nationalities and never had any problem – I’ve obviously been very lucky.
    The people educating others to say and do these terrible things have to be sought out and re-educated. Easier said than done you say but these awful protest marches are not the answer.
    I think these lockdowns haven’t helped because it has given people too much time to think about and spread these terrible thoughts and actions.
    Bring back someone like Obama to make a start on breaking down this evil.
    And may all your families wherever they are be safe.

    1. You are right, Pamela. This lockdown has created dangerous conditions, just ready to flare up, because the criminals who are out to cause mayhem have too much time on their hands, and the newspapers and other media are just out to inflame things to get headlines and sell papers. They say the camera doesn’t lie, but stills can be doctored to create whatever attitude they want. We all need to work together, especially while fighting this wretched disease, and talk together instead of being encouraged today physical violence, which solves nothing and just makes everything worse. xxx Maggie (Silvercrafter)

  18. Hi Barbara, I never comment on social media but just read your blog and felt I had to say something. Yes I too just heard about another appalling lynching in America. In these unprecedented times there has begun to be an increasing social awareness and we can only hope that this continues to gather pace. Emily Pankhurst in her day and not so many years ago Nelson Mandela, were both considered terrorists by our government. Times and attitudes are changing slowly, and we must all stand up to bigotry and inequality to effect any kind of change. As always our young people will lead the way to a better world, notwithstanding the economic future they face. Continue to speak your truth Barbara, from the heart, to anyone who will listen. Cherry.x

  19. We are all human beings no matter what colour our skin is, or whether we are thin or fat, tall or short. Why o why has this been allowed to happen? Racism sickens me to the core. So sorry for what you have suffered, Barb. Grace and Mark are beautiful inside and out and you can rightly be proud of them. X

  20. Something has to change but will it? I’m mixed race and the majority of people around me just don’t seem to get it. They make all the right noises but then say things like “they’ve” made their point, “they” need to stop now before public opinion turns against “them”. I’m sick of hearing today that the hangings could be suicide and surely the police wouldn’t say so if it wasn’t true in the current climate??? It leaves me sick to my core.
    Yes there are plenty of decent people out there but what is it going to take for everyone or the majority to understand this is relentless and for anyone who isn’t white, racism doesn’t stop, for us it doesn’t go away. I count myself as one of the “lucky” ones. Why? Simply because my life has never been actively threatened because of the colour of my skin.
    I too take comfort in your words and my heart goes out to you and your family. It must be pretty terrifying right now for all of you xxx

  21. Hi Barb,
    Well said! I totally agree with you. I hadn’t heard about the lynchings but I am appalled . I don’t understand how people can do such things in this day and age. When will we learn to just live in peace and accept everyone for who they are and not the colour of their skin?
    Love and hugs,Alison xx

  22. It does indeed have to stop. I’ve just finished reading “Becoming” by Michelle Obama. What a legend! How the American people could possibly vote for a bigot like Trump after Obama astonishes me. Also that they blocked so much of what Obama wanted to do.
    It’s becoming increasingly clear that George Floyd was not a good man and certainly not a hero but for Trump to praise the police. What?? Cold bloodied murderers? Words fail me.
    Good for you for speaking out even though it is shocking to read.
    Love and hugs xx

  23. Thank you for what you have written today. It is only by reading such accounts that we begin to truly understand what other people have to face. The racist behaviour of people in other countries can be shockingly horrific, but the bullying that your daughter suffered shows that we cannot afford to be complacent here in the UK.
    It is also clear that we sometimes use words that were common in our youth but are now offensive, or maybe they always were.

  24. You are right, Pamela. This lockdown has created dangerous conditions, just ready to flare up, because the criminals who are out to cause mayhem have too much time on their hands, and the newspapers and other media are just out to inflame things to get headlines and sell papers. They say the camera doesn’t lie, but stills can be doctored to create whatever attitude they want. We all need to work together, especially while fighting this wretched disease, and talk together instead of being encouraged today physical violence, which solves nothing and just makes everything worse. xxx Maggie (Silvercrafter)

  25. Yes it is terrible what is happening in so many countries in our world. Especially in the USA, of course it is not a new thing it is happening since years, even centuries.
    But with Trump as President there will not be a Change. He is about to devide the whole Country more and more.
    Also here in Germany many People get the hate of a growing Group of Neonazis, especially the jews , the Moslems and black People.It seem as if the 1930 years are about to come back.
    Something must happen, I see many americans on the streets in Demos and fighting for justice. Hope that all our dreams will come true one day…… gisela

  26. Dear Barb, I feel your despair and anger of
    the Human Race some never seem to learn any lessons. It also seems to be the rich and powerful who call the tune most of us are just cannon fodder I cry for this poor world BUT ‘They’ must not win I hope your children are safe and well the worry over them must be overwhelming Love Jan x

  27. I just don’t know what to say, the whole world is a cauldron bubbling away with so many pent up frustrations it’s going to erupt into an ugly mess. I naively thought that this global pandemic had made us stand still and take stock, all in it together, appreciate each other, look out for each other, give the planet a break, improve atmosphere, etc etc. It is really scary how the human race can turn on each other again and again. I am shocked and saddened that there is still so much division within so many cultures. When will the world become a better place or how can it. With you all the way Barbara xxx

  28. I hadn’t heard about these dreadful acts but it is appalling and I am shocked. It is a real eye opener to those of us not seeing this first hand on a regular basis

  29. So proud of you Barbara for having your say. We demonstrated against this bigotry in the 60s and it seems to have got worst. Grace and Mark are beautiful people with a wondeful mother. Stay safe x

  30. I have no answers to recent horrendous events but I find
    educating myself about lives lived is helpful to me.
    Fredrick Douglass 1805 ?-1881 .U.S. and his two social reforming wives; Anne Murray Douglass, member of the Underground Railroad [secret network for ”emancipation”]
    Helen Pitts Douglass 1838-1903 Suffragist.

    Politics in Britain, William Wilberforce
    -abolishment of slavery in the British Empire 1833.
    Mary Seacole 1805-1881 Jamaican nurse in the Crimean War.
    ….and the fight still goes on.

  31. Hello Barb, I grew up in South Africa, did I know growing up that it was wrong, no, I was a child, being directed by my parents. I know the difference now, and racism/bigotry of any kind, no matter whether it is skin colour or creed or sexual orientation should be enough to trigger animosity, willingly harm or hurt people, and think you can get away with it. It will come back to haunt you and bite you back. I just wish it would stop, it is horrible to watch the news or any updates, there just does not seem to wane. Take care of yourself and your lovely family, skin colour does make who you are. Bx

  32. I don’t think I have the words to express how awful this all is. And, sadly, we need to sign up to the fact that we live in a racist country too. So often I hear just a little comment that leaves me speechless. I had hoped that as a race we were beginning to be accepting of one another but we aren’t. I also dislike the way people are jumping on the bandwagon and causing such unrest and damage. I don’t know what the solution. All I can do is hope.

  33. I am so sorry and horrified to hear what you and your family have been through in the past. There are no words for absolute bastards who can treat any human being with such hatred. I grew up in East London /Luton have shared my schooling, friends, boyfriends and work with people if many races, never for a minuet have I ever thought that any creed/colour was ‘more’ than the other. ALL LIVES MATTER to me I treat peeps how I would like to be treated. We are all sentient beings from a ladybird to us humans who seem to think we matter more ….. we don’t. Good to vent eh. Wish you and your fam Peace, health and happiness. 💛

  34. For goodness sake, why can’t people see that black people aren’t asking to be treated as special or better they just want to be treated as equal with all the respect that we are all entitled to.

  35. I like your comment about racial terrorism and that is exactly what it is. Violent and murderous perpetrators should be treated as terrorists and charged as such.

  36. agree totally with what has been said. We are right to be angry about all injustices, rascism, poverty etc. If we don’t react, if we don’t feel and see the injustice then the status quo will continue. From the number of peaceful demonstrations both here and in the US, the mass involvement of ordinary people who have never demonstrated in their lives, then I think we can be hopeful of change. But it will only happen if we fight (metaphorically speaking) for it. BLM.

  37. I’m trying to avoid the news because it’s increasing my anxiety at the moment but I feel sick to my stomach reading about these lynchings and racist atrocities. I’ll happily pay the fiver for your swear box x

  38. I understand what you are saying Barbara, and ALL lives matter no matter the race or creed, but the violence which has eruped surrounding the issue only muddies the waters. There are a lot of people who frankly are not interested in the reasons behind it but are just ready for a fight with authority and have hijacked it and the media just raise the temperature. This is not to say that there isn’t a problem and history is there for us to learn from and not something that should be airbrushed away and pulling down statues and changing street names is not the answer, but I do think that things need to be talked about rationally and the temperature needs to be lowered somewhat. Thank you Barbara for giving us your side of the story and given us an insight into how for some life can make difficulties in areas where there should never be any. Mark and Grace are wonderful human beings, kind, considerate and both clever too, and are a credit to you and themselves. We can only take stock and try to redress the balance where we can. x

  39. I really feel your anger and frustration Barbara. To be honest I guess I’ve been totally ignorant of the REAL problems until recently and now I have given it a lot of thought (especially after finding out my Great Grandfather was a Portugrse Negro and was on 3 slave ships) I cannot coprehend why in this day and age there is racism to the level it is at. We cant change history but we can change the future and now is the time that we human beings need to take stock and do something about it and realise the damage we are causing and if something isn’t done soon, more damage will be caused to all of our lives. I find it all so difficult to hear and understand why PEOPLE do and say what they do in life. Hence, I find it difficult to trust people. I wish your lovely family peace amongst all this unrest and pray that love and strength will get you all through this XX

  40. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Homo sapiens is one race, the human race, let’s try harder to remember that.

  41. We all have to try and better educate ourselves about this issue, white privilege and the microagressions that well meaning white people use frequently. i’ve started by reading Why I am no longer talking to white people about race – by Reni Eddo-Lodge.

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