Thanks for popping in. Had a funny turn this morning, so did absolutely nothing all day, except watch the new film, The Railway Children in the afternoon. Oh such decadence! Watching TV during the daytime!! Linda Williams had told me I would enjoy it – and she was right.
It did conjure up some memories mind. Spoiler alert here: there is an underlying theme of racism within the US army based in the UK, of US Military Police treating black soldiers abismally. It took me back to when I lived in Germany in the 80’s and met Grace’s and Mark’s father, who was a Lawyer with the JAG Corp in the US army. Actually, he was/is mixed race, but certainly the darker gene prevailed, and he had beautiful dark skin. I remember the very numerous racist situations we got into as a mixed race couple, the abuse and the names we were called. All of which I understood perfectly of course, being of German descent and speaking German. We had trouble finding a place to rent together because of his colour. We were turned away from restaurants in the city centre of Nürnberg. When the wall came down in 1989, the Iron Curtain, racism actually got a lot worse. I ran a language school, and pretty much all the teachers were ex-pats. Trouble started with the Irish teachers, out on the town having fun. Got set upon by a German mob because they were talking English. Teachers got spat at for speaking English. Even my Mum got hit over the back in a coffee shop in Die Breite Gasse (a popular shopping street in Nürnberg) by some old Bavarian git who told us to go back where we came from, because she and I were speaking to a couple of the Canadian staff we had bumped into – in English of course. I can report that I went after him like a screaming banshee, and chased him until he could hardly breathe for running. Then, when he was sufficiently worn out, I gave him “a piece of my mind” to remember. In fact, it was the bigotry and racism that made us leave southern Germany and move to California. No place to raise a little brown angel called Grace.
I am certainly not making sweeping statements here. The vast majority of Germans are not racists, nor are they bigots. I found them to be mostly kind, fair-minded and peace-loving. But there is always that uneducated echelon of society that needs to feel superior to somebody.
Not that it went away in California – it was just covert. It was there, always, but not as open. I guess laws had been put in place to control it, so the racism just went underground. I’m telling you. Met a member of the Clan at a neighbour’s house by chance, when we lived in oh so delightful Carmel, who threatened to burn a cross in our front garden! I could write a bloody book. I suppose that is why the racism that my young Trinidadian friend is experiencing in the hospital and here in the South East NOW NOW – not 30 years ago – NOW – just brought out the warrior in me again.
Quote for the day
If we don’t highlight what we see, if we don’t speak out against it, if we don’t stand up and shout THIS IS WRONG, then we are complicit. That is what I believe.
This blog post may be a bit strong, because you think of me as a crafter I suppose. But. If you know me but a little, you will know that there is much more to me than that. Just as there is much more to you than that.
I remember 30 years ago, sitting on a beach in Hawaii with Rob, the father. I asked him, “You’re half black and half white. Who do you feel more of an affinity with?” And his reponse? “Neither. Both are equally despicable.” I have never forgotten that. He’s a Judge now. A very fair one I’m told.
Barb x x x