Award-winning prominent London DJ gives his thoughts about racism, schools and the curriculum.
“Here’s some thoughts about racism, schools and the curriculum (from my own experience in school). This goes hand in hand in racism towards brown and black people.
I remember struggling to sing hymns like ‘Away in a Manger’ because I wasn’t Christian. These songs were part of the school curriculum that we had to sing.
For this, my cousin and I were given lines for not participating.
I remember my favourite teacher Jon Fletcher who stuck up for us because he knew we were Hindu. He was the most kindest, compassionate white person I knew as a kid having to deal with racism from other school kids on a daily.
I also remember getting kicked out of class in high school and sent to detention for arguing with the history teacher.
She was giving this spiel on how supreme Britain and the Monarchy was; and how at one point they ruled a quarter of the world (including India and Jamaica), and Britain is a proud country built off such an enduring heritage etc.
I argued that Britain exploited countries such as India and Jamaica and that the crown jewels the Queen wears (even to this day) were stolen from India during their reign and never returned. These are facts btw… lets go on.
“Growing up, I was used to being called a Paki and to go back to my own country.“
On the topic of historical facts, here’s more detail…
India had valuable assets such as spices, jewels, textiles etc. Britain went from setting up trading posts in India for spices (which were incredibly valuable back then) to trade back in the UK. Hence why curry has become such a prevalent British cuisine.
Britain went from trading to assuming full-control over India as a country when India, at that point, was not a united front.
During World War 1, Britain called on India for troops to ally with them. In return Britain promised Independence for India; and for Indian soldiers and their families to have the opportunity to live in the UK.
“But you have to understand that brown and black people have had a struggle since the day they were born.“
After the WWI, Britain didn’t live up to their promises of Independence which caused protests in India, which in turn led to a movement by Mahatma Gandhi to ultimately lead to India’s Independence at the expense of thousand’s of dead soldiers.
At school I barely had a voice because the majority of the school was white. There are so many other experiences from people all around the world who have deeper experiences of racism and white privilege – more than my own.
There’s a point to what I’m saying….
Growing up, I was used to being called a Paki and to go back to my own country.
I’d get beaten up for being brown growing up in a predominantly white area. My parents owned a “corner shop” as you put it, and endured years of racism from some (not all) customers.
As a white person can you honestly say you’ve experienced anyone mistreat you or cause you harm because of the colour of your skin? It has happened, probably on a minor scale but nowhere near close to the ratio brown and blacks have endured for centuries.
This is why white privilege is a real thing… on a systematic level designed to keep order, power and control.
Now let’s go back to the curriculum….
Unless you’ve done your research, what you think you know has been taught to you either by friends, family, media or the school curriculum.
Nobody is born racist. It is learned. Some of it may have changed culturally today, but when I was a kid so many of the facts were missed out by the governing bodies who wrote the curriculum.
Is it because white kids would go back to their parents and say ‘mum they taught us about how Britain and how the Queen exploited blacks and browns during the war’? Or was it something more systematic?
A child can’t be scolded for being racist. They don’t know any better, much like the kids I knew in school didn’t.
Not all white people are racist, I have close friends that are white but it’s not enough to not be racist.
It’s when you mature enough as an adult to not want to make your own judgement and research and speak out when it becomes a problem.
Mine and so many other people’s parents came from India, Pakistan, Jamaica… the list is endless.
They came to the UK for a better way of life, because of the lure of the British economy, which was ironically built off exploiting other countries. It’s crazy hypocritical when you think about it.
It’s like building a beautiful mansion by the hands of blacks and browns through exploitation and then closing the door saying ‘you can’t come in’. And then telling all your friends, children and media that ‘we built it ourselves’.
There’s playing fair and there’s taking advantage.
Lets be honest, if everyone played fair (which all know has never been and probably will never be the narrative while I’m alive), the US and UK wouldn’t be the two most powerful countries in the world. Fact!
Everyday life is hard for many people across the world and we can all agree that some people have had it harder than others. But here’s the important part…
Saying statements like ‘all lives matter and just because I’m white, doesn’t mean I’m privileged. My family is poor and we have struggled therefore I’m not privileged,’ takes away from the real problem.
As a white person you may have struggled and worked hard to get to where you are, nobody is taking that away from you. But you have to understand that brown and black people have had a struggle since the day they were born, which is something you can never understand or relate to.
This is what white privilege is – where you’ve never had to struggle because of the colour of your skin. It’s never hindered an opportunity for you.
This is not about making anyone feel bad about something out of their control, it’s about acknowledging, understanding and reframing the way society portrays black and brown people and taking a stand.
If this had hit a nerve with anyone reading, it’s not my intention other than to spread awareness. I suggest digging a little deeper into why so many black and brown people across the globe are protesting.
Peace and love. ❤️??”