By Sukant Chandan
Sons of Malcolm
15 Jan 2014
On the way to work today sitting in front seats of double decker bus. Driver changes at Alperton en route to Wembley (both in Brent borough, heavy concentration of South Asian ppls, as well as Africans). Hear a sister shouting as she walks up and sits by the two seats next to me, she is mixed heritage Ghana/white english, summarising:
She is talking saying loudly: "Asians are lazy, smelly, dirty people, why don't they look after Alperton?! They all coming here and dirtying up the place, there's too many of them here" and so on. Few other SouthAsian passengers behind us. I am looking at her going on with a straight face, she is looking straight forward.
I calmly open up engaging in discussion with her. She says how positive and friendly she is, and South Asians don't like her, and they leave chicken bones everywhere. I with friendliness challenge saying that Alperton has terrible infrastructure and no investment and support while being in one of the worst london boroughs for poverty and crime etc. I say she is right to say lots of SouthAsians come here and bring some bad habits, and we agree the anti-Paan spitting campaign is good but late in the day.
I challenge her further by saying throwing chicken bones around on streets and buses, spitting on pavements etc is not the monopoly of one Brown or Black community. She concedes. I say she says she is positive, but the way she came on the bus, she coulda been in an argument and fight straight away with someone. She concedes.
She ends up wanting to discuss a lot with me, but has to get off at her stop after we wished each other a good day and all the best.
I totally get we are all frustrated, alienated, fed up with life, but let's perhaps not attack those who are not responsible for our conditions, but are also fellow victims (resistant-victims, hopefully) to the white imperialist system that is putting us all in this growing mess. I didn't and don't get offended by ppl coming out with the kinda stuff the sister was coming out with, its understandable but unjust. Eyes on the prize, always, and that's not beefing victims of the system, that's what the system wants, but uniting and beefing the system together. Its in our hands.