My Racist Roots

My parents continue to tell me they’re not racist…

Growing up in my family; everyone who was not white was black. Unless they were Chinese. They were yellow. Chinkies with funny squinty eyes. Or Japs. Their unfortunate eyes fell in the opposite direction. The blacks were dirty people. They were pakis and Indians and Arabs alike . Africans and south Americans. Australian aborigines too. “Terrible people.” The African continent never got much of a mention in my house. Neither did most continents or country names. The people from there were either stereotypically cool, or dangerous, and their women were terrifying, agressive creatures. “Monkeys and apes”, I heard a lot. I was told that black people didn’t need a bed. They stuck themselves to the windows at night with their lips. Arabs were the worst. “Terrible, self indulgent people with a horrific religion set to destroy the world”. “Ugly and hairy and stubborn, unforgiving people”! “Nuke the lot of them”! My real father was testimony to all their wicked ways! But I was told to love myself. I was beautiful so it was all ok… But what was I?

I was told if I ever brought a black boyfriend home he would be strung up on the garden tree and my mother’s cigarettes would be stubbed into him. They were laughing. There was humour there but I didn’t get it. I still don’t get it. I’ve always been slow.

They told me if I ever had a ‘coloured’ baby my mum would not walk down the street with the pram. It would be too embarrassing for her. I wondered how she managed to wheel my pram around when I was a baby…

Equiped with a deep self loathing, a few good steriotypes and a skewed view of the world, I left home as early as I could and started my own journey.

I found love…

Abuse does not present itself in truths. An abusive relationship will be to the victim, the best relationship they have ever been in. A misunderstood love.

#racism #family #dysfunctional #stereotypes #hate ##selfhate #selfidentity #ignorance #mixed #abuse

Photograpy: Najma Abukar

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