Offended by the term coloured? Let me show you what real racism looks like.

All the screeching about comments like Amber Rudd referring to a ‘coloured’ woman rather than a ‘person of colour’ or Angela Smith saying ‘funny tinge’ suggests to me that brown and black people in the UK have little idea what real racism is like.

So I thought I’d share some of my experiences with brown men to help them understand.

I’ll focus on Turkey, where my family moved in the early 1990s because of my father’s job with the UN’s refugee agency, the UNHCR. I was 17, my sisters were 12, 11 and 2.

We are all blonde and every single time we left the house – every single time – we were leered at, jeered at, hissed at, spat at, mocked, touched, groped and propositioned. 

Men would stop on the street and stare. This was rarely at our faces as that denotes humanity. Instead they would survey our bodies, examining us like pieces of meat to purchase and consume.

Cars would beep furiously and then slow down so the occupants could gawp at us and mock us. The phone would ring within minutes of my little sisters coming home from school so the men could explain how they were going to sodomise them. 

One of my sisters had sperm thrown on her when she was 12. Another had a taxi driver stick his hands between her legs when she was 11.

I was hit several times in the face by men I stood up to. Once this happened right outside the Turkish President’s palace. His guards saw me being punched and then joined in the hooting and hissing and guffawing.

There is, of course, much history here for the Turks. After conquering and colonizing the Christian Byzantine Empire, the Muslim Ottomans set about colonizing the Balkans and South East Europe as well as trying to colonize the rest of Europe – the Yugolsav wars were one legacy of this Islamic colonisation,

The Ottoman rulers liked to pick their sex slaves from the blond and red-headed European girls they so desired, so objectified and othered, and often enslaved them in their Harem where they  bred the future rulers of their Empire. 

Similarly, the Muslim slave traders of the Barbary states who enslaved Christian Europeans for 200 years also liked blond and red-headed Europeans to rape and other. 

The Islamic State genocidaires who annihilated the Yazidi also put a particularly high price on blonde children.

Interestingly Europeans don’t pout and complain about ‘historical oppression’ and ‘historical marginalization’ and ‘reparations’ etc…etc…in relation to this, but then some cultures, like some people, are more mature and advanced than others. 

Mind you, much of this extreme racism and othering is not historical. White girls – some as young as 11 – are being gang-raped, tortured and prostituted in their thousand up and down the length of this land as we speak because of their race.

And I haven’t even started with the anecdotes about how Caribbean, Hindu and Latino men behave towards white women. I’ll save that for another post.

So if you’re clutching your pearls over comments like ‘coloured’ and ‘funny tinge’ grow the hell up. Quickly. Or don’t expect to be taken seriously. 

The end

We need to talk about multiculturalism

In London, where I now live, it’s always foreigners who ask me where I am from. Africans in particular.  They hesitate – on one level I must seem quintessentially English – but they are clearly picking up on something different about me.

If I ask them to guess South Africa, Sweden or Germany are the most common responses.

British people of whatever colour or class have never asked. To them I look and seem like a middle class, English women, so they project the assumptions they have about that on to me.

If I explain anything about my background then it’s ‘lucky’, ‘privileged’, ‘glamorous’, ‘jet-setting’, a tinge of passive aggressive, jealousy permeating their responses.

The reason for this is simple.  I grew up all over the world, moving country every three to four years. Botswana, Zimbabwe, France, Switzerland, America, Turkey and then back to Switzerland and France.

My parent’s were frontline aid workers. My father worked for the UN’s refugee agency, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. My mother, a child psychologist, worked with child soldiers and war-traumatised children long before the issue rose to international prominence.

Amid all the moves, both parents also made frequent trips to areas of headline humanitarian disaster – Ethiopia during the 1980’s famine, Liberia and Sierra Leone during the civil wars of the early 1990’s an Rwanda at the tail end of the 1994 Genocide, to name a few.

My childhood was an endlessly changing kaleidoscope of colours, cultures and creeds, more ‘diverse’ than even the most ardent multicultural-junkie could imagine. I will have had childhood friends from countries and cultures many people have never heard off.

The conversations around the dinner table were of war, civil strife, refugee movements and human rights. My father’s agency was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their work repatriating Zimbabwean refugees at the end of the civil war. My mother and her colleagues helped to draw up the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The assumption is that this must have made for a life akin to a permanent backpacking holiday, full of positive inter-racial and multi-cultural exchange, with ethical demigods for parents: that I must be true ‘Citizen-of-the-world’ and that this must, surely, be a wonderful thing.

I got so tired of these blinkered, naïve assumptions – which only served to compound the isolation and total absence of roots or identity that are the actual legacy – that eventually I stopped telling people anything about my upbringing at all.

Why did I decide to start this blog? Simple. The debate surrounding race, culture, immigration, Islam and identity in the West has reached a state of absurdity that is now threatening our civilisation, and I have some unique experiences and insights to contribute to it.

Expect posts on:

  • The reality of an internationally rootless upbringing, why a firm cultural identity matters to children and how multiculturalism harms this
  • Behind the scenes insights into the aid industry and the people who work in it.
  • How racism, xenophobia and prejudice exist in all societies and across all races.
  • Why cultures are not equal and why many of them are not compatible.
  • Lesser-known aspects of history, especially ones that break down the narrative of evil, Western colonisers and poor, defenceless everyone else.

I’ll aim to post about once every week or two and I look forward to any comments, queries and criticisms.