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.