Do you think Because you do not see Do not feel it That it’s not Our nation’s heritage? That it’s not Truly here? But I do For I know it For I feel its brunt Since birth Its macabre company Intertwined for life. You remain oblivious For it does not touch you Its parts to let you pass But not for me Tentacles reach out Grab and ensnare. I feel in in my core When you say Abbo Or Paki, Lebbo, Muslim, Nigger, Chink Or pull a face in mockery. I hear it in remarks Of politicians knowingly Pandering to constituents Debasing themselves Shamelessly. I see in greetings In that spontaneous instant Unwitting reactions In micro-gestures A slight double take In wary eyes As try not to stare. Do not think We are blind To this oppression Do not think That we agree With the status quo Your expectations For a nice nice voice. Do not cause trouble Do not ruffle features Fit in Be a nice boy A good boy Nod your head Know your station Be silent Be a parody Of a middle class white man. But I never did learn To speak as you Your etiquette Politely looking down From a boys club I will never belong to My lack of social niceties I’m from a Different part of town. Do you think I’ve forgotten those times? As a young child Day after day My daily punishment Forced to stand in a brown line up. Indians Relegated to comedy? Teachers wilfully Ignoring our shame Our lot in life Antipathy and ignorance The order for the day. Do you think I’ve forgotten? With others of colour Bullied and tormented By young fascists. The shame and humiliation Unable to bare the truth To my own parents. The least I could do To spare them anguish The least I could do To gift them Ignorance. But I grew up resilient I had no choice One ceiling I broke though Though many others remain. Don’t you know It affected me Help set in my life’s trajectory Set me afloat How I response to the world I do not accept racist attitudes Excuses Or platitudes I am impatient for change Not delay or bullshit. And to you racists Growing in number Wallowing in ignorance Eyes closed to justice. Well fuck you And your disdain.
The video intersperses photos from US racism protests stemming from the death of George Floyd with young boys from different ethnic groups, implying the innocence of youth about to be tainted by a lifetime of racism.
Towards the end you’ll see pictures of Southall, where I grew up in a largely Indian neighbourhood. Blair Peach was murdered by police in 1979 while protesting against a intentionally provocative National Front rally in that town.
The abstract illustration of the video suggest bullet holes as well as eyes mourning.
You can find an accompanying article on racism that I wrote here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/lets-real-black-lives-vinod-ralh/