outside on the balcony to watch the sun rise and reflect on the week. In a few hours I’ll be gone. My legs are stretched on the
cushion of a wrought iron chair while I’m sat on another. I’m looking over manicured lawns peppered with palm trees and connifer towards the silent
morning sea and all is peaceful. The apartment is tidy and at twelve noon we’ll
be in the car showered and ready for an easy journey back to Hackney, London were the view is equally as good.
I was on
the beach yesterday with the journalist which is why it’s swilling around
in my head this morning. “Rise up this
morning with the waves in my head” sounds like a blues song. -Ish. The Journalist and
I were the only black peeps on the beach which
is cool ‘cept for the constant irritated
twitching around us. On the other side of the sea is morrocco, Africa.
people I know I have many white friends and have heard their story on numerous occasions about the time
they where the only white person in a place full of black people. The story goes
thus “and I was the only one…..”. It’s a revelation, an event a source of
wonderment. They will often go on to say how uncomfortable they felt or how
included they felt – either way they are so shocked at the event that it has
seared into the memory and gained almost mythical status.
friend has made no connection that the
actual scenario he or she is communicating is replicated before their very eyes
in reverse. I am the only one. Somehow the other (W) people in the
group are invisible to this most illuminating revelation. The friend continues
describing the fear, the wonder of the one fleeting experience of
being minority. In the company of white people I do not feel those things. I
long long ago chose not to either reflect or consume what is
negative behaviour based on race. This
does not mean to say that I don’t notice or note the behaviour and its subsequent consequences.
talk of the fear and or child like exitement of being the only one in, say, a
club or a bar – it is not often “I was the only one in the university..” or “I was
the only one at the conference” – more often
than not, more insulting though, this story of their experience has occurred as a direct
interruption/perceived embellishment, to my attempt in helping them understand
what it is like. Astounding!
qualify this by saying that I have many white friends nor that I understand
that not all white people are like this, but I use generalisation because it is
generally true. There are exceptions to
the rule but as a rule they are few and far between as to be virtually
invisible. I should qualify
generalisation. I have in my life time met thousands upon thousands of white
people. What is plain wrong
and indeed racially devisive is when someone develops an opinion about another
race as a generalisation without any form of substantial evidence.
attitude is not particular to any race, though I am using my
experience as example. If there is one thing about racism, it is one of the (learned) behaviours that unites the world – every race I have met is poisoned by it.
To beat racism it has to be unlearned. That racism is a virus of the subconscious means the perpetrator must trust the
persecuted to outline both its effect
and its cause. This rarely, in any race, happens. That racism is subconscious
is exemplified in the “I’m not racist but I am sorry my father is”. Happens every generation in corrolation to societies general view on race..Neither reflect nor consume it, I tell myself, but register it all the same.
small magazine “The Smuggler” in an internet café in Oliva, the village where I m staying has a big
spoof article on the use of the N-word. Apparently, and here’s the joke,
“Parlaiment has passed a law banning the use of the N word”. That's the headline. The article laps up the subject matter like a dog anothers piss stain, it continues “apparently the Negro and Negresse can use the word Nigger to each other but
white people can’t and if they do…”. It goes on and on and on repeating the word “nigger” with relish. I suppsoe in their eyes i am the negro and the journalist the negresse. Next to it there's an advert for a local English carpenter or an English speaking dentist or a doctor or a
hairdresser- services that The Journalist or myself may need at some point. Welcome to Coast of Sun (costa del Sol)
Let me make something clear. I had a great time, a great holiday with great people. I had fun fun fun, big laughs and beautiful sunshine. The beach was terrific, the sea gorgeous. Sun sets and sun rise were idyllic. The food we ate and we cooked was gorgeous. But make no mistake, the ex pat community of The Costa Del Sol is racist and it's dark, that I choose to ignore it, could you may say diminish its power. But it doesn't, it just doesn't, you know it and I know it. Answers, on a postcard…. I love Hackney. I love the world.