Two years ago; I moved into a flat at Brixton with my best mate from university Keith, who is a black-white mixed race but brought up by his white father. Keith has always wanted to get close to the Black community (the half-part of his cultural inheritance, which he always felt missing), which I did not quite understand at first, I was even surprised when he told me, that he grew up in a rather white community, and there were very few black pupils in the school, he used to try to bond with them, but they accused him being “not black enough”(Aries Brown, 2019)
Anyhow, we were thrilled to get to know more about the culture of that area; and open up our new adventure life chapter. However, during the year living at Brixton turned out to be the worst racial discrimination against experiences I have ever encountered here in London. It was there, I got followed back home by a black man, and when I turn back confronted him in front of the door,
asked: “what do you want?”
He shouted: “YELLOW MONKEY” then ran away.
Walking on the street by myself, the man straight walking toward me rudely shouted at my face “CHINESE” (I’m not even from China……).
It was there, I will be sitting in a local’s park bench and eating my sandwich and a bunch of black teenagers came to me said out: Yo! don’t eat your bacon sandwich in front of me, disgusting, go away.
It was there, while I was sitting in COSTA trying to study, a middle-aged black man stopped by and just started to touch my cheek, saying: Oh, you Asian, your skin are so smooth, just like a salmon.
Being an international student myself; coming from a background in Far East Asia which the society mainly consists of the same racial group- East Asian.
I did not have a clue about the idea of race; I used to think we are all just human being, equal human being. However, I started to learn about the idea of “race” since I moved here to London, three years ago. Starting to the whole process to understand what does it mean to be “Asian” in this society’s cultural context. I sometimes do feel like it is almost my obligation to demonstrate to people how much Asian I am. Soon I realize there is more than that to learn, there are more racial communities; Black; South Asian; Mediterranean; also of course Caucasian White. Which those concepts I had never been taught in school back in East Asia. The need for wanting to integrate made start to self-taught myself.
I didn’t quite understand, why it seems that I’m so unwelcome in Brixton’s community. Therefore, I started to dig in for some research of understanding the Black community’s history here in the U.K., learning about all the racial segregation past, all the way back to the slave trade, then all the way come to the current ongoing racial inequity. I wonder, is the community now replica all of their past traumatize experience of being discriminated to other racial groups now? or perhaps it is because the local worry about the situation of gentrification happening there and that is the way of their defence mechanism of keeping new emigrant out? (Sarah Marsh, 2016)
I wanted to be an ally of the better society and anti-racism, but I didn't know where is the barrier and where should I started to process it. Would people here bear with my ignorance to still give me a chance to be part of the allyship? Being an outsider of this country; during the whole very xenophobic period, how can I make myself still welcome join to be part of the solution?
WILL COMMUNITIES IN BRIXTON BE DISPLACED THROUGH GENTRIFICATION?
(Aries Brown, 2019)
(Sarah Marsh, 2016)