In which The Author meets some BNP sympathisers
I’ve always been fascinated by life on Earth. When I was about eight years old, one of my relatives bought me a book about the evolution of life – from the Primordial Soup through to the last Ice Age and beyond. Considering that Dad’s family were all Roman Catholic – even to the extent of Dad being an altar boy – and Mother’s family were Pentecostal, it was a wonder that I ever encountered this heretical strain of thought at all. But I did, and one of the abiding ideas which has kept me going throughout my life is that we are all descended from a tiny group of individual men and women, less than 100,000 years ago.
The spread of Homo sapiens from the African Rift Valley to fill practically every available space on the planet has been well documented and researched. The lovely Dr Alice Roberts presented a fascinating and rigorous documentary series on the BBC earlier this year, examining the facts and myths about the African Diaspora.
In school, at about fifteen years old, we first touched on the subject of genetics. We were white, to a man. We knew nothing of the African Diaspora. The nearest we got to an ‘ethnic minority’ student was Tong; his younger brother Keung and my brother were the same age. Two years younger than us, Tong was a great guy. He was excluded from our group simply by virtue of his age – and nothing else.
Growing up in the 1970s, where we were, in Aberdare, it was more or less taken for granted that the intake into the schools would be made up of ‘White’ kids. We who were born in 1966 were too old to assimilate the sudden influx of Ugandan Asians, and families shipping out from Hong Kong while they still could, and Vietnamese refugees, and people who fled the war which led to the fission of Bangladesh from Pakistan.
Phil, born at the arse end of 1969, was just about the right age to have what what we would know think of as a ‘multiracial’ classroom. He had primary schoolfriends called Keung and Huma, whereas I had friends called David and Caroline.
It was odd that I always felt deeply repulsed by any form of racism, considering that my experiences of ‘ethnic minorities’ had been so limited, but in 1984 I went to university. Even before my admissions interview, I’d struck up a conversation with a young girl who was as nervous as I was. She was from Malaysia, but we chatted and had a laugh. When we got onto the same course, Minh and I were friends from Day One.
In 1989, I started working at Blackwell’s Bookshop on the campus of the Polytechnic of Wales. I’d spent less than a year at university, but even there I’d noticed that I had an easy manner when dealing with people from different ethnic backgrounds. Students from all over the world (literally) would come into the shop, and we’d have a chat and a laugh and get to know a little about each other. I used to go for coffee with Michael Ong from Singapore, or John Gakunga from Kenya, or Jothi Patel from Sheffield (a second-generation British-Indian girl), and we’d talk about stuff. Just stuff. It wasn’t Political Correctness, or Diversity Training, or Equality Policy – it was just (as Roger Waters has it) ‘two humans being’.
And it still goes on to this day. I met Shanara on the train one evening. She’d fallen asleep, and when I woke her up in Aberdare, she swore that she was just checking her eyelids for holes. But we walked up to Trecynon together, and we’ve been friends ever since. Her sisters, Naj and Tasnin, are also good friends of mine as a result.
A few months ago Tas’s car was in for its MOT, so she was walking home as well. On our way through town, we passed the fish shop. We looked at each other, a bit guiltily, and decided to get chips to eat on the way up. When we were leaving the shop, a guy whom I knew in school was in his way in. He was a cunt then, and he’s a cunt now (living proof that some things never change). He’s also a racist twat – and I was leaving the chippy with a stunning Bangladeshi babe, who might as well have been on my arm, we were so close together.
It was very tempting to shout ‘HAVE THAT!’ at him as we walked past him.
At the bus stop one day, I was approached by a Ugandan girl, who (I guess) must have seen me chatting to the Bangadeshi bints and decided that I was a bit more broadminded than most of the tabloid readers in Aberdare. She was right – we’re good friends now, and we’ve learned stuff from each other. Florence has even asked me if I’d be interested in going to Uganda and helping out in the village school. Too right I would! I’d be dealing with kids who would really benefit from my intervention in their lives. Better that, than dealing with a bunch of knife-wielding chavs who just can’t wait for a council flat.
Tonight, in the pub, I was joined (not by choice) by a bunch of white people who could barely spell their own names if pressed, whose knowledge of arithmetic extends to the bare calculations needed to deal in small amounts of drugs, and whose knowledge of history, geography, politics, religion, economics, could be easily written in large letters on the edge of a postage stamp.
I listened as they repeated the Daily Mail/Star/Express BNP party line about immigrants and asylum seekers taking ‘our’ jobs. One of their number was a complete pisshead who could barely string a sentence together. A friend of mine told me that this guy had once managed to work for a whole three hours before going back to his needle. Given a choice between a hard-working Pole who sends money back to his family, or a pathetic junky who can’t even manage to speak his native language, I know who I’d employ.
These idiots, the people who never interact with non-white people unless they’re buying fags or a kebab, are the very same people who would quite happily put that twat Nick Griffin and his numbskull followers into power, because they think ‘their’ way of life is under threat. Do they honestly think that a real Fascist/Nazi government – the sort they dream of – would tolerate the likes of them, out on the piss all day and every day, never doing a day’s work, and spawning endless clones of themselves to clog up the education and health systems for years?
With any luck, these Übermenschen will legislate themselves out of existence, and let the rest of H. sapiens get on with the vital task of continuing the species – whether the results be White, Black, Brown, Yellow, or Sky Blue bloody Pink!