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Home is not where you were born. Home is where all your attempts to escape cease – Naguib Mahfouz

I was born in London – in fact not very far from where I live now. I am a ‘proper’ London-er by all lists and calculations. Everything outside the M25 is “up north”, I ignore all acts of friendliness in the streets and can’t stand people who don’t know how to use an escalator. London is my home.

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But I have so many conflated thoughts about it. This is my home. I have no other home. But when people ask where are you from? I instinctively know they mean why aren’t you white? But I play their game. London. No, where are you really from? Yes I was right. I have a pre-prepared answer now, “well I was born in London and lived here all my life but my parents were born in Bangladesh.”

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It is this other-ing, not just by that comments but in so many ways, like filling in forms – I will always be British something else* – my kids will always be British something else and their kids after them will be British something else, that makes me realise even though this is my home, I will never feel quite at home. I will always feel like I’m squatting.

Maybe I will be able to go a whole week without feeling it. But then something will pop up on the news, someone will say an off-the-cuff comment and I will be reminded.

*something else because what they call us changes over time.

I wonder if I will ever be allowed to feel at home. Probably not in my lifetime. But I wonder how many generations of children immigrant families have before this goes away.

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Those Monday morning pickups 

These things happened:

  • People boycotted Star Wars because white fagility. But John Boyega has been keeping it real and killing it. I’m going to watch it today – very excited

“I’m grounded in who I am, and I am a confident black man. A confident, Nigerian, black, chocolate man.

They are merely victims of a disease in their mind.

They’re stupid, and I’m not going to lose sleep over people. The presale tickets have gone through the roof — their agenda has failed. Miserably.

I just don’t get it. You guys got every single alien in this movie imaginable to man. With tentacles, five eyes. Aliens that, if they existed, we’d definitely have an issue. We’d have to get them to the government and be, like, “What are you?” Yet what you want to do is fixate on another human being’s color. You need to go back to school and unlearn what you have learned. I think Yoda said that, or Obi-Wan”

  • Stormzy in the running for Christmas #1 and it is causing white tear tsunami
  • So many radical activists are running in the Labour Youth Conference – Corbynites taking over
  • I found out Hermione is being played by a black women in the new play – giving so much hope to so many women of colour
  • I found 3 beautiful shades of nude lipstick (getting over my red phase and moving into nudes). They were called things like cappuccino and not nude because I ain’t white but they were on sale so I’ll take it

Braaaaap – John Boyega (watch video)

Dear white people

These are the things I want to say to the white left. To the white right – I can’t even deal. 

Racism is not classism. I will not elaborate on that here today because I have so many little things I want to start with. The basics (…for basic people…) – let’s go:

Why is it offensive to call you white? Are you not white? We need to tick the same boxes you tick ‘white, black, asian, arab’ (and what is up with those categories – ethnicities, races, geographical places all mixed into one – why haven’t they fixed it yet?). How am I meant to call you out of your racism, or on institutional racism if I can’t even name my oppressor?

Black people and brown people are called such every day. And yes we are lowered when we are called such. And yes yes many brown and black people get offended when they are called these terms because of that but you are not. And yes yes yes I acknowledge the viewpoint that we are all human and we should stop using these terms. But we are not living in a post-racial world yet (if you believe you are, you’re wrong). Stop getting offended and start listening to what I am saying before or after I say ‘white people’.

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