Wednesday, 29 August 2012


Isn't it funny that, of every tiny element making up each day of our lives, it can be just one small thing that defines that day and affects us above all others?

Well today it was just ten simple words: 'maybe the Government should do something about all the foreigners?'.

Most nights after work, I often take a short stroll to the local supermarket; more out of sheer boredom than need. That coupled with the fact that we live literally a stone's throw from Asda. Our house is situated in a pleasant area but there is no getting away from the fact that it is still in close proximity to one of the city's renowned council estates. Without tarring all those that live on council estates with the same brush, I would not be lying if I said that this particular branch of Asda attracts a certain type of clientele.

Being the well trained Brit that I am, there I was queuing patiently in line for the next available pack 'n' scan when in walks what is quite possibly the most obnoxious family that I have ever had the misfortune to encounter.

I'm not a fan of labels and in no way do I condone them but for those with some knowledge of British slang, the word 'chav' may quite possibly have been coined with this family in mind. Despite the anger that has been left resonating inside of me since 7pm this evening, I will only draw attention to one member of said family as it was he, and he alone, that actually had the audacity to utter any derogatory remarks. Aside from their blatant lack of social awareness, loud manner and the fact that they still even give their friend/boyfriend/husband/son the time of day, it is only fair that I save my unfound judgement and leave them blameless.

That aside, the male in question is completely fair game. Adorned with his high peak baseball cap, unzipped hoodie and abundance of cheap gold jewellery, he immediately began stomping around the shop complaining to the others that 'there was no fucking way' he was going to stand and queue for the cigarette counter. After maybe five minutes of moaning on a decibal level similar to that of a pneumatic drill, he grabbed the two females and dragged them through to the self serve stating that he would just ask the lady behind the counter to pass him the cigarettes to scan himself. Clearly this is still an alternative method of queue jumping but I'm pretty sure that, somewhere within his warped mind, he believed this to be a valid trouble-free option and that maybe, he was doing everyone a favour.

After following through with his plan of action and bawling at the checkout girl to pass him some cigarettes, he managed to garner the response of 'please shut up and join the line like everyone else' from the lady behind the till. Still not satisfied that such an innocent request was being met with such hostility, he began to challenge exactly why the lady was not able to pass the cigarettes over. 'It's a government ruling. Even if I wanted to, the law states that you must come through the secure till' was his second response. To be honest, even I didn't know this but with hindsight looking back, it was probably just a flippant excuse used to try and quell his whining.

It was then, after screwing his face into what can only be described as an inhuman ball of disgust, he uttered the offending line: 'Well maybe the Government should do something about all the foreigners first?'.

By nature I am an extremely laid back and highly tolerant person - in fact, it is those very traits that make me so successful at my job but there several peeves (that I can count on the fingers of one hand) that rile me beyond belief. Intolerance of race and immigration is one of them. As soon as the words left his lips, I felt the emotion rising inside of me and though I hate to admit it, I almost preempted what his retort would be as soon as the word 'government' was thrown into the mix. I say that I hate to admit it as that would be a preconception and I strive to avoid it but this time I don't feel so bad as my thoughts were justified.

I wanted to jump out of the queue right then and challenge what he had just had the audacity to say in public but as is usually the case, I am only human and the fear of being jumped outside (or even right there on the shop floor) took over. Of course I showed my visual disgust and even made an audible moan which I'm sure he heard but I am so disappointed in myself that I didn't make a verbal challenge. Straight away I wanted to reach out and educate - as I write this, I still do but I know in my heart of hearts that even if I had managed to pluck up the courage, it would more than likely have been in vain as he was clearly not the type to take much onboard, let alone in the middle of Asda from a perfect stranger.

It wasn't even just the words he said that has affected me so much, it is the way in which he said them - in such a relaxed mocking manner that I could just tell that he 100% thinks that 'foreigners' are Britain's biggest problem and that everyone would stand by him in saying that. There is something seriously wrong with political education within this country that allows people with this kind of uneducated mindset to vote. This is the reason why racist organisations masquerading as 'political parties' are gaining more and more votes in every election - average citizens are turning to these parties as a result of them taking advantage of this miseducation. They genuinely believe that these racist agendas are okay to support and that ethnic minorities are having a detrimental effect on the UK's economy - all because the majority of politics is so inaccessible to these people. Yes, it may be quite a small percentage right now in the grand scheme of things but this percentage is definitely not about to shrink and in the process, innocent people are being victimised whilst they go about their daily routine. This is all happening within a country that prides itself on its 'cultural diversity'.

This has been a long entry reflecting on just over five minutes of my day and it has been of great benefit sharing it but I still know that it will stay with me long after I have gone to bed and probably well into tomorrow. I am literally kicking myself for not being able to do more at the time, for not being the decent human being that I strive to be but there were well over twelve other people in the vicinity at the time and not one of them said anything. Not one person even turned to the person beside them to express their disgust, many of them did not even seem to bat an eyelid. The cold shouldered dismissal from the checkout girl was the only sign that man could have taken to recognise that his behaviour was not acceptable. It just makes me wonder what percentage of the human race would feel the need to speak out during a situation such as this? I take slight comfort in knowing that I would probably have plucked up the courage should I have had someone standing alongside me but I still can't help feeling that this has been one small victory in favour of racial bigotry.

I just pray to god that a high percentage of the human race is braver than I.


Ms. Moon said...

This is so familiar. All of it. The racism, the political parties, the inability to jump forward immediately and educate someone.
Baby, I know.
All I can say is that the older I get, the less apt I am to let such shit pass without me saying something. I think it IS an age thing.
Hello, Wayne. I'm glad we've met.
Yours truly...Ms. Moon

Wayne said...

Ms Moon - I think we lose more and more of our inhibitions as we get older; maybe as a result of things we witness such as what I have recalled in this post. I'd just like to summon strength to have a bit of that at a younger age. I too am glad we met :)