These are my musings and observations on my daily life, loves and the laughter that are all a part of my experience of living now in the shires of England.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Stolen identity

Every now and then I get incensed. You may have noticed it.

This time it is not just for me. I know I am often wronged, but in the main I can deal with those injustices, this time I am deeply unsettle (to put it mildly) because of the insidious creeping strategy to steal young people’s identity and disenfranchise and disenchant them with one foul swoop.

How is this done? To whom is it done?

I believe this crime is committed at school, in the shops, on the street, in youth clubs, and in homes across the country.

While in primary school, children usually retain a sense of belief in equality; they are all the same, they play together, eat lunch together and learn together.

When they are fed into the secondary school system it all changes. Many of the staff that deliver the lessons fail all the pupils because they cannot deliver information that they do not believe it. This machine of dictated and organised thinking has a fixed, out-dated model of Britain and it is devastating lives every day. The damage done at school continues throughout life. Meritocracy as an ideal is debunked at every turn, in most subjects across the spectrum. Divisions and disadvantage are taught in a formal manner and take root, like concrete boots.  

I’m talking about English, Scottish, Welsh and Irish people: British people. These British people, like me, are home but are still treated as foreigners.

When I worked in the computing and banking industries my CVs often when ahead of my interviews. There were many occasions when the interviewers – without disguise – said, in total shock, “But ... you’re black! From your CV I thought ...” I got used to it, however, the painfulness of the blows left deep marks especially as despite my outstanding qualifications and experience I didn’t get the positions I went for.

Nowadays the scenarios are being repeated, with subtle tuning changes. Some young people are told that they can’t be English because their skin colour is not white: the perpetrators of these lies (teachers and other pupils) are infrequently and ineffectively challenged. The children whose identity has been attacked are now in a state of flux. They have been taught to believe all they hear at school. Can this be right, they don’t belong here? If that is true where do they belong?

This is particularly true for those children with a mixed cultural heritage, if they try to align themselves to people darker than them they are told, “You’re not black enough”. If they try to align themselves with people lighter than them they are told, “You’re too black.”

They will eventually make their own tribe and fashion their own uniquely British identity and woe betide anyone who stands in their way. When you deny a person their identity and remove it by stealth you will be faced with uncontrollable fury.

Self identification and alignment is at the root of most wars and always comes with a heavy price – especially civil wars.

It is time all British people accepted that there is black in the Union Jack!

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