Nope, you read the title right. I love racists.
Now, before you start slamming tomatoes at your computer screen, just hear me out. I really do love racists, they’ve played a massive part in my life and I’ve learnt a lot from the bigoted comments sometimes casually, sometimes not so carelessly, thrown my way.
I owe many life lessons to the racist encounters I’ve lived through, and no doubt will after this post is posted. I was a late bloomer when it comes to experiencing racism, I was eight years old (at least I wasn’t in the double digits, because that would have just been embarrassing!) and I could hardly blame the twelve year old bully who let her tirade loose on me.
I mean I was obviously unaware back in the day that school benches were reserved as “White Only” at lunch time and my massive confusion only seemed to incense her more. To top it all, my British accent (gained as a result of being schooled at the British Continental School in Jeddah), my Middle Eastern upbringing till that time, my Indian heritage, and my new found status as a fresh Australian citizen would have served to do anyone’s head in, least of all a prepubescent blonde, blue eyed poster child Aussie schoolgirl.
I went home, told my mum about my unusual encounter enthused with wondrous enthusiasm at only just realising skin colour differed, and oh my gosh, actually mattered on the planet, who promptly reprimanded me for relenting and told me if I did it again, I wouldn’t be let in the front door, or the side one for that matter.
Now this set me straight because clearly no racist bashing (emotionally or physically), could ever compare to an Indian mother’s scolding which unfairly always boils down to a hunger strike and if any of you have been reading up about me, you know that there could be no possible worst punishment than starvation for my poor undernourished body (I wish!)
So lo and behold, lunch time came around again the next day and as humans are such boring creatures of habit, my new found bane of my existence told me to vacate the seat (which was another bench by the way, as I had attempted for the past week to find one that suited my skin tone). I told her “No”, she said “What?”, so I repeated again, only slower, making a mental check to clarify that the national language of Australia was in fact English.
Turns out it was, because she simply shrugged her shoulders and never bothered me again.
I burrowed my brows in uncertainty thinking if all life’s battles were that easy, I was going to be cruising my roller coaster ride, and then proceeded to devour my half-finished sandwich.
Racism can also be very funny, like the time a Southern Italian yelled at me to go back to where I came from. In Australia? I asked him to repeat his sentence because I was absolutely certain I had heard him wrong which only frustrated him more to yell it out.
I was happy because I’d saved on my healthcare to go check my hearing and left him quietly at his disposal. Not because I was afraid or had nothing to say, because as I am sure you all know by now, I definitely have a motor mouth, but because I thought it was cruel to harm anyone with such a humungous case of an Identity crisis.
This finally brings me to why I love racists as much as I do – because I owe a part of my appreciation and love for everything that makes me to them. People often naively believe that racism will push the victim into being ashamed of their heritage, but often (not always unfortunately) the exact opposite happens!
Racist encounters make me feel more proud of who I am and just more pitiful about the close-mindedness of those who inflict hateful comments and activities on people who are happy, that’s right – happy and content in their lives.
No matter how much I exercise my cranium, I sincerely believe that anyone who has the time and energy to hate can’t possibly be happy, because they’re expending so much wasted effort on just that, hate.
So, to all the Racists out there, I’d like to give you some happiness and thank you from the bottom of my heart for making me stronger, happier, healthier and proud. I love you, man 🙂