Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012
This past weekend I went to Berlin. It was my birthday when I flew out on the Friday and what better way to celebrate than to run a half marathon on the Sunday? I’d wanted to go to Berlin for a very long time, so the levels of excitamacation involved in this trip were pretty ridiculously high. Not only was it the culmination of months of hard work for my Team Bangs on the Run girls, but I was out there with about 60 members of the crew I run with, Run Dem Crew, so the weekend was extra special.
Friday, November 12th, 2010
Sometimes in life, you have to let stuff slide. Picking your battles is important. We can’t just go ape every time someone stands on our foot or takes our parking space. But then there are times when an injustice is so great and a person so wrong that you have no choice but to lose your shit. And it is with that my friends, that I tell you I am about to go on the mother of all rants. So fasten your seatbelts!
Yesterday, a close family friend, who happens to be mixed race, came to see us at the office. He told us about an incident he’d just been unfortunate to be a part of at the bus stop. He was minding his own business, reading a book, when someone waiting nearby asked him what he was reading. When my friend started to talk, the person asked if he was Canadian, thinking he detected an accent. My friend said ‘no, I’m English.’ At this point, some random, crazy old lady decided to interject and inform my friend that he was not, in fact, English on account of his mixed heritage and how could he possibly think so? Apparently, people fought in the war to preserve Englishness or some such nonsense, the crazy old lady informed my friend.
My friend, somewhat flabbergasted by this assault, tried to defend himself saying he was as English as the next person. It’s the only culture he’s ever known. Should he have had to explain to this insensitive, bigotted asshole that he’s actually adopted and his adoptive parents are white? That his grandfather fought in the exact war she was throwing in his face as some sort of symbol that he doesn’t belong here? Should he have to explain that he hasn’t had much exposure to the West Indian culture that is all she sees when she looks at him?
I don’t know who let this racist piece of crap roam the streets without a muzzle on, but I was so hugely offended by this story as my friend was telling it that I wanted to go to that bus stop, see if that woman was still there and break every rule in the book by hitting an old lady in the face. Where on earth does she get off? Why would anyone ever think that it’s OK to say those things to someone? My friend is the sweetest guy you’ll ever come across and it breaks my heart that someone harassed him like that. He was standing at a bus stop, reading a book. Why the hell should he have to explain his racial make up and upbringing to some random ignoramous when he’s just trying to get from A to B?
But we’re all supposed to respect our elders. Even while they shit all over our friends and spit hateful, racist vitriol at them. Quite frankly, fuck that.
I don’t know who this woman thought she was speaking for but she certainly doesn’t represent the first thing about the England I live in.
Friday, October 29th, 2010
As much as the new world order wants us to believe that we’re ‘post-racial’ now, let’s be honest, we’re far from it. While we have made huge leaps in race relations on some fronts, many are still remarkably backwards on others. It seems we’re supposed to accept everyone, regardless of the colour of their skin, unless of course, you’re dating. Yep, interracial dating seems to be the final frontier, that prickly point that no one really wants to discuss openly. After all, this is an arena in which your personal preference, which may seem innocent enough to you, may make you sound like a raging racist to others.
I’ve dated outside my race. Of course I have. I’ve lived in large, multi-racial cities my whole life. Honestly, I find it odd when anyone in England, a small country packed to the brim with over 60 million people of all varying shades, haven’t had at least one fling with someone of another colour. But I do understand, not everyone has had the exposure to different races that us city dwellers do. Growing up, my circle of friends were all different colours – and we all dated each other. It wasn’t weird or taboo, it’s just how it was. We were into the same things, went to the same clubs, listened to the same music – it didn’t seem like we should only be friends to a point.
While we are one big melting pot, all those old stereotypes still exist. Oh don’t act like you aren’t aware of the fact that white women who date outside their race are considered whores, black men who do are sell outs, black women who do have given up, white men who date asian women are looking for someone subservient, asian women will perform your every sexual fantasy and wait on you hand and foot (and of course they all secretly crave geeky white boys). We’ve all heard them – if you’re in a group of friends who discuss this kind of thing openly, you’ve most likely debated it, if not, you’ve most likely thought it, but will argue that you haven’t.
To argue that skin colour doesn’t matter is a little remiss. Let’s face it, we’re talking about culture, not just colour – and for some people, they’re always going to have a hard time intermingling their culture with someone else’s romantically, even though they may get on fine as friends. But for those who say they’d never date outside their race, aren’t they potentially closing themselves off to someone who could be their soul mate?
I find men of all different races attractive. It’s never really been a deciding factor for me. Some say they simply don’t find another race attractive, which is fine I guess, if not a little odd. Older generations still have problems accepting interracial relationships, but an understanding of this has to come from both sides. I came up in a very liberal house where the attitude was ‘date who you want, as long as you’re happy’, but I have friends who’ve dated outside their race and it’s caused a full on war with their family.
The one thing that still astounds me is that we even care. Who cares who dates who? It really shouldn’t matter. You choose to date someone of another colour, you’re not speaking for your whole race, you’re speaking for your heart and your feelings for that person. And sometimes, it really is just that simple.
So what do you think? Should race still be an issue in your dating life or should we all be past it?
*If you’re a raging racist, please check yo’self before you wreck yo’self in my comments section. I won’t stand for any foolishness*
Monday, May 4th, 2009
So, a couple of weeks ago, as I was strutting down the street, I pass by a group of fellas. The token white boy in this multicoloured ensemble, stepped out of the crowd, looked me up and down and as I breezed passed him said, ‘Damn! She’s sexy as hell, for a white girl.’
Let me tell you, never have I felt so complimented. This guy had truly found the way to my heart. I turned, threw my arms around him and we’ve been dating ever since.
What the hell was my response supposed to be to such a weird compliment? Was it even a compliment? I can’t even tell. If nothing else, this is a clear example of a man who does not engage brain before talking. If you are trying to express interest in a girl, I’m assuming her reaction shouldn’t be complete befuddlement.
But of course, it was the ‘for a white girl’ part of the statement that had me particularly riled. I’ll have you know, fellas of every ethnicity have expressed interest in my pasty white Irish, cinnamon on whipped cream, freckled lovliness. I have arabs getting at me on a daily basis on Myspace, the occasional Japanese man while I lived in Tokyo and I was recently hit on by a 93 year old Bulgarian. None of the aforementioned gave me the ‘for a white girl’ speech. Given, none of them can speak English very well, but that is not the point.
The point is, I am one hot piece of ass, damnit! And while I guess it’s flattering that you consider me to be among the upper echelons of attractiveness when compared to my fellow caucasian bretheren, may I just take a moment to remind you, that you are white, you fool!
Not only that, you are really rather ugly. The kind of ugliness that knows no racial bounds. Women of all ethnicities will concur on your distinct breed of unattractiveness. The United Nations come together in agreement on that one. So please, I do not crave attention from ugly people with mullets, so kindly keep your half wit opinion to yourself.
Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008
Friday night, a tub of ice cream and a bit of Save the Last Dance 2 on DVD – that’s a good time right there.
It’s the predictability of them that I find comforting. Whether it’s Step Up, Step Up 2: The Streets, Save the Last Dance or its sequel, you can rest assured that they all have pretty much the same story line. You can’t get too lost. Here are the most important factors:
Lead character with troubled past
Check. The lead should either be from the hood/wrong side of the tracks or have had some sort of family tragedy (preferably the death of a parent) that has led them to pursue their craft with the upmost gusto. It goes without saying that the power of the dance is the only thing that keeps them going.
Many-a-club dance off
I don’t know where the hell this club is, but it’s unlike any club you’ve ever known. The floor has trampolines and shit in it so people can execute previously unimaginable dance stylings. Also, while the people milling around in the club may all look like strangers, they’re really all part of rival dance crews and when the right record comes on, they will divide and conquer.
Most dance movies take place in the Bizarro-America when there is racial harmony. The club they go to is a veritable United Colors of Beneton. Black and white all party together. This does not happen in the real world America. But while they create that fantasy world for the club scenes, they keep the racial stereotyping alive on a character level. ‘Angry Black Chick’ always makes an appearance and is usually hating on ‘Vulnerable White Girl’ because she gets ‘Wrong Side of the Tracks Black Dude’. But in the end ‘Angry Black Chick’ forgives ‘Vulnerable White Girl’ for being a man stealing ho and all is right with the world.
The Final Performance
The end you’re always waiting for. ‘Vulnerable White Chick’ finds her strength and her pointe shoes and takes to the stage/club dance floor for one last hurrah. Everything in her life depends on it and it’s quite possible that peace in the middle east and an end to the genocide in Darfur also hang in the balance. She takes all the moves she learned from ‘Angry Black Chick’ and ‘Wrong Side of the Tracks Black Dude’ and combines them with her fifth grade ballet recital steps. The judges love it and bob their heads out of time to the hip hop beats as ‘Wrong Side of the Tracks Black Dude’ beams with pride in the wings. In the end, she gets into the school of her dreams and gets all the street cred a white chick from Delaware can possibly get. She’s queen bitch.
And there you have it. Combine all those factors with a soundtrack by Neyo or whoever has replaced him as the hottest shit in town and you’ve got yourself a hit.
Thursday, December 20th, 2007
I had a blast living in Spanish Harlem. I was pretty much the only white person in a 10-block radius, but that never bothered me. The UK tends to be much more liberal in terms of race relations and with upwards of 60 million people living on that tiny island, you live side by side and on top of people from all corners of the world. But even in the melting pot that is New York, it’s incredibly segregated by comparison, which kind of freaked me out. Whenever I told people where I lived, they’d always say ‘Oh, so you’re looking for a new place right?’ I had a great apartment in a cool neighborhood with very little trouble (well, there was that one guy who got killed in the bodega across the street, but apart from that…)
When I first moved there, the locals were very wary of me, pegging me as an undercover cop. If the police department ever sent someone as pale as me undercover in that part of town, I don’t think it would be a very successful rouse.
Over time, I got to know a girl in my building. Fatima was a 250 pound black girl. Her entire bottom row of teeth were gold and she looked like if she blew on me hard enough, she could knock me out. Obviously, this was someone I should be friends with.
No matter what time of day or night I got home, Fatima was always outside the building talking on her cell phone. The more we saw each other, the more we’d exchange a word or two.
“Hey mama, how you doin’?” She’d ask when she’d see me crossing the street. “Oh, yo outfit so cute! Yo accent so cute too! Listen to her talk,” she’s say, nudging whoever was standing next to her.
Arriving home one night in the wee hours to see Fatima outside on her phone (I don’t get why none of her phone calls could be conducted in her apartment, but whatever). She hung up and we engaged in our usual banter. There was a group of guys outside, all eyeing me skeptically. I said goodnight to Fatima and walked past the guys, their eyes burning through me, to get into the building.
The next day, I saw Fatima. She approached me, wide-grinned.
“Ooooh girl, all the boys be askin’ ‘bout you. They be all ‘yo, who that Russian chick?’”
I got a good laugh out of that one. Luckily, my gold-toothed amigo set them straight on my origin.
From that point onwards, the locals couldn’t have been friendlier. They’d find any excuse to talk to me just to hear this accent they’d heard so much about. I did half consider playing along with the Russian thing for a while. I think everyone was so happy I wasn’t an undercover cop, I might just have pulled it off.