Monday, 10 June 2013

More Love less Hate

Proud to British people claimed recently. Not if you looked at my newsfeed on Facebook a few weeks back. Some of the comments on there made me feel anything but. I am, of course, talking about the horrific attack on the solider Lee Rigby which resulted in his untimely death.

The manner in which he was killed was shocking enough but the fact it was so brazen as one friend remarked. It was carried out in the middle of the day, with the perpetrators preaching to bystanders and waiting for the police. This was something I hadn't seen in my lifetime.

Naturally people expressed their shock and outrage that something like this could happen on the streets of London and took to social media like facebook and twitter. Myself included I felt sickened by this horrendous act. The mood took a decidedly right wing fascist turn a few days later. I was just waiting for the Ku Klux Klan to pop up and I think I would have had a full set of hatred.

"Some may say I'm a dreamer...but I'm not the only one...the world can live as one" - the only famous person I'd like to have dinner with if he were alive. pic google free pics of John Lennon

It ranged from a picture of Sir Winston Churchill doing a two finger salute with something along the lines of "we won two world wars now go away all Muslims" (and I am using polite language here even though I am known for being potty mouthed in my rants) to '**** off all immigrants' and the like. Should I **** off ? I am an immigrant on my mother's side - French Huguenots who were persecuted in their own country fled to Britain to seek refuge. And I don't know anyone that doesn't have some Irish in their family tree. I also have German ancestors and my nan's family left this country as they were persecuted for being Mormons.  Off they went to Salt Lake City.

Where do you draw the line? Maybe it says more about my 'friends' on facebook than it does about the comments. Although in my defence these were more acquaintances from school i.e school mums.The same school mums that would say hello to there Indian, Pakistani, Oriental and Eastern European mums they would see the following day.

Some remarks became more detailed as if they now needed a few paragraphs to justify why immigrants should put up or shut up or preferably go back to where they belonged i.e not here. Oh, and the most amusing was we are a Christian country - funny that as I don't know many that pop down to church on a Sunday do you? In fact, numbers have been in decline for many, many years. Not forgetting that the murderers were actually born in this country (although not the right colour for many) and were Christians but had converted to a radical Islamic group.

It seemed that it was okay to be openly racist for a few days, like they had been suppressing it for quite some time and now they'd been given the green light. The were spouting lots of hatred. Ironic that. They didn't even need to say "I'm not racist but...." I had to be very restrained during this time when what I really wanted to write was this.

Firstly why are you so proud to be British? What is it about being British that makes you so proud - tea and crumpets, the Queen, 'winning' two world wars?  For me I like cheering on our sporting hero's and I am partial to a bit of Wallace of Gromit it has to be said.

I'm not so proud, however, of the British colonising many countries and causing untold amounts of carnage whenever they showed up. We weren't unique on this score - The French, The Dutch, The Portuguese, The Spanish and The Italians were all guilty of this. Take France, they had lots of bombings in the 1970's as a direct result of their colonisation of North Africa.

I am not proud that we were one of the first to use slaves, concentration camps in the Boer War long before Hitler. I am not proud that we caused the troubles in Northern Ireland (remember the awful footage of two soldiers stumbling across an IRA funeral - they were killed by the funeral goers all captured by the BBC helicopter), The opium wars in China, The Iraq war (remember that - weapons of mass destruction - oh hold on there weren't any) and most of the Arab Spring.  Now if you don't believe me just look it up or pop down the library - that's if they're still open!

I had some Iranian friends around for dinner once and they were telling us how some 3 million Iranian men were killed in the war with Iraq. The same war which the USA and good old blighty helped to provide arms.  Yup not too proud of that. Nor am I proud of the British army killing Indian soldiers who were fighting on our behalf. I could go on but I'd be here all night.

I used to be quite na├»ve (or maybe hopeful) in that I would say we can't (as in the more recent generations) be held account for all the wrong doings that the British government has carried out for hundreds of years. And no, the ordinary person wasn't responsible for this, but sadly the ordinary person suffers don't they. We are being held accountable for what people think about various acts our government has been involved in.

This isn't to do with religion. This isn't to do with being Catholic, Protestant or Islamic. By the way someone on twitter remarked if your god is telling you to kill someone then you aren't listening. This is to do with hatred. Thankfully the vast majority of all people do not feel like extremists and that these incidents are rare. Most people would like to live their lives in peace and harmony. They don't want to feel this hatred.

I am proud to British. I am proud that I am tolerant of other cultures and peoples. I am proud that there are many like me. I can stand up and say I am proud to be British.

More Love Less Hate 

6 comments:

  1. It was a horrid crime, which I in no way condone, but some of the reaction was terrible. I am proud to be human! (Well, sometimes....sometimes proud I mean, am unavoidably human!!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes it was truly hideous and I can't imagine what his family are going through. I just wanted to make the point that responding with hatred isn't the answer. x

      Delete
    2. Yes, less hate, more love is the only answer!

      Delete
    3. Thank you hun - yes wouldn't it be lovely if the world would change for the better x I live in hope

      Delete
  2. Brilliant post, I was surprised by the reactions on facebook too. Living in Cyprus means I'm often not always proud to be British! - 'we' treated them badly over the years and still we are welcomed even though your 'average' British tourist is horrible!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Emma - yes some were just vile weren't they - the comments that is. I hear you on the Cyprus front! I am jealous of the sunshine I reckon you are currently experiencing! x

      Delete