In recent months we have seen a vicious rise in racist comments on social media websites. Twitter seems to be the main platform for certain ignorant individuals to offend anyone with a brain; something they are clearly lacking. Courage is something they are also lacking as they create false accounts in the hope that no one will find out who they are. Intelligence isn’t their strong point and getting away with it proves to be impossible, not just because these accounts can be tracked but also because the majority of Tweeters aren’t having any of it!
So what has anyone from a race culturally different from their own done to offend them? Why all this aggression and hostility? I grew up on a council estate in North West London, our street had many nationalities and we were the only Cypriot family. When I was a kid, not even a teenage, a girl I knew called me a F*****G foreigner. Perhaps not as strong as the descriptive words used now but still, I knew that foreigner meant I didn’t belong but why did she think that word was relevant to me?
Education has an enormous part to play and kids go by what they hear usually from an adult. I’ve always known that I’m not an alien from another planet, I am a British Citizen, born here and what’s more Cyprus was under British rule when my parents came to this country making them British subjects and giving them the entitled rights to live, work and raise their children without discrimination. Not many will know all these facts so perhaps they are not to blame for their views.
That wasn’t the last time a racist remark was made to me and when I confronted this particular person I was told that they were envious of me because I have a culture and they don’t; she was drunk, the only way the truth was going to come out. Seriously, why is no one learning about the world and the people in it? What are kids being taught in schools? I strongly believe that to gain a better understanding of the Greek girl or the black man you have to learn about where they came from and what they’re ancestors went through.
I’m not sure that these social barriers will ever be broken down but there is, in my opinion, a need for educational change. Yes the history of the country we live in should be taught but if we are to encourage understanding of other cultures this needs to be adapted globally in every education system; only then will the haters have no conceivable reason for verbally abusing someone they have absolutely no knowledge of.