I promise this post isn’t just a bombardment of teenage angst (well, maybe a little). I am just a little saddened by a recent event that occurred at school the other day, and I thought I’d share it with you. So, here goes…
(Please bear in mind I wasn’t present when this actually happened, so I’m merely repeating, with some artistic licence, what my friend described to me)
Picture this: P. E classroom, a scattering fourteen and fifteen year olds, on Wednesday afternoon – nobody actually wants to do the work I presume, so a conversation emerges:
“Who wants to be Prime Minister? ”
Someone asks, I’m not sure who, like I said I wasn’t there.
And I believe it was at this point that my good friend replied that he in fact would like to be Prime Minister, in a joking manner.
Jokes aside though, this discussion quickly took a serious turn, because my friend was told he couldn’t be Prime because ‘he is black’ and ‘no one would vote for him’.
Hearing this story not only shocked me, as the remark towards him had in fact come from a another friend of ours, but also angered and saddened me as well – just because my friend happens to be black and Asian should not restrict his opportunities in this twenty-first century country, a country which is viewed as open and accepting (I hope).
Now my friend moved here when he was three (I think, correct me if I’m wrong someone), he is a British citizen and has the same right to run for Government just as much as anyone else. He speaks perfect English (along with Filipino), is incredibly consciencetious, funny and a great tennis player (with awesome fashion sense I might add) there is no reason he couldn’t run for Prime Minister, and get this country’s vote.
Now, I mentioned earlier the comment had come from one of our friends, and as a disclaimer we have spoke to him and he’s ensured us he didn’t mean it- so he’s forgiven. But that still doesn’t excuse the fact that the idea that my friend couldn’t run for Prime Minister had to come from somewhere, and it’s a real shame that those kind of attitudes still exist in 2017 and are being spread to this generation.
Maybe it was a joke, and if it was it still doesn’t ‘justify’ the statement, because if it hurts someone the way it hurt my friend – then it wasn’t a joke.
Please, please be careful what you say- show a little sensitivity for others.
I’m going to leave you with this quote, about America, but I’m sure it can be applied to this situation :
I wish I could say that racism and prejudice were only distant memories. We must dissent from the indifference. We must dissent from the apathy. We must dissent from the fear, the hatred and the mistrust…We must dissent because America can do better, because America has no choice but to do better.
– Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American to serve on the supreme court.
PHOTO OF THE POST: Science, yo