I am heartsick

Writing is hard today. I will post my Film Friday later, but it was written for last week. I desperately want to write something to express my own disgust at the racism and injustice on show in the US recently. The death of George Floyd has rightly hit the headlines – but sadly it is not an isolated incident.

The rise of populist politics in many parts of the world has further emboldened racist oppression and aggression that has always been there and is based on fear and ignorance. The schoolyard bullies have aged and taken positions of power and it sickens me. Note the deliberate use of the word ‘aged’ rather than ‘grown up’ or ‘become adults’.

My own spirituality is largely Buddhist in outlook, and this stresses compassion for all living things. But I look at the likes of Trump and his cronies AND the people who voted for them and I have nothing but contempt. What I resent most is that this means these people are turning ME into a hater and that does not sit easily. (The same goes for the xenophobes here in the UK who voted for Brexit or our shambolic and malevolent current government.)

I can’t write with any understanding of the experiences of African-American people and probably my input as a white man would not be welcome anyway. Yes, I was tormented mentally and physically by bullies as a child, and it did lasting damage. BUT I grew up and could get away from those tormentors. I can’t imagine how it must feel to have that continue right through life, for no reason than having been born Black in a country that systematically persecutes you for it.

I don’t understand racism. I really don’t. I fail to comprehend the mentality of demonising people for being ‘other’.

Numerous times I have wanted to fight back or do something tangible to help. I have held back because of fear, I admit it. Those bullies of my childhood have made me fearful of doing anything that marks me as different. Most of my neighbours are openly xenophobic, so I keep to myself. I quietly seethed when the ‘Vote Leave’ posters went up next door, and when the old guy across the road shouted abuse at an Indian wedding procession going past. By doing nothing and being afraid to challenge them I have just made them more bold. I am truly sorry for this – it makes me part of the problem. And it ends now.

I have made several donations this week, read and engaged with blogs, signed petitions.

The link below is the best blog post I have read with regards advice an resources for those who want to help:

https://wordpress.com/blog/2020/06/02/support-the-fight-against-inequality

For those in the UK (and internationally) this Scottish site is a really helpful resource

24 Comments

  1. Oh, Darren! This is a heart-wrenching post and I can only imagine how difficult it was for you to write it. I’ve been bullied at school as well, and over years – the scars on our souls will never go but hopefully fade with time.
    My spirituality is the same as yours, Buddhist in outlook and live and let live. But as to the orange man and his henchmen it’s impossible to feel anything else than contempt. I can’t tell how many times I’ve thought ‘it can’t get any worse’ with him but he proves me wrong every time he opens his sneering mouth. I so, so hope that he won’t be re-elected and that American and Americans get a chance to heal their many wounds to the soul.
    And as to your neighbours – how very awful. It’s one thing to hear about racists, it’s another thing to witness them in action. And don’t blame yourself for your reaction, or lack of it – we often find ourselves in shock when seeing something like this and it can leave us speechless. With your donations you’re doing more than most. ❤

    Liked by 5 people

  2. “What I resent most is that this means these people are turning ME into a hater”. In a post that touches me deeply Darren, this is the line that resonates most strongly. I find myself shocked and a little afraid at the depth of my own anger these days. This is not the person I’ve always believed myself to be.

    I understand how hard it is to write painful truths and lay bare deep emotions, and I think you have done so with great eloquence.

    Thank you too for the links. I think not knowing what to do is a huge barrier to action.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much Su. The feeling of being dragged down to their level almost seems like another victory for them.
      I rewrote this post so many times. It was a lot longer at one point but digressed into other things I felt like ranting about and just diluted the original message. 😍

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Oh Darren, I am heartsick too! There is an awakening happening amongst us -many of us at least. I’ve been struggling for the past weeks to find the right words to say, if any. But it’s time to speak up. Regarding Trump, let’s hope Americans will vote in November to cure the virus in the White House!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Thank you for sharing, Darren. This has been very heavy on my heart recently as well, and I’ve been taking time to reflect and do what I can off of social media. I also found that WP post a very useful resource. Hoping to collect my thoughts to share in a respectful and appropriate way soon, as you’ve done. Be safe and well.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I stand with you Darren and am heartsick too. My heart sits heavy that the country I live in has turned into what we see today. Its so important if we see injustice we speak up. Its hard and sometimes so scary. I love you my dear friend. 💗

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t either. I live in a fairly red town, and so when I went to a protest a month ago I was nervous. What a relief it was to be surrounded by people I knew~teachers, neighbors, business owners, all marching to protest racism. The ones there opposed to us were silenced by out sheer numbers, which heartened me.

        Liked by 1 person

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