So I have been away for a while and have come back to a number of comments (good and plainly rude) made over the last couple of years since my last update. So I will tell you a little story about what i’ve been doing and where I’ve been, and how things have changed so drastically over the past few years (for me personally, but also globally in the world we now live). It may take me a while so I will break it up and name this new chapter of the blog,
Asian Voices: Part two.
Since the completion of the Asian Voices (click here for book link) project in 2010, I have gone from a young researcher into an academic. I am now officially a Dr. and have continued to research and work closely with Older South Asian, Pakistani and Indian settled migrant women (I will tell you more about ‘my’ women and their experiences over the next few blogs).
In this blog, however, I am going to address the comments I sifted through before writing.
I have to address one comment, which to be honest I wasn’t surprise to read ‘I wish you p?!*&s would go back home!’ Do you know I am tired of hearing this and tired of the circle of ignorance that keeps coming back round and one that extends not only individuals who don’t know any better, but up to the ceiling and the high castles in which the social hierarchy live. There are two issues here, first where do you want us to go? that is to say that you think, I (or we) assign ourselves to the ethnic group you think, I (or we) are!! What if I am a blond haired, blue eyed British woman writing this? I am not, and nothing against you if you have blond hair and blue eyes, but this rhetoric just takes me back to the times of Hitler, WWII, and ethnic cleansing. Where do you want me to go when generations of me are born here? Go back to town in Yorkshire I was born in? or back to the village, in the UK, I live in?
Often it is easier for us to blame others rather than looking within. The PhD taught me a lot about being reflexive and I think this is where society is lacking, looking at ourselves before we look and label others. Many of the population in the UK have migration in their heritage (even if you don’t typically ‘look’ like a migrant) or look to ideas of future migration (ex-pats). Lets look at the 1960s and 70s when there was an influx of Asian and African-Carribean migration to the UK. What about the Irish migrants who were labeled into the same categories ‘No Blacks, No Irish, No Dogs’. What about the current climate, Eastern-Eurpoeans, who also have a past migration history in the UK, and flux of Middle-Eastern migration around the world, in which we cry over the small proportion who are migrating to the UK, in our ignorance thinking Britain has opened its doors to hundreds of thousands. There are only 187 Syrian refugees who have been granted asylum in the UK, and not all of them are here .
I want to end this blog with a thought. Four years ago, when I completed the Asian Voices project we were at a time when we seemed to be living in peace and harmony, four years later we are in a time where our two steps forward have been halted by a hundred steps back. We have launched ourselves back to the 60s and 70s when race was on the cards and skinheads would chase school children because of colour (see Asian Voices book), where the fear of Enoch Powell has turned into the fear of Donald Trump. I feel sad for the memories of the days gone by, and the fear that has turned race into religious hatred. I can only hope for a peaceful world in which suffering across the globe stops, and our children grow up without being othered through race, religion, ethnicity or even their class, which we too face through the battle of the ‘Grammar School’! We are living in a Global society, so there is no where for me to go back home, this is my home, because where I am, is what I become.