I left the UK after being told that the racism I experienced did not exist
Leaving the UK was the best decision I have made in recent years.
At the age of 39, I have spent my life in London. I was born in the suburbs, studied in the city and lived in different neighborhoods in London.
At the end of 2020, and right in front of the drawbridge of Brexit finally closed, I moved to Berlin.
I’ve always wanted to live abroad, and with the whole of Europe soon becoming significantly more difficult to immigrate to, I’ve taken the leap.
A year later, I sit and wonder what has stopped me from doing it all this time.
As a black woman of Caribbean descent, I am well versed in the widespread British approach to racism, which often involves absurd degrees of denial.
I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard people in the UK comment on the racism of the French, the Germans, the Americans – all while talking about the UK as if it were some sort of thing. as well as a racial safe haven.
Being a Black Englishman suffered from racism in the UK, I am well aware that it really exists in the country and is also living well in the multicultural heart of London.
This fact coupled with the denial of any wrongdoing and being greeted with claims that suggest you’ll never get it as good anywhere else, all makes for a feeling like are in a relationship with an abusive partner.
This can really scare blacks out of the country.
I know racism exists in the UK, so I should rationally ignore the accompanying objections that the UK stands above other Western countries in terms of race relations.
However, always have “what if” on your mind. When you are exhausted by your subject by constantly obsessing over the issue, it’s easier to let fear maintain the status quo and stay where you are.
That doesn’t mean it’s smooth sailing in Germany. During my stay, I was repeatedly stared at with curiosity, told that I looked like Oprah Winfrey (I really don’t), and repeatedly harassed by a neighbor who claimed to have a bad smell. smelly in her apartment. is my cooking.
My experiences in the UK have clouded my vision and given wings to my adventurous spirit
These are all familiar low-level racist violations reported by racist establishments. There are also incidents of racism infrequently reported in the news here.
What strikes me is not how racism exists in Berlin, but how similar my experience is to everyday racism in Britain. What is clearly different here is the absence of negation. When I converse with my colleagues, there seems to be no certainty that German society is free of racism.
I cannot say that this usually happens in the UK. Even if blatant racism was going on, I feel that most Britons would consider this an exception in the UK, whereas if the same were to happen in another country it would be equal. evidence of a more racist society than theirs.
The nationalistic narcissism I experienced in the UK also significantly limited my short-term travel aspirations. So many times, I’ve had an internal conversation about visiting a new destination just to play it safe and visit NYC again!
I look back and realize I was in a dialogue with myself about whether it was worth going somewhere with a less ‘diverse’ population, and ruined my vacation by the onslaught of racism.
That’s not to say I haven’t seen much the world has to offer, but I feel that my experiences in the UK have obscured my vision and given wings to my adventurous spirit.
In fact, some of the most racist and toxic experiences I’ve had in the UK have been caused by people moving to London to buy things they can’t in their own country – the middle class.
Fortunately, I have refused to judge entire countries through such a narrow lens, and the more I go out into the world, the more I realize how smooth it is with all its roughness!
In 2020, I’ve got a great job at Glamor Magazine and I’m working with one of the most beautiful and talented teams I’ve ever met in my life.
I feel like everything should be available now for me to grow and feel more fulfilled. Unfortunately, all of this made me realize how much I don’t want to be in London anymore, because to some extent I’ve ‘made it’, but I’m still unhappy. happiness in this city.
So much has happened, which I find to be directly or indirectly related to the way Britain has dealt with apartheid.
Most countries deny your living experience is a painful space to live in. It’s too early to say if I’ll be back but right now, I feel like I’ve left behind the crowd of people who spoke to me as if I should be eternally grateful for what is essentially a pretty bad job.
Thankfully, feeling like you’ve never belonged anywhere means you can call anywhere home, and now, it’s Berlin.
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https://metro.co.uk/2022/01/17/i-left-the-uk-after-being-told-the-racism-i-experienced-didnt-exist-15918280/ I left the UK after being told that the racism I experienced did not exist