davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
... with a friend of mine.

I posted a link on FB to the Indy's long and depressing article on the scale of post Brexit racism.

His immediate response, 'I voted Leave and I'm not racist and I'm sure the majority of leave voters weren't racist.' Followed by a po-faced line about how free movement of labour isn't working.

I never mentioned Leavers, or free movement, and neither did the article.

And what makes his post doubly hypocritical is half his friends work in the EU.

I reminded him that the kind of people who launch racist attacks are precisely the same the same kind who attack people like me, or him, for being disabled in public.

davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
... at the assassination of Jo Cox, MP.

The eyewitness reports say the attacker was yelling 'Britain First'. Britain First are an ultra-right fascist party, with a special penchant for Islamophobia. But I had my own run-in with them during the Rochester By-election when I found their vice-chair, Jayda Fransen (their candidate at Rochester), and a dozen of her thugs cornering a lone, and very slight, black woman against the wall of the War Memorial.

Jayda Fransen is in the media bleating that the killing of Jo Cox is not what they stand for. I saw with my own eyes precisely what they stand for, what she stands for, and Britain First have blood on their hands whether or not the attacker was a member.


davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
By the time I was three tweets into #WhitewashedOUT I wanted to beat my head against a wall.

The initial focus was Hollywood's whitewashing of several recent prominent Asian roles, Scarlett Johanssen as Major Motoko Kusanagi in Ghost in the Shell, Tilda Swinton as The Ancient One in Doctor Strange, as a symptom of a wider problem within the movie industry, but it turned into an outpouring of experience of racism. @BethPhelan, who just organised #DVpit,  tweeted about her experiences as a child, and that really struck home because of the parallels with disability related bullying I experienced as a kid. Different otherness, identical hate.

The number of people tweeting about trying not to appear Asian as a kid was heartbreaking.

And the number of writers/screenwriters tweeting about being told to white out asian characters was truly disturbing.

There were the usual handful of idiots railing against it. and proving its point, but two things about them disturbed me. (I looked at a bunch of profiles, you usually find about half are blank, pointing at professional bigots running pure attack accounts, but half weren't). First, the number identifying as Trump supporters, second, the number who seemed to have some link to fandom. That 'social justice warrior' tag beloved of the Puppies was very prominent.

George Takei has a good take on Marvel's defence of their Doctor Strange casting: They must think we're idiots

davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)

Sitting waiting for a blood test at my GP's surgery and the woman next to me starts ranting to the guy opposite that the receptionists are conspiring to let the non-white people waiting jump the queue 'I heard them talking in their language". It runs on a ticket system and I think what happened was the receptionist was helping a (non-white) wheelchair user and grabbed him a ticket while his wife was getting him into his wheelchair. I'd guess a good third-to a half of the people in the waiting area were non-white, they would all be able to hear her, and she was less than ten feet from the people she was railing against for being "foreigners". I bit my tongue the first couple of times, but eventually had to point out that there might be a very good reason behind it and there was no need to jump to race as the issue, which shut her up (after ranting at me that she had a good reason too).

This is what UKIP are doing to us and it has to stop.

davidgillon: Text: You can take a heroic last stand against the forces of darkness. Or you can not die. It's entirely up to you" (Heroic Last Stand)
It's bad enough we have UKIP on the streets of Rochester because of the by-election, but today we had the fascists of BritainFirst blaring patriotic songs and waving Union Flags and the St George's Crosses in front of the War Memorial.

The friend I was with was shopping in the grocer's across the street and I was quietly seething at everything they were doing - when they started playing Jerusalem I commented that it was like Springtime for Hitler In Germany come to life and that they'd have been better off with Wagner.

They were leaving as we came out of the shop and I realised that 8-10 of them had surrounded a young black woman who was sitting on the wall. Apparently they had demanded to know if she was English. She was holding her own, but she was one small woman surrounded by 8-10 racist thugs, all but one of them male. I just though 'Oh, Hell' and walked into the middle of it, gesturing with my crutch and saying 'There's none of you ever more than 5 seconds away from becoming a minority and being attacked in the street by people like you.'  I certainly didn't calm the situation, but I diverted half of them on to me, and I had the chance to tell them that I despised them, that I particularly despised them parading in front of the memorial to people who died fighting against everything they stood for, and that if they really love everything England stands for then they should emigrate ;)

It went back and forth for about five minutes, with amongst other stuff the Britain First woman (ETA: who I've now identified as their candidate and deputy leaderr Jayda Fransen) trying to claim mosques were centres of terrorism, but a couple of them (they'd be the really dangerous ones) realised that being seen harassing a slight young woman and a disabled guy probably wasn't the image they wanted (though it's the only one they'll ever have) and they beat a retreat.

I imagine they'll claim they weren't harassing anyone, but that's belied by how upset their victim was afterwards (and kudos to her for standing up to them).

One of the people who came up afterwards (and if I have the right guy he's a local folksinger who writes some absolutely haunting stuff about social deprivation in Medway) commented that the UKIP supporters and the England First thugs had been being very pally with each other earlier - takes one to know one, I guess....

I'd been thinking about Pastor Niemoller's prayer while I was watching them, I guess I passed.
davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
Not me, I'm afraid, but I was just sat at the window table of my favourite restaurant on Rochester High Street watching a black guy absolutely berating the UKIP supporters outside their campaign headquarters. I couldn't hear anything of what he was saying as he was a few doors down, but the body language was incredibly passionate. A couple of customers who'd popped out came back in to say he was brilliant, and that Farage had been there for at least part of it - result!

The owner was sat at the next table and commented he was hoping Farage would pop in so he could refuse to serve him :)

(Rochester isn't my constituency, I'm in the next one over, Chatham and Aylesford, so unfortunately I don't get the pleasure of casting a vote against their candidate, Mark Reckless, who while he was Tory MP for Rochester responded to a TV interview with me on disability hate crime by saying that people were entitled to feel angry at disabled benefit claimants - Reckless by name, Reckless by nature, he'll fit well in UKIP).


davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
David Gillon

September 2017

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