the last time i can think of it overtly happening, it was in Bolton, near Manchester in the north of England. this was almost exactly a year ago. lovely town with some nice pubs and the odd nice club, supposedly.
the 5 or so other people i was with walked in the club. i was stopped for ID. i asked why i was the only one being asked for ID. they said it was random. right.
you know, in the past, when i have brought up these kind of things, i have been greeted with responses like “you’re paranoid,” “the world isn’t out to get you,” etc. not acknowledging that this is a real thing, that it is going on, that kind of bull[bleep]. encouraging me not to talk about it any more, at all. to sweep it under the rug, so to speak.
after they ID’d me, they demanded that they be able to pat me down and search me. at that point i decided enough is enough, and demanded to know why i was the only one being searched AND ID’d. the bouncer explained that it is random searches that need to be performed according to the management, but it really how random could it be?
somebody has to think, “oh! that would be a good person to search!” somebody did.
i was obviously the only visibly non-white person coming in the club at that time. i remedied that by refusing to pay cover, and turned one hundred and eighty degrees and took my exit. i let them know exactly what i thought of their “random” searches on my way out.
am i supposed to feel safe around that kind of security, the kind the instinctually doesn’t trust me? see ya later, you’re out of my life.
i feel badly for those in the states who are still going through much worse, and you hear about them all the time. my experience is hardly a lot to complain about, but i will tell you this: it made me feel sick inside, and it made me very bitter that there are many people who will not -ever- feel what it is like to be descriminated against in any way — not because i want them to be descriminated against, but rather that i would like them to understand what it feels like. i kind of feel like if you’ve been through it, you’re less likely to do it to other people, which is the reverse of internalized opression.
so maybe that’s bull[bleep]. maybe it isn’t. i’d rather people not -have- to go through this kind of thing. it doesn’t enhance life. it’s okay if one doesn’t understand how it feels. perhaps they only need to know it’s wrong.
maybe i’ll blast the UK and the USA for being two of the worst countries in the world for this kind of thing. blair and bush..
erik’s saying (not sure if he made it up) after 9/11 [not F9/11] and the security situation at the airports: “if you’re white, the sky is the limit.. if you’re not white, the limit is the sky.” though crudely hilarious (as erik is), it was and has been somewhat true. sadly. the kind of thing that is going on in the states right now, with loss of privacy and increased discrimination, if selectively reported on like much of the media selectively used to report on the past Russia and the current China, would make the USA look like a very controlled country. thank goodness this particular scary dictatorship has an expiration date. thank goodness i live in canada.
writing this has been a long time coming for me, but as time goes on, i am less afraid to write about things that are important to me. this is my prelude into what i believe to be a fairly important link for all to read, if you’re not white, or if you’re in the states, or if you’re into photography:
- the artist’s statement – humiliated, angry, ashamed, brown
- brownequalsterrorist.com – the blog of the artist
listening to: Dead Can Dance – Song of the Disposessed.