I am a white male born in England, living in England. I grew up in a northern mining village where your career options were the steel works or the pit – above ground or below.
I now live in the south west – not poor, not rich, cushioned, I would say. Some people call me a “Champagne Socialist” but that’s about as offensive as it gets, because, of course, I should have stayed put where I was and not tried to better myself. I’m nothing special.
- I don’t know what it feels like to be stopped and searched because of the colour of my skin.
- I don’t know what it feels like to lay in my bed at night listening for planes and, upon hearing them, wondering if it will be me this time.
- I don’t know what it feels like to be taken off the streets in broad daylight because I don’t agree with the Government.
- I’ve never heard the helpless screams of victims of terrorist bombs, I’ve been lucky.
- I don’t know what it feels like to suddenly find yourself homeless through no fault of your own.
- I’ve never seen a dead body, still.
- I don’t know what it feels like to see my crops fail because of droughts that never happened in the past.
- I’ve never worked for less than the Minimum Wage and been forced to survive on that.
- I’ve never had anyone tell me to go home because I was a “foreigner”.
- I’ve never been badly beaten by the “authorities”.
- I’ve never been threatened with rape.
- I don’t know what it feels like to be discriminated against because I’m not white.
- I’ve never been to a food bank. I should. I should get involved.
- I haven’t punched anyone since I was in school ( and then I lost).
- I’ve never had to beg in the pouring rain, prostrate on the pavement, my face hidden in shame.
- I’ve never had to flee, been forced into a boat in darkness.
- I’ve never prayed to a god to save my life.
- I’ve never been abused for my faith or the way I dress.
- I have never had to explain or excuse my sexuality.
…so on bad days, when I’m just not in the mood, I should count myself lucky.