24 October, 2005

Is it happening all over again?

Are the riots that plagued us in the past now coming back to haunt us? It's seems every so often people get so angry with what's not happening to them that it all culminates in what we are seeing in Birmingham. Do I expect to see more riots in the coming year? I hope not but I think the reality is we will. People live in multi cultural areas that are still deprived even after all the promises from the government. My friend Sadiq from Small Heath in Birmingham says people are now so frustrated at the lack of police on the street. The way they are dealt with because of their colour and the way the police deal with crimes committed against them. That this had to happen sooner or later. So I am now going to be cheeky and ask people from ethnic back grounds what they think could be done to stop this from happening all over the country. I already hear the whispers that the police are not doing enough to stamp out racism in the force but this is no excuse for destroying property or shooting people. That can not be tolerated in any society. This invisible thing that comes between black and white, Asian and African never seemed to raise it's ugly head when I was at school. Colour wasn't an issue. It was only when I got older and we had people like the British national party and some anti black voices that people started follow suit. It seems so stupid to me that racism still exists today but I do know riots are not the answer

1 comment:

Chrysalla B said...

Greetings Jamie,

1st I would like to compliment your blog. I am writing a book about homelessness in relation to women, from my former experience as a homeless woman. I am happy to say I have not been homeless for almost 10 years now. My homelessness was simply because I fell through all the cracks in the system - i.e. none of the rules that would help a woman get shelter applied to me. My family is maximum-dysfunctional, I was physically unable to work and caught up in bureaucratic muck, homeless for 51 weeks.

Regarding multicultural neighborhoods and lack of police support, the best thing for the residents to do is to unite as many people together to form neighborhood watch or block watchers. Not necessarily vigilante, but not dismissing cellphone patrols, networks of people getting closer together to know what to be aware of and cooperation with the law and police forces.

Prejudice is a crazy thing, it's definitely an ignorant thing and it can be relieved somewhat with gaining knowledge and familiarity, instead of the standoffish division that sometimes exists.

In poorer areas where people of colour live, sometimes the police make assumptions that people just don't want to live right, thus making a seemingly large gap of separation between the police and the people they are SUPPOSED TO BE protecting. Sometimes, when the police are made aware of the existence of good citizens, it makes it easier for them, less stressful, and less violent for everyone.

This may not always be the perfect solution, however it does work.