The need to change racist attitudes

I was in a Mc Donalds fast food outlet positioned in a squashed corner of their seating arrangement. The table for four behind me was empty. Luckily we were standing up to leave and as all well mannered folks positioning our chairs under the table to leave the basic set-up in some form of order.

At the same time a white girl approached our table at speed. With a milkshake in one hand and two straws in the other the look in her eye was one of penetrating contempt. I wondered how a girl of probably no more than 14 or 15 years old could have formed an attitude of such hate. She uttered the following words with venom, ‘Excuse me can we have some space here please’.

She pushed or more like shoved past us, obstructing my opportunity to exit, twisting to get into the empty corner. I slide past but I wanted to make her realize that her behaviour was unacceptable. Therefore, I simply and in the most polite manner possible said, ‘Well we were just leaving and you can have all the space in the world.’ Her friend followed closely behind her grabbed a seat and shared a facial expression of, Wow! These people speak English and are not being perturbed or affected by our bully girl tactics.

I left the outlet feeling that they both had been dealt with accordingly. Was my approach good or bad? In one sense it was good in that it did not wish to stand for nonsense. In another way it may have been bad as I too admittedly was showing an element of attitude.

A few hours later I debated why after almost 50years (plus if you include early UK settlers) and a few hundreds of years of the British being involved in India, some elements of the white British community still had both a superiority complex and an attitude of hate?

The truth is that our society is still segregated today. The episode I have just documented is trivial compared to daily bully tactics that happen in school or even in the work place.

The cause has to be combination of a lack of education but also the way that society has evolved – It is a fact that for certain situations invisible boundaries are present.

The following factors drive this segregation:

1. PR & Media – Ignoring contributions from all communities
2. School – Poor world education
3. Education – Lack of world politics or peace strategies
4. Workplace politics – Poor Human Resource Management strategies

What we really need is to unite under common global issues:

* Doing some charity work together – finding a common cause for our energies
* Harmonising town centres in terms of wealthy and poor areas
* Bringing people together to discuss the reasons for acting in a prejudice manner

I wonder if I met the same girls in McDonalds again in say a year’s time, whether their attitudes will have changed? Probably not without any investment in fresh initiatives…

Categories: 2007, Multiculturalism

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