Before showing me his work, he had so many innocent questions:
Racism is a choice, isn’t it, Mum? None of my friends were born not liking someone because of the colour of their skin, or if they have a religion. Do you learn racism, Mum? Like when Dad told me not to support Chelsea like Uncle Darren when I grow up? Is racism the same? You get told to be racist? Why would someone do that? Why do some people not like other people and other people do like other people? Who tells them to do that? And why do they tell them that?
I can’t work out how to answer any of his questions because I just don’t understand racism.
It makes zero sense to me how and why people are racist.
I attempt to try to explain what I know, but he looked at me confused as if he was shocked that Mum didn’t have a clue, but unfortunately, I don’t. So I told him the reason I think racism exists: “Obviously don’t ever repeat this, but it’s because some people are nasty uneducated fuck-wits.” He seemed satisfied with the answer.
He then showed me what he had learned about the story 12 Years a Slave and his letter he wrote to get help. I was blown away by his work and asked him how he had managed to write it and he said he looked up all the people (and the story) and then imagined how awful it must have been and then he started crying. And that just broke my heart.
It’s 2018 people. How does racism still exist???