I’m a proud multicultural woman. I love my roots and where I come from. I have spent the past weeks publicly educating people that gypsy is a slur word after white privilege pushing the issue.
After dealing with a racial situation in more ways than one, I could feel the other part of me being pulled in. I wanted to go back to my shamanic roots and reconnect with the mixture of Asian roots that I am proudly from. I’m still in it. Transforming, learning, growing, listening. To be at peace and be with what I know is real. It’s a painful waste of time to defend the bones of who you are. I wish there was no need for it.
But I want to talk racism. The systems we live under in Australia. It’s a fact and unless you’re ethnic or indigenous to this land, you wouldn’t know any better.
I want to start with saying, my grandfather that I never met is Romani. My daughters father has Jewish Romani blood and was also affected by the privilege of one particular person that pushed the issue and continued to use the word gypsy. Instead of an apology, white privilege pushes the issue, why? Because she can. She knew she would have the support of other privileged people. Privilege sees, ‘how dare I pull up a pale person on using the word gypsy?’ ‘Privilege screams, ‘I’m no victim’ instead of seeing that this is a humanity issue. This is not the only example and I can line up my fellow Roma’s and we all have stories to tell. Romani people are still very much oppressed in Europe. It is only now people are slowly listening and understanding gypsy is a slur word. It is only in the last three or four years people are slowly listening to what we have to say. Sad, but true.
The beautiful thing in my experience, is minority groups stick together. I’ve had plenty of chats and support from other cultures not to mention the Romani groups I am part of and the people I know. I can’t tell you how much this helps the heart. There’s a presence and an understanding that doesn’t require words. A genuine heart connection of ‘I got you.’ I also want to shout out to the beautiful loves that have surrounded me and my daughter on this issue. You know who you all are. I appreciate you all for giving me the care and understanding to speak up. For supporting us and showing me your humanity. It only brings people closer and I’m grateful for it. Some of you also may not see it as a big deal because the word gypsy has been romanticised and it is not what most people think it is. But this post isn’t about explaining this again. If you want to know head over here: Romani Alliance
This is about racism and pale privilege. My parents came over to Australia by ship and met over here. To sum it up, my mother is mixed European and Romani and my father is mixed Asian. Both speak more than one language. Both have accents. My mother is pale and my father is what most people will describe as black but I call him brown because that’s what he is. I’ve never met a black person but varying shades of brown.
I have watched both of my parents experience racism. Every member of my family has and for myself personally I still do. These systems we live under are created for pale people to benefit from and for the rest of us to believe a skin colour is better than the rest. This toxic belief has ripped through cultures with such ferocity. And many pale skinned people still live by this, and there are many that are working through this trauma and toxicity and I say thank you, because you’re healing more than yourself. Because it is a trauma to believe one colour of the earth is better than the other. It is a trauma to have your own culture destroyed to believe in something that not only keeps you from knowing who you really are, but the pain of not knowing your ancestors and your own roots. I can understand this can be a reason why people hold onto what they have been taught, but I say to you friend- go deeper. For you, for the earth, for all of us.
I have a tonne of experiences to share but I’ll just point out a few foundational ones. When I was six, my father came home bleeding and bruised because eight pale European men he worked with waited for him to finish night shift and beat him so bad he couldn’t see out of his eyes leaving his face and much of his body bruised and swollen. Why? because he’s brown and Asian. I remember how that made me feel, and it does affect you. The first four years of schooling I was picked on by the same four white girls that called me derogatory names for having brown skin. This started when I was five and didn’t end until I left the school. I was pushed by two of them and cut my head open the exact outcome they wanted. How do I know? Because they laughed as blood was dripping down my face. I’ll never forget the hatred behind it. My brown skin made them sick. Every day they told me I was disgusting. They weren’t punished, and it won’t come to any surprise to you one of their mothers called me a racist derogatory name and denied it when my mother confronted her. Said I imagine it. Not only racist, but too scared to be honest about it when confronted.
My next primary school more white kids told me that my brown skin was disgusting and it wasn’t till my indigenous brothers and sisters pulled me aside and said, ‘don’t worry sis you come hang out with us.’ They’re understanding and compassion saved me as my rage grew over through my teenage years because this shit didn’t lessen and not because it was just my personal experience. I hate racism. I don’t understand how people can hate so hard even with all the reasoning and trauma experiences behind it. I don’t understand this kind of hatred.
I watched pale men speak to my mother likes she’s stupid because she has a strong accent. Like she’s their property for them to sleaze over hoping for a fuck. In my late teens I would go out with my father and have pale skinned men look at my father like he’s a piece of shit and that some how he’s taking advantage of me. I would walk past them and yell ‘he’s my fucking father’ most of them would look away embarrassed. I bring this up because this is what I now experience with my daughter. She’s 19, paler skin than myself and every time we go out I am looked at like I’m abusing her. We don’t know any of these people and of course they don’t know our relationship. It hurts her and I try not to let it bother me. All the people that look at us that way have pale skin. So unless your ethic or indigenous you really don’t know how alive and well white privilege is. And majority of those that scream ‘go back to your country’ have pale skin and they’re not even in their own country, go figure.
My indigenous brothers and sisters have been nothing but understanding. What does that say about the toxicity in this country? And the people running it and the people benefiting from the systems that are in place to feed this separation and toxic belief?
The thing is with racism it cuts bone deep and shouldn’t exist. No person is more than a tree or animal or another person. We’re all earth. Everything else is trauma I believe this wholeheartedly because when you’re deeply and authentically connected to your own roots, there’s no racism you just see beauty. That kind of connection and evolution looks at difference with curiosity and not hate. We’re all indigenous to a patch of land. It’s all beauty.
This piece below I found powerful and want to leave it with you. This is necessary for all of us to heal.Blog post, not long and written by a recovering racist. I share because this covers so much from a pale person that explains her privilege and what she was taught. It’s worth the read: https://www.patheos.com/blogs/ecopreacher/2019/01/recovering-racist/utm_content=buffercb20e&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook&utm_campaign=FBCP-PRX