British Sikh shares hate crime when he was 15, then again in university

As Sikh children in 70s/80s Britain, we unfortunately grew up with racist violent bullying. This is 2020, it angers me that attitudes have been allowed to filter down generations, writes MANKAMAL SINGH. He shares his own experience in a series of tweets in response to an attack by secondary school pupils in Telford on a Sikh boy

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By Mankamal Singh | OPINION | 
Those who claim the attack on the lone Sikh child in Telford is not racism, need a reality check. Once the joora opened, crowd laughing & persistence to carry on with attack reeks of racism. Denial angers me more than ignorance. I hate having to justify what’s blatantly obvious.
When I was 15, I was jumped by a large group of white and black teenagers near my school because I had stood up to one of them earlier that week. As they kicked me onto the floor, I heard one of them say “kick the paki’s turban off”.
My inherent reaction was to hold onto my Dastar as I  lay on the ground outnumbered and allowed myself to be kicked and stamped on. Most of the kicks were aimed at my head but my Dastar cushioned the blows and I was left with bruises on my body.
Telford hate crime case against Sikh student – Sketch by @mesmeraki

That group eventually stopped kicking, laughed and walked off. The only thing I was worried about was whether my Dastar was still on my head which left me with some ridiculous comfort that at least they failed.

I never recognised that as a hate crime back then because it was part of the growing up in the 80s and we all denied what constituted hate.
When I was at Uni some years later, I was jumped by 3 middle aged white men as I walked home at night from a friends house. They came from behind, shouted a few racial slurs, pushed me on the floor, kicked me a few times and walked off.
The only thing I was worried about was whether my Dastar was still on my head. I got up, walked home, actually saw a cop car, spoke to the officer about what happened, showed him the bruises & cuts. The officer said that was bad luck & then said I should probably be in bed anyway.
That was that, no one bothered to recognise these incidents back then and hate was allowed to fester.
The violence in all the incidents above were motivated by hate and racisim. As an individual I was targeted and allowed to be subject sustained violence.
As Sikh children in 70s/80s Britain, we unfortunately grew up with racist violent bullying. This is 2020, it angers me that attitudes have been allowed to filter down generations.
Who cares about gimmicks like #oddsocksday
Change real attitudes by first stopping the denial.

 

Sikh activist Mankamal Singh is a board member of UK-based Sikh Network. The article above is taken from a series of his tweets. 

* This is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily represent the views of Asia Samachar.

RELATED STORY:

Police launch hate crime probe into British school attack (Asia Samachar, 26 Nov 2020)

 

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