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Uprising- our unacceptable past

(47 Posts)
trisher Thu 22-Jul-21 09:38:40

Is anyone watching this? One of the most disturbing and moving documentaries I have ever seen. I can't believe how racist and bigoted this country was. Listening to how the police cross examined young survivors who must have been traumatised I couldn't believe it. Film of the NF in the first episode was horrendous. Looking forward to episode 3 tonight.

Alegrias1 Thu 22-Jul-21 09:41:05

I've only seen the first one so far trisher, we'll watch the rest on iPlayer. It was almost unbelievable. I was a student in Scotland at the time and didn't follow the news much, so I admit to not remembering most of the story of the fire.

The whole thing was just so shocking. We've come a long way, but still got a long way to go.

25Avalon Thu 22-Jul-21 09:48:18

Haven’t seen it but gays were treated very badly as well. Good we have moved on but way to go.

25Avalon Thu 22-Jul-21 09:49:02

Not to mention women.

Blossoming Thu 22-Jul-21 09:52:49

Perhaps those complaining about footballers ‘taking the knee’ could learn something from these documentaries. I suspect their minds may be too closed though.

Alegrias1 Thu 22-Jul-21 09:54:11

I'm not sure that women were stopped in the street and thrown into the back of police vans where they were beaten up by police, just because they were women.

I'm sure nobody suggested sending women "back home" when they had actually been born here.

I don't believe anybody poured white spirits through the letterboxes of families, just because they had women in them.

This program is about black people and I don't think we should deflect it on to the issues faced by other groups.

nanna8 Thu 22-Jul-21 09:55:05

I remember defending a young Jamaican man against verbal abuse when I was only around 14 or 15years old in South London and being shouted at, shoved and called a n**gger lover by a group of young white males in their 20s. I was shocked and horrified as it was the first time in my life I had encountered racism. I cried and didn’t understand why they were like that. That was about 1963.

Blossoming Thu 22-Jul-21 09:56:53

Well said Alegrias1
(Though if people really want to know what it was like for black gay women it would be worth reading Linda Bellos)

rafichagran Thu 22-Jul-21 10:13:28

This thread is about the shocking racism people in the 70's experienced.
My partner a West Indian who came over here in the late 70's had some shocking things said to him as a "joke".
Please let's keep this thread about the programme and racism, it was shocking how women and gays were treated but the programme showed how shocking racism was at the time.
I hope todays footballers continue to take the knee.

Yammy Thu 22-Jul-21 10:50:30

"Comedy" programmes of the time like" love thy neighbour "and the one with Alf Garnett show how the majority of people felt.
I had been born in the North and my grans favourite saying was "The only coloured who I see is the Turban chap selling ties door to door". She always gave him a cup of tea and a piece of cake. An aunt who lived in the Midlands told of West Indians being given Kitikat in their sandwiches and landladies pretending it was Tuna
As a student, we were a mixed bunch and we all rubbed along and seemed to accept everyone.
When I first taught two coloured children joined us, in an assembly, we all sang "Jesus loves the little children" then the head who was not Cumbrian brought these two little mites out from behind the piano like a conjuring act, they must have told at home because their father came in and raised hell, she could not see what she had done wrong.
I got married and moved to the Midlands my best friend was Cape coloured and Oh, did she suffer abuse from people who were perfectly polite to me, even if we were just shopping she was ignored and other people served
She got recurring very bad migraines and went to see her G.P. and was told it was because her white boyfriend had split with her. She eventually died of an undetected brain tumour.
Why did we not react then? Or see what was going on was wrong?

M0nica Thu 22-Jul-21 11:02:22

Doesn't every country, community, religion or large organised group have an unacceptable past?

Cannot think of one that doesn't.

I am more concerned about those countries that have unacceptable presents, like the Chinese, especially the current treatment of thr Uighurs, of the democracy movement in Hong Kong, and general montoring of their period so no one dare step otu of line, Then there is the Gulf States where arrest without trial, torture and execution for little or no reason is common. I could then start on Russia, several of the Central Asian states, Hungary, numerous African States.

I am not defending anything that happened in the UK, nor am I blind to it, but I find this self-flagellation and what appears the pleasure people seem to get from rolling in the mud of our shame, i find really rather unpleasant.

You can admit your past and face up to it, but much more importantly learn from it and fight it now, but wrapping round you proudly like a cloak I find distinctly peculiar.

Alegrias1 Thu 22-Jul-21 11:04:22

Deflect, deflect, deflect.....

I learned something about our shared history from this program. I'm not self flagellating but learn from your history, or be doomed to repeat it.

M0nica Thu 22-Jul-21 11:09:28

Nobody ever learns from history and always repeat their mistakes.

Nothing whatsoever to do with deflection

It is not what you do but the way that you do it and you can face up to the past acknowledge it and do something about it with out rolling in your shame like a pig in mud.

kittylester Thu 22-Jul-21 11:13:06

I am not sure how our past can be 'unacceotable'. It exists. Some past behaviour is extremely unacceptable and we should learn from it.

trisher Thu 22-Jul-21 11:28:44

If you are prepared to accept and dismiss this as-"Oh we never behaved like that"or "it's just the past" then you are perpetuating the abuse the people on this programme suffered. This wasn't just people being called names, it wasn't just people being beaten up., It was 13 people dying in a house fire and no one in authority caring. It was Margaret Thatcher and the Queen sending messages of sympathy to relatives of people killed in an Irish club and ignoring the people in London.
And if you want to argue with the actual statement well good luck with that.

Doodledog Thu 22-Jul-21 11:30:44

I saw the second part of the programme last night. It was really distressing. I can't imagine how frightened those young people must have been, and the distress of their parents would have been indescribable without the dismissive attitude to their loss.


M0nica, I don't think it is 'rolling in our shame' to let people see the reality of racism. People who weren't alive at the time, or people whose lives didn't bring them into contact with attitudes like those in the programme may not realise what went on, and that black lives really didn't matter to a lot of people. It might help to shift their attitudes, or make them more aware of the importance of being vigilant about racism.

JaneJudge Thu 22-Jul-21 11:35:38

Bloody hell yammy sad your poor friend

I am going to watch this today. My childhood was pretty multi cultural but I can only see it from a white persons perspective

Yammy Thu 22-Jul-21 12:11:21


Bloody hell yammy sad your poor friend

I am going to watch this today. My childhood was pretty multi cultural but I can only see it from a white persons perspective

I think I saw it from a whites point of view as well, we had an idea what was going on but it did not affect us so it was sort of off our radar . I have just remembered someone at Grammar school being put in detention for saying "All wogs begin at Calais "and being very defiant when challenged by the teacher". That attitude must have come from home
What really made me think were the two little children at school brought out as an exhibition.
My poor friend was generous and kind as was her mother they let me stay when my husband had to work away. If she was treated the same way today there would be uproar.
We either did not live among it or were indifferent because it was the norm. I can remember challenging someone at work and their reply was your lucky they don't live at the end of your street.
Maybe it stood out to me because I was not used to people being treated differently because of the colour of their skin or their parents were from another country and they were in the minority. If I had lived in the midlands or the south perhaps my attitude would have been the same as everyone else's and just see it from a white perspective.

Kate1949 Thu 22-Jul-21 12:16:48

We were Irish Catholics and were treated pretty appallingly. However, I remember one girl at junior school who was mixed race. A sadistic teacher used to send her home regularly to 'Have a wash. Your skin is dirty'. That poor child.

vegansrock Thu 22-Jul-21 12:27:31

There is still endemic racism in this country which should be challenged by us. We can’t influence other countries who may be equal or worse than ours, we have to make a stand here and now. You’ve only got to look at the abuse at football matches, abuse to non white MPs etc. Just because it was worse in the past doesn’t mean we can shrug and point fingers at others. There are plenty of racists in our midst now.

Blossoming Thu 22-Jul-21 13:08:04

It seems very little has changed.

GagaJo Thu 22-Jul-21 14:21:20

Vegan and Blossoming, very little HAS changed. Within the last two weeks my mixed race (but currently quite dark due to a good suntan) daughter has been racially profiled and abused in Lidl where she has been a regular customer for 2 years, by a member of staff (a formal complaint was made and totally fobbed off) and just today by the police, trying to track the owner of a dumped car and assuming she may have had something to do with the dumping (she had a toddler child with her when they confronted her, the only Black person in the small area we live in). She was asked to paint a fence at the playgroup she takes GS to and when her white friend went to help out too, the friend was told 'Oh YOU don't need to do that dear. Leave it to her.'

My grandson (a truly beautiful little boy, model material) has children pulled away from him in the park. He is friendly and outgoing and is puzzled by this behaviour. It's heart breaking.

We are planning to move to an area that is more ethnically diverse before GS starts school. He needs to have other friends that look either like him or who are brown in some shape or form to enable him to remain the cheerful and well balanced little boy he currently is.

England is very racist. No two ways about it.

Doodledog Thu 22-Jul-21 15:10:33

That is upsetting to read, GagaJo. It must be a hundred times more so for you, as his grandmother, to see.

I hope your daughter had something to say at the nursery, too.

M0nica Thu 22-Jul-21 15:43:26

I am half Irish, my mother remembered notices in boarding house windows, ' No Irish, no children, no dogs.

I went to a convent grammar school in a big town in the south of England in the 1950s, We had several Trnidadian girls at the school, a Columbian girl, also many Jewish girls. I cannot remember any of them being abused or subject to any kind of discrimination.

GagaJo Thu 22-Jul-21 15:57:39

I suspect if you were able to talk to the Black girls from your school MOnica, they would tell a quite different story.

I'm white. I didn't realise the racism evident where I live until my daughter moved here. Not all racism is overt and in your face. Microaggressions that all seem unimportant on an individual basis are magnified into a bigger problem when they happen all the time, on a daily basis.