Thursday, 6 June 2013

Mathematics || Spoken Word

This video has been doing the rounds on my facebook feed in the last couple of days and I have to say, I absolutely love it.  For me it addresses so many of the frustrating inaccuracies I hear that normally start with the sentence 'they've taken our jobs'.

Holly Mcnish is an English poet, one who is endorsed by Benjamin Zephaniah (whom I had the pleasure of being able to meet last Autumn at the the Equality Challenge Unit Annual Conference!) 

It's voices like Holly's that are growing and gaining momentum that can help to educate people about how misguided they have been by the venom that comes from places like The Sun and the Daily Mail, that help to paint a true picture of exactly what multiculturalism means for England.

I have a mixed heritage background - my grandmother is from Burma (now Myanmar) and I know there is Romany Portuguese Gypsy in there as well via my grandparents (my features favour the Portuguese whereas my sister favours the Burmese) whereas on the other side it's as British as you can get, mixing good old fashioned cockney (other grandparents born within the sound of Bow Bells) and 14C aristocracy (direct descendent of the bloke who lost the War of the Roses.  Idiot).  My mum told me stories of the racism she faced, some of it shockingly from people she classed as family and I still hear my Burmese grandmother being racist about the Thai's or the Iranians or even the Burmese Hill Tribes.  Believe me, just because you are Asian doesn't mean you don't have strong and misguided views about other cultures.
I work in an amazingly diverse environment - billed as the European University, my University has students from over 100 different countries here.  Walking from one end of campus to the other you are likely to hear 4 or 5 different languages spoken.  It brings cultural education, festivals and celebrations and different attitudes and beliefs, and don't get me started on the food options! 

It frustrates me so much to hear people speak negatively about immigration.  My family were immigrants and believe you me we damn well contribute to this economy.  Did your family come over with Norman the Conqueror (highly likely apparently).  Guess what, you were an immigrant.  Did your family invade with the Celts?  Immigrant.   Got family in America or Australia?  They were immigrants.  Do a bit of digging in your family tree and you are as likely to find Dutch, French, Czech and German culture in your blood as you are to find 'British'. 

I'm starting to rant a little here so I'm just going to stop and say watch the video.

Just watch it.  And if you like Holly why don't you go and check out her facebook page and help her spread her voice.

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