I've finished two books so far this month, Ruby Red by Linzi Glass and Double Cross by Malorie Blackman. Both dealt with race - Ruby Red was set during 1976 in apartheid South Africa and Double Cross of course being the fourth book in the Noughts and Crosses series where white people are second class citizens to black Crosses. I didn't intentionally pick up two YA books about race, but it got me thinking about how racism has affected my life so far.
When I was growing up, my brother and I were usually the only kids of colour in our school apart from two black kids and one half-Korean girl, all three of which were semi-popular and had more people to stick up for them. I didn't always feel out of place, but I've been called so many names. From the n-word to 'Mexi-fry' to Slant-Eyes. I've been made to feel out of place, unwanted, I've been stared at, bullied. My mother and her black boyfriend were kicked out of their apartment by racist thugs. I will never consider moving back to Eugene, Oregon after the way N was stared at every second he was there. Even here in England, the first day I arrived someone yelled a racist term at me as I stared out the car window on my to my new home. Customers at the shop I worked at called me 'black' in such an unpleasant way. I dread flying to America. I do. After 9/11, EVERY.SINGLE.TIME we go through security, we get stopped and searched. Without fail.
When will it end? I worry about my children. They're half-Indian as well as part-Tlingit. English father, American mother. Will they be OK? Will they be treated differently, has society come so far since I was a child that racism won't be as much of a problem?
What do you think? What are your experiences with racism?