I just read that top jazz saxophonist Soweto Kinch was stopped from taking his seat in first class on a train in spite of his ticket. He’s filed a formal complaint. He’s remarkably cool about it.
(He was talking about it on Twitter, I saw, but he’s off to Barbados now, to play. He’s British, by the way, so he does not have to worry about not being allowed back into the country like the rest of us so he has that going for him, thankfully.)
It hammered home a harsh truth for me.
I should have filed a formal complaint every time I ran into abusive shit in the UK, also when it was done anonymously. Thing is, initially, I was so utterly stunned, stood with my mouth wide open, jaw on my shoes every time because I had never ever experienced the kind of abuse I later got used to, in the UK.
And then I got used to it. I am migrant. I learned to expect it. It became normal.
I’d have been really busy writing letters, though, if I had filed a complaint every time. It is not always deliberate abuse. Sometimes, it is plain sloppiness. The result of people not giving a shit.
Still, looking back, I can’t believe that I learned to take so much shit.
This is such an abusive society. But I am not allowed to say it out loud, am I?
And only a few months ago, this happened to him. Watch the video. Turns out that another customer saw it and posted about it on TripAdvisor without having a clue even that it was Soweto Kinch. (One can ask why she didn’t speak up at the time.)
I’m genuinely at a loss to explain this one… just wanted to order a pizza 🤷🏾♂️
Waitress rudely ignores me.
Nobody offered to serve me.
— Soweto Kinch (@sowetokinch) August 16, 2019
Does Julia Roberts know that her face is being used to promote blatant racism?