Tag Archives: mariam mahmood

What are you doing today to challenge bigotry?

I’m back from a wonderful, blissful and restorative two weeks in my favourite place. Thanks to the team who have worked so hard to keep the site running while I’ve been away.

I’m catching up on all the things I’ve missed while I’ve been reading utter trash and walking up and down the wonderful Rosemarkie Beach with the dog. This story from the Dundee Courier caught my eye.

Lib Dem Councillor Ben Lawrie described a vicious racist verbal assault on his girlfriend, Scottish Environment Spokesperson Mariam Mahmood:

“Mariam told me about incidents of racism that she’s faced growing up – how after 9/11 people threw bricks through her house window in what they must have thought was some sort of revenge attack,” he said.

“I witnessed it for myself earlier this year when the two of us were walking through Dundee and a young woman approached us and screamed the n-word in Mariam’s face.

“It broke my heart. I was even more shocked than her because, sadly, she’s used to it by now.”

Mariam said: “I’ve grown up with this throughout my life when people would use racial slurs almost as ammo against you but Ben had never witnessed it so the bus station incident was shocking for him.

“This girl was standing with a group of friends and just walked over and screamed it right in my face.

“Her friends didn’t look that impressed – but none of them called her out. It’s very disheartening.

“While I thought I was ok at the time, when we got back to the flat I was really quite upset.

“I have a little sister who is just ten years old and I don’t want her to have to endure this sort of thing.”

Ben added: “We can use this experience to shine a light on this sort of thing and in my comments to the committee I was trying to emphasise that if we are to teach our young people to respect one another, we have to start by leading by example.”

I don’t know one single person of colour who doesn’t have to put up with this sort of crap. And when people in the public eye – I’m looking at you, Boris Johnson – make ill-advised comments, the people who carry out this abuse on the street feel legitimised and emboldened.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 7 Comments
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