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Rioters, You Are Not My Voice!

SIR–

I am writing to you today as an Anglo-Indian. For those don’t know what an Anglo-Indian is, it means my great-grandfather was British, moved to India, settled and got married an Indian. I’m a third-generation mixed-race child. I’m brown-skinned and so are my parents. We are all from India, but we are all products of the colonial era. I just want to bring to the attention of people who are watching the protests worldwide what happened in London, and why it was so demeaning and so disgusting to me. We all want to protest the horrific injustice that has happened, but should never have happened and should never happen again. That’s what the protests in London were about, or so we thought, but what happened as they progressed was altogether vile. These hoodlums marched on to the Cenotaph and other World War memorials, vandalising and debasing them. This is an educational tale for those who are unaware of what happened in that moment.

World War One was fought by the Commonwealth. There were 140,000 Indians, 25,000 black South Africans and 180,000 Africans from the rest of Africa who fought as soldiers in this war – their fight was a united front against injustice. This cenotaph is a symbol of people of all races coming together to fight against a single enemy. Unfortunately, these uneducated protesters against racial injustice desecrated the very symbol of what they were trying to fight for. This is proof that uneducated clowns can never really sustain change. If you were part of this vile assault on the Commonwealth, then my message to you is direct:

I am brown-skinned. I have been told that I should go back to my country. I have been snubbed publicly. I’ve had all sorts of racist remarks made against me. All of this and more has happened to me and I’m not going to even mention it because there’s a long list. You are supposedly trying to fight for me, but I want to tell you today: if you desecrated the Cenotaph, you are not on my side. You do not represent me and I don’t want you to. The single symbol, in the scourge of colonialism, that brought people of all races together, was disrespected that day.

If you really want to fight against injustice, then get off social media and get educated. And if you want to keep the fight sustained, then learn from the likes of Martin Luther King Jr. and the great Mahatma Gandhi in India. They were non-violent and peace-loving men, and are still remembered for their great movements. If you really, really want to fight injustice, then number one: get educated. Number two, start learning to love people who hate you, bless those who curse you and if anyone slaps you on one cheek, turn the other also. Finally, maybe start looking up history and learning what symbols were used to begin this fight, instead of trampling on them.

What happened at the Cenotaph this week was vile and racist, because you trampled on a Commonwealth of different countries, different races, different nations, different nationalities who all came together to fight one injustice. What you are doing is dividing people, and I see you for who you really are. You had nothing to do with protesting injustice, and don’t try to tell me that you did. All of you who were involved in that vile action, don’t fight for me. I don’t want you and I don’t need you to fight for me, if this is how you’re going to do it. You will never be my voice until you learn to be peace-loving and become educated.

 

Yours faithfully,

Caleb Standen

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