Racism on the tube

If anyone doubted that Brexit has made racists more aggressive and confident, they should read this account of what happened yesterday evening.

Furthermore, if anyone believes that it is right to probe the conduct of the judge who called a racist thug “a bit of a cunt” after he launched a foul mouthed tirade at her in court, they should also read this.

This is the first and last blog that I have written swear words on this blog. However, in order to quote the racist that I sadly had the displeasure of observing in London yesterday evening, it is necessary to quote him verbatim.

London can be the most beautiful city on a summer’s day. People of every creed and colour flock to the glorious Royal Parks, meet friends for a drink in the numerous pub beer gardens or have a spot of al fresco dinning.

At fifteen to five on Friday all these options were running through my head as I sat on a tube going west. A beautiful girl sat to my right, writing a screenplay whilst a elderly Scotsman and his adult son discussed their route to the Real Ale festival at that Bermuda Triangle known as Kensington Olympia.

People were dressed in relaxed shirt sleeve order with smiles on their faces. However, when the train stopped a gentleman – I use that phrase lightly – entered the carriage, and brought with him a sinister violent air to proceedings. He was naked from the waist up and carried a back-pack, a folded linen shirt and a soiled tweed blazer.

He had the appearance of the former rugby player Phil Greening on crack cocaine. His skin was blistered from the sun, giving him the visage of a labourer but his dusty dapper cloths confused me.

The sweet smell of vodka combined with sweat flagged warning signs in the mostly middle class carriage. He neatly folded his clothes then spied a hand rail to hang them on. He crouched on the floor, the carriage had lost its Friday feeling, and the racist opened his bag.

The carriage held its collective breath and watched him but tried not to let him see us watching him. Relief. He pulled out an empty Tupperware box and some skin lotion, he proceeded to moisturise his reptilian skin and use the blackened window as a mirror. The carriage believed him to be a drug addict with an average tailor and we were trying to work out if a bag of crack was about to be produced with his snarling attitude.

The silent, nervous carriage moved serenely from the Lords and Ladies of KIng’s Road to South Kensington and its wealth of museums. South Kensington is often full of children taking their first steps of learning at the Natural History Museum.

It is a marvellous area for kids.

But not today.

Two children barely a day over eight – of African descent – walked onto the tube and our sketchy commuter spied them and screamed with unprecedented venom: “This is England. This is England, what? Get used to it – This is England. this ain’t no fucking Islamic state get used to it.”

Thankfully the children seemed oblivious and their shocked father ushered them off the tube to the sanctuary of the platform. This was, perhaps, the cruelest bigoted thing I have had the displeasure of observing in my life. Innocence meeting a racist yob turned me pale.

Now full of braggadocio and an undeserved swagger, the racist eyed the carriage. I was safe from his barbs because of my skin.

“You wear a fucking turban. Wanker. I wear nothing,” he shouted at a Sikh reading the paper returning home. “I wear what I want because I’m English and this ain’t no fucking Islamic state.”

Silence. Fear. Disbelief.

“Hey leave it out,” said the beautiful girl to my side.

The shaven headed racist spun his ire, not to her but to an African teenager who had the misfortune to have joined the train and – in the racist’s opinion – to be brought up a Muslim.   
“You want to fuck off – this is England,” screamed the racist.

The carriage shook in silence.

“What did you say,” responded the incredulous young man on his way home.

The racist popped up like a viper ready to fight and snarled at the world.

“I said you want to fuck off and look and me. This ain’t no Islamic state. This ain’t no Islamic state. This ain’t no Islamic state,” he chided the air and looked directly at the poor boy.

The boy, obviously distressed by being racially abused on his journey home, snapped up like a cobra and asked the racist: “What the fuck did you say?”

The racist jumped to his feet like gymnast and licked his lips like a dog before supper.

“Don’t fucking say that – don’t look at me, this is England not an Islamic state you cunt,” the racist bellowed.

Incensed by the abuse the young man stepped forward and asked the racist what he meant. However, the question was met with a right hand to the jaw. The young man took it well, as the train pulled into Gloucester Road, and despite clattering into a few octogenarians turned on his heels in retaliation.

The young man swung from the rafters and his watch clipped the racist’s expertly ducking head, which split open and sent blood spraying all over the beautiful girl to my right.

This was London at three minutes to six not Basra at noon.

I sat, like the coward I am, in shock and outrage whilst the brave few grabbed the upset abused young man. Not a soul touched the bloodied racist, who appeared to be in his element like a ringmaster with a disabled elephant.

The train stopped at Gloucester Road to a sigh of relief.

What a state of affairs: a topless racist, with blood on his head, lording it over us while an upset chap is held by the brave. Once more the coward in me arose. The racist snarled and spouted abuse, the young man was calmed by the middle classes – who pleaded with him not to retaliate – and I left the carriage.

Disappointed by England, a notion that is held so dear, and reviled by this thug I thought of only one man: Nigel Farage: the toad that has made it acceptable to flaunt such vile beliefs on the usually jolly Friday tube home.

My heart bleeds for the abused – I sat in my flat in shock for two hours – and cannot imagine the depth of the poor boy’s wounded anger.

2 thoughts on “Racism on the tube

  1. Fantastic piece of writing. It should be in a national newspaper. I read it holding my breath as the horror unravelled. It is so vivid, I felt I was there.

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