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Julie (not her real name) is British, through and through. Her father came here decades ago, from Jamaica. Her mother is English. So she’s British. Not in the Midlands, though. There, she’s a half-caste. Mixed race. Mulatto.


'Nigger’ to her neighbours, and those who thrust National Front (NF) hate mail through her door. ‘Black cunt’ to the kids pushing lighted paper and matches into the window of her two-year-old daughter’s bedroom.

She won’t crack in front of me. And I don’t tell her that the current NF leadership have offered to meet with me. But she does care, when it comes to her kids. ‘No one’s going to ’urt my kids. No one.’

She’s had bricks through the windows, eggs thrown against the walls. Been called a ‘black bastard’ by mothers of other kids, when she collects her boy from school and seen her boy and girl called ‘little black bastards’ by those same women. ‘I’ll put ‘em six feet under if that little black fucker comes near me!’ screams one mum. A mother, not a tattooed neo-nazi.

I’m reminded of the scenes at the Holy Cross Primary school in Northern Ireland, when Catholic kids have to endure a wall of hatred and need police protection to walk through a Protestant estate. The sheer hate and fear rippling through the faces truly terrify me, because I’ve been and seen places where this can lead.

‘I even had a bloke come up to me on a bus,’ Julie says, ‘who said he was going to rape me. That was after they’d already tried to run me down on a motorbike.’

‘I just hate those people now,’ she says, not even looking me in the eye. ‘What else can you say about them? About a whole place – my entire estate – when this goes on? With me kids crying all the time, getting beaten up. When even a little white girl can come up to me, at me own door, and call me a ‘black bastard’. Where do you think she learns that, eh?’




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