It takes a lot of confidence to be this ridiculous.
Following the dramatic events of Friday 16th October in Liverpool, I wrote about my ordeal in my own words for Black Ballad. Read on for my official statement:
“Things continued to escalate and I raised hell on that train. I yelled and screamed and called out every single passenger on that train for sitting there silently like spineless cowards as this huge white man verbally and physically assaulted me because I am a black woman. The white passengers started to tell me to calm down and said I was making a scene. Imagine it. I was the victim of a hate crime and not once did anybody ask if I was okay. Instead, they tried to silence me.
“Now, throughout this entire episode there was another black woman who sat just behind my table, closest to the altercation and she remained silent. She sat there and said nothing as this white man abused me, knowing that it could have easily been her. She left me to drown out in the ocean on my own and almost sink. The only other woman of colour on my train was a Muslim woman who, instead of coming to my rescue in solidarity and support, started crying and turning attention away from my victimhood and helped to paint me as a troublemaker. She cried and everyone said I was upsetting her. At no point did anybody put the blame on the white man who assaulted me. A white man at the back of the train told me I should walk away from the situation… on a packed train. Walk away to where exactly? Did I not have a right to be on the train with them? Was I too not a civilian? Was I not a member of the public? I was not allowed to take up space it seemed. I told him off for whitesplaining and victim blaming. Note that still, nobody but Stephen came to my aid. It was only when fat racist guy threatened to hit me again and started cackling and making jungle sounds and monkey noises at me that some people moved him away, but he was still yelling racist abuse at me throughout right until the police arrived. The train was stopped – there was no way I was going to let anybody get home. If they did not care about me as a human being, they would learn to understand that racism is, at the very least, an inconvenience for everyone. For some of us it is a life or death issue, but I was at least satisfied with making them feel uncomfortable.
“The saga ended with me spending three hours in a police station in Liverpool reliving the incident. The police arrested fat racist guy (but he wasn’t dragged away in handcuffs like he most certainly would have been had he been a black man) and he may well be going to court on the grounds of racially aggravated common assault and being a public nuisance.
“The minute I got to the police station I called my friends and asked them to tweet about this for me until I could speak for myself. Why? Because I don’t underestimate the power of social media. I wanted people to know what happened to me. I wanted people to know my name. I wanted people to help me share my story. I did not censor any of the violent language deliberately. I wanted everyone to feel as horrified as I was.
“By the time I was able to get online my story had already started making the rounds. It went viral in a matter of hours and became a trending topic in the UK. Why does this matter? It started a conversation about addressing the elephant in the room in British society. Many people thought I was talking about America. No, this happened to me on a train in Liverpool, United Kingdom. What did I do to deserve it? I existed as black and woman. That’s all.”
Read more on Black Ballad here.
And listen to ‘Elephant’ here.