Ubuntu-it's a word describing an African worldview, which translates as "I am because you are," and which means that individuals need other people to be fulfilled. And that is what this blog is all about.My contact details are: Ayoub Mzee- Tel +447960811614, email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively you can watch my program- swahili diaries on BEN TV SKY 184 or www.bentelevision.com every week Tuesdays at 10pm and Sundays at 10AM.
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One wonders what the good people of Airedale, Castleford in Yorkshire are doing whilst their neighbours - a hard working family- are subjected to the most appalling racial abuse and threats of violence.
The Sidhu family who run the local convenience store at the Square in Airedale, Castleford have made a plea to their torturers:
“Please leave us alone we just want to live our lives.”
Charanjit Sidhu, her husband Kulwinder Singh Sidhu and their two children, aged three and eight, have been subjected to a growing level of intimidation and abuse since they took over the Premier shop two years ago. That abuse includes racial insults, eggs being thrown at the shop and threats that their premises, where they live and work, will be burnt to the ground.
Sidhu’s request full of humility, from one neighbor to another is about as basic as one can ask. Actually he should not ask, but demand much more. First he should demand that the police uphold the law and prosecute those who are making death threats. Regarding his neighbours and the shoppers, those who say nothing, or do nothing are in affect colluding with the racist thugs who terrorise with impunity.
Mrs. Sidhu, 34, said:
There’s been something almost every day for the last six months and we have had enough. We just want to be able to live our lives.”
The family, who are of Indian heritage, but were all born in the UK began having problems after barring some teenage shoplifters.
This has all the hallmarks of the shocking case in Lancashire where an Asian shop owner Mal Hussein was forced out of his shop in 2005 after enduring 14 years of intimidation including 4,000 incidents of racism, his shop firebombed and being shot at with live bullets. The police, the authorities and local residents stood idly by and did nothing.
Mr. and Mrs. Sidhu and their children deserve better. It is utterly shameful that their family should grow up under a cloud of racist bigotry not knowing if a petrol bomb will be thrown on their premises, endangering their lives.
Italy's first black Minister, Cecile Kyenge, has a lot on her plate. In a country where racism is not only tolerated but at times is encouraged by certain political parties, Kyenge will have to fight hard and stay strong. So far, she has been doing an excellent job. Her sense of humour, resilience and ability to change peoples' minds is making her a star in the often murky world of Italian politics.
This morning, she announced her refusal to take part in the Party political debate held by the Northern League- Lega Nord'. The Northern League has some of the most racist politicians including Calderoli, who has in past compared Kyenge to an orangutan. She initially accepted an invitation but since recent events has felt that she could no longer take part in the Northern League’s event. Many have seen her decision to pull out as a wise move which consolidates her commitment not to concede to racism and bigotry.
In part, her decision was made easy after she requested Roberto Maroni, MP and National Secretary of the Northern League to make a firm public declaration condemning the racial abuse directed towards her by members of his party. The Northern League refused to give her an apology or commitment not to racially abuse. In true Kyenge style however, she declared to the Northern League:
Dialogue is always open.”
As an Italian woman living in London, I like many Italians are appalled by the levels of racism in our country and also with the treatment dished out to this fine politician.
Thankfully when we watch or hear Kyenge speak, we are filled with hope. Hope that our country can change, that it can become more open, progressive and dynamic. We even have hope that the Northern League can change too, although not that much.