RACIST?

Racist ! some would say of me,

For the English and England are all to me.

Roots of centuries in the blood

From English seed and English bud.

To both of these I stay steadfast,

My present formed by ages past.

Let others be what they must be -

Secure in their identity.

..............................................................

◄ POET

BE STILL - re-posted version ►

Comments

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M.C. Newberry

Wed 21st Apr 2021 14:32

The views expressed are always welcome. I remain an advocate of
being proud of a history and identity that meant something to the world and regret that this seems a reason to be labelled racist
by some. And that this attitude of mind often seems to be a "one way street" in this context nowadays.
Over and out. 🎓

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Ferris Ty Taylor

Wed 21st Apr 2021 13:11

I think it is dangerous to compare the struggle of being labelled racist, and being a victim of racial abuse.

One involves becoming significantly less popular based on your political beliefs, and the other excludes you from life chances due to your ethnicity.

They are not comparable struggles and the suggestion that they are makes this website look although it lacks nuance and an understanding of rudimentary social science.

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Graham Parker

Wed 21st Apr 2021 12:32

MC, or would you prefer to be called John Bull? Just a pasing tease through my mind there.
I'm a fully paid up member of the devil's advocate club, will champion the underdog in every rat race and defend the right to speak till I have no tongue left. I'll equally defend my own origins, which I don't hold as dear as you do yours, but if I don't, I cannot support any other claiming theirs for whatever purpose it suits them.
If you bask in waters where the salts are abrahsive, don't be surprised when your skin gets burnt.
There is a space for claiming your heritage, there are ways you can convey your dissatisfaction with how you think you are being denied it, but I think you have missed the target with this piece. All you have done it thrown petrol on wood you knew was already burning.
Your comparison does not really work either. The north american natives where of one culture and background, the english are mongrels and are culturally infused. How far back and wide can you trace your pristine genetics? It is a substantial claim to say you may have such purity of heritage, no matter what you may think that is.
I grew up through the late 70's and early 80's where your sentiments, the carrying of the flag of St. George or even wearing a n English national sport shirt WAS the domain of the racist. It took many of us years to claim the English flag back for ourselves, and not be excluded by being shamed for who we are.

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Graham Sherwood

Wed 21st Apr 2021 09:32

I can't think of many pure races of the world these days (perhaps the Inuit type people, although I'm not sure of that) so we are all mongrels to some extent.

What I find really saddening is that instead of trying to understand one another, we throw labels around, some of which are insidiously damaging and prevent us all from moving to a closer acknowledgement of each others lot.

To me, skin colour is the least of the problem if one is talking of racism. It's what is coming out of people's mouths that does the damage.

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kJ Walker

Wed 21st Apr 2021 07:52

M C.
This has nothing to do with being English, it is about being able to trace your English roots for centuries. Therefore it is about being white and having an English sounding name.
I'm English and happen to be white, but I'm not naive enough to think that all our country's achievements have been made by white people.
The demographic of this country has changed, and will continue to change. You have got to learn to embrace the change. It's what truly makes us English.

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Your Royal Poetess

Tue 20th Apr 2021 22:00

This poem by no means illustrates you being proud of being English...

It is abundantly clear how racist you’re from all your comments on my poems that ONLY relate to BLACK people, and you try to justify their murders.

It is also evident you have some unlearning to do, your pride is blinding you and you’re seeing things through the eyes of the privileged.

Do better - good-bye.

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M.C. Newberry

Tue 20th Apr 2021 21:28

YRP - keep believing that if it helps.

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M.C. Newberry

Tue 20th Apr 2021 21:26

GP - it is not lost on me that if I were claiming recognition as a member of the Sioux or of some other notable indigenous people elsewhere,there would surely be welter of supportive comments
about my "right" to an identity. And that the likelihood of my being
called racist as a result would be non-existent - right? Yet, here in the UK, any claim to rejoice in Englishness and England is likely to seized on by some as evidence of racism. It is this sort of nonsense
I sought to illustrate in my verse. And the responses support my
suspicions about that supposition.

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Your Royal Poetess

Tue 20th Apr 2021 21:15

It is not a belief, it is pure fact. For you to deny it is YOUR PRIVILEGE showing.

Educate yourself.

Just admit you’re racist and keep it moving lol.

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M.C. Newberry

Tue 20th Apr 2021 21:10

YRP -
Believe what you will - that's your privilege. End of story. .

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Graham Parker

Tue 20th Apr 2021 21:08

I note you do not deny what the "others" say of you, but merely affirm your claim to some identity or other.

I'm currently reading The 20th Century in Poets. It's a telling tale of how, in those 100 years poets have sat either side of the Imperialist fence, some rallying behind the flag, soveriegn and the glory of death for one's country while others question hitherto unquestioned certainties, set in stone beliefs that have gone on to be eroded by truth to sand.

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Ferris Ty Taylor

Tue 20th Apr 2021 20:11

Here here yrp

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Your Royal Poetess

Tue 20th Apr 2021 20:09

Quite an interesting title...

Nevertheless, there are no “roots” in this country, England has no identity, it was built by “immigrants” and slavery. In addition to the systematic racism and zero accountability for the things they have done. I see nothing to have pride in.

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M.C. Newberry

Tue 20th Apr 2021 19:48

To amend a previous entry - this should have referred to Alice
Duer Miller (my error) whose famous poem "The White Cliffs" sold 700,000
copies and is said to have contributed towards America's
entry into WW2. It ends with these words by its American author-
"I have seen much to hate here
Much to forgive,
But in a world where England is finished and dead
I do not wish to live".
JC - My own thoughts are centred on the last thousand years
when what became understood throughout the world developed
and perpetuated - even finding a role in those comics where the words "For you, Englander, ze var is over!" were uttered from
enemy mouths, no matter which sort of Brit. was on the receiving .
end.
A monumental thousand years that created an extraordinary alchemy of fortuitous adventuring, artistic creativity and
competitive actions in war that achieved global eminence that
resonates even now, in and beyond this green and pleasant land.

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John Coopey

Tue 20th Apr 2021 16:38

I disagree, Greg. There is little more facile than judging the actions of yesteryear by those of today. If you need more proof of this ask yourself if events of today (egBojo’s handling of COVID) should be judged today or in a thousand years.
MC, you did not say what the date was for us to establish “English” heritage.

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M.C. Newberry

Tue 20th Apr 2021 15:33

For the record - I was a post-war child of the forties through to the "Festival of Britain" early fifties when England had a far greater sense
of herself and what she stood for in the story of the world. From
Chaucer on, through countless episodes in various milieus, she has
stood for something worth taking pride in and if today's revisionists
are content to put that aside, then that is their right. I do not share
their contemporary flexible view.
The poet Alice Meynell wrote about a less perfect England - but included her thoughts that she would not want to live in a world
in which England did not exist. I remember and I'm grateful when
Yeats' words from his poem The Second Coming are all too
recognisable nowadays.

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Ferris Ty Taylor

Tue 20th Apr 2021 00:14

racism
/ˈreɪsɪz(ə)m/
noun
prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism by an individual, community, or institution against a person or people on the basis of their membership of a particular racial or ethnic group, typically one that is a minority or marginalized.

"a programme to combat racism"

the belief that different races possess distinct characteristics, abilities, or qualities, especially so as to distinguish them as inferior or superior to one another.
"theories of racism"

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Greg Freeman

Mon 19th Apr 2021 23:24

Just for the record, MC, I take no pride in being English these days. Quite the reverse. PS History is always being rewritten, John. That is what historians do. If you are a historian, you accept that there is not a settled view of what history is. There never will be. New evidence is always being uncovered.

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M.C. Newberry

Mon 19th Apr 2021 22:58

It appears that there is a mindset that is perfectly willing to rejoice
in others' celebration and promotion of their forebears and origins at the drop of a hat yet remains curiously dismissive about a pride in being "English". On a lighter side, how about checking with the
average Jock,Taffy or Paddy living in England (all of whom I number among my friends over six adult decades) about being identified as "English" - and be prepared to duck. 😊 😮
P.S. Read my final two lines again.

Brian Blanchard

Mon 19th Apr 2021 20:29

Hi Mark...thank you for remembering...my birthday is today actually. No gumbo, but a big plate of chicken and waffles followed by brownie a la mode!

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John Coopey

Mon 19th Apr 2021 16:41

I too believe that rewriting the past to fit contemporary mores is stupid. History is what it was.
But is there an historic threshold before which your ancestry had to live in England? When is it, MC? And what if this ancestry was subsequently polluted by intermarriage with someone who could not pre-date the threshold? Could their descendants be said to be truly English? These were questions which exercised German eugenicists.

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Greg Freeman

Sun 18th Apr 2021 23:02

Angles, Saxons, Normans ... why the obsession with all this, MC? Pretty soon the break-up of the UK will leave England to the English, whoever they may actually be. Perhaps you will be happier then.

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M.C. Newberry

Sun 18th Apr 2021 15:48

Hello there Brian - good to hear from your neck of the woods.
I also recall that you are due another birthday about now - so have a great day. Will there be a big bowl of "Gumbo"?!! 🎂

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M.C. Newberry

Sun 18th Apr 2021 15:40

Thank you for the comments. But are we all "English" because
we happen to be here within England's borders...personal
perspective aside? The term "English" is an official ethnicity and
as such points to shared origins, similarities and characteristics.
It is these I rejoice in and celebrate.

Brian Blanchard

Sun 18th Apr 2021 15:32

Amen! Despite all the ongoing cancel culture, I am proud of my family history and values - both Southern American and English - and will not bow to re-interpretation of past events. Everyone should celebrate who they are without concerns or expectations of others, and history should be left to history. Keep up the good work Mark!

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kJ Walker

Sun 18th Apr 2021 08:41

I'm English and proud of it (well second to being a proud Yorkshireman), but I regard everybody residing in this country as fellow Englishmen.
To me it doesn't matter what the colour of their skin, what is their first language, or even their place of birth. If they have chosen to make this their home, then like me they are English.

"Roots of centuries in the blood" I can trace my lineage back to the sixteen hundreds, and accepting tentative links back to the Norman conquest. But I don't think that that makes me any more English than a third, second or even first generation immigrant.

Like you. I'm not a racist.

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keith jeffries

Sat 17th Apr 2021 18:20

Succinct but says it all. MC., I am with you all the way.
Thank you for this

Keith

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