August 1st, 2005

Race Relations

Our friend Khadijah (who is support worker with Social Services)was in Royton yesterday morning and three times she had guys crusing past in cars shout racist abuse at her.

Royton is the suburb of Oldham where I used to be a vicar. It's a "nice" area- upwardly mobile, and almost exclusively white.

Race relations are edgy round here at the best of times, but it looks like they've got edgier since the London bombings. Leastways Khadj has never encountered anything like this before.

She said she wanted to go up to the shouters and say, "Look, I'm a nice person. I'm doing a useful job here. What makes you think you can talk to me like that?"

Her boss would like to pull her out of Royton, but she doesn't want to go. "If I leave," she says, "they'll have won."