The Good Immigrant

9781783522958

Go back to your own country. Curry bastard. Rag head. Job thief. Corner-shop prick. Paki. Get out. All tirades of abuse that I’ve heard in my lifetime, on multiple occasions. That’s almost a daily narrative here in the UK for many people like me. It doesn’t even phase me anymore. I laugh in the face of ignorance.

So, when I saw this book in Foyles bookshop in London earlier this year, I was intrigued. A book by someone like me written for people like me? I just had to get it, however, budget issues and profligacy from the night before meant I had to let it go. But now, 3 months later, I finally have a copy!

I feel like this book will be good for me. In recent years, I’ve somewhat whitewashed myself. I shortened my name because it was “easier” for white people to pronounce. I changed my look, my attitude. I invested in skin lighteners, picked up drinking and even became more promiscuous. All things that went against the values I was raised with. I changed everything about me just so I would fit in more.

Integrate they say. I integrated. Follow our rules, they say. I followed. But still, I’m not one of them nor will I ever be. The colour of my skin doesn’t allow me to be. And it’s not my fault. It’s them – they’ll never see me as an equal. And that’s fine. I don’t need to be anyone’s equal. I’m simply me and if I do say so myself, I fucking slay.

To read similar experiences from people like me is something I very much need in my life. I’ve only read the first letter and already I’m loving it. I’ll be sure to give the book a review once I’ve read it all.

I have to say that the comment I made earlier about drinking and promiscuity was not shade. It’s just not something I was raised with so I’m not looking down on it. I’m just saying – it’s not who I was. If I drink and have sex now – it’s for my pleasure and mine only. I love me some tequila!

However, I will not be shamed into not wearing shalwar kameez; or into changing my own fucking name – I mean it’s a name for Christ’s sake. If you can’t pronounce, learn to read your own goddamn language! I will not be shamed into hiding my Asian heritage just because you don’t think it belongs here. Guess what – I was born here, I’m British and I’m Asian. Suck my dick!

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