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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Hideous racism on a Swansea bus

I had the misfortune to travel on a Townhill bus two days ago. Normally, I have no qualms about doing so, and find the overwhelming majority of Townhill people to be good, decent folk, despite what popular folklore says about them. But on Monday, I had the misfortune to share the bus with a vile, uneducated, belligerent old bigot.

The guy was seventy if he was a day - old enough to know better, in my eyes. First of all, he started the usual nonsense of 'send all the buggers back where they came from'. Then, he started on about Islamic extremism and the recent failed bomb attacks, dubbing all immigrants, Muslims especially, as murderous, psychopathic, religious nutcases. Now bear in mind that this was a packed bus, with people of various ethnic and religious origins sitting side by side. There was an Indian family on the bus, a mum, dad and toddler. This hateful old sod suddenly yells at the top of his voice 'the only good Indian is a dead Indian', once again adding a few Islamophobic comments into the mix. He was too pig ignorant to recognise, by the woman's dress, that they were Hindus. And so what if they had been Muslim. Was the baby hiding a bomb in his teddy bear? I don't think so.

The bus had barely left the Quadrant, in Swansea's city centre, when all this happened. A heavily pregnant, black Muslim lady and her two small daughters boarded at Bellevue Way, and a woman sitting on the long side seat at the front of the bus, gave her seat to them, so that the very grateful pregnant lady could sit. Well, that old duffer really kicked off then. 'I can remember, only forty years ago, if one of them had a seat on the bus, and one of us got on and didn't have a seat, the conductor would chuck the black bastard off'.

I was fuming by now, and several other passengers showed signs of discomfort and irritation. I spun around in my seat, and gave him a vile glare. I was about to say something, but I'm ashamed to say, I chickened out. The old fart was sitting with three or four hard nuts, who sat there nodding and agreeing with him. They all bristled when I fired the racist pig a filthy look, and one gave me an especially menacing glare. I then understood why the Indian couple sat there in such quiet dignity, pretending they couldn't hear the filth being uttered against them.

I wish I'd had the guts to say something, I really do. Racist morons like that ignorant old fool, only add fuel to the flames of extremism. I'm a white atheist, as well as a pacifist, but I'd have happily chucked a bomb at that old bugger, I was in such a rage at his racist tirade. Several people I know, including my mother, have witnessed similar racist incidents on local buses in the last few weeks. I've a good mind to ask First Cymru what their policy is on this, and suggest to them that their drivers boot off anyone spouting racist filth. After all, it's as much of a criminal offence as vandalising a bus or fare evasion. If I don't want to hear that filth, I'm sure the targets of it want to hear it even less. It's revolting, it really is, and next time, hard nuts or no hard nuts, I'm doing something, even if it is just complaining to the driver, and then complaining to First Cymru, if the driver fails to eject the offender.

1 comment:

Aileni said...

Sian, I can look back over forty years, sixty years of bus travel and never heard of anyone being put off a bus to make way for anyone.
I am surprised somebody did give up a seat, nice to know it still happens.
I have to say I preferred the fifties to today but gits such as you describe were about then.
There have been five decades of deteriorating social mores to encourage such behaviour. These individuals believe, know even, they can get away with it.
Take care who you tackle, they also like to intimidate the vulnerable.