I’ll never understand the pride people take in saying, “I was born and bred here” or the use of the same phrase to defend one’s perceived superiority or deservingness of housing, health care or other basic human rights.

I mean, what did you, yourself, actually do to influence where you were born or bred? Unless you were a particularly ambitious embryo, the answer is “nothing”. Sure, your parents might have made some kind of effort to select your place of birth. Maybe they strove to move to better housing in a neighbourhood with better services and schools. Maybe they’re even immigrants, like my dad, and they struggled long and hard to learn their fourth language in order to integrate into their adopted country. But you? You didn’t do anything. Why are you so proud of that? Think of the things you've accomplished in your life. Isn't it far more fitting and fulfilling to be proud of those?

And why the obsession with asserting the superiority of a single identity over the others? “I’m English first and then British.” Pro-tip: Most of the rest of the world considers both of those to be synonymous with “ex-colonialist imperialist arsehole” so it doesn’t really matter which one you choose. ^.^

Here is a list of the geographically-linked identities that I consider myself able to lay claim to. I’m proud of some and not others.

  • American
  • British
  • European
  • Hawai’ian
  • Filipino
  • Olympian
  • Seattleite
  • Angeleno
  • San Diegan
  • Londoner
  • Brummie (this is a new one; still feels a little odd)


Today, I think I’m proudest of being European. I earned that identity and that passport, and I’m still very pissed off that some people want to take it away.

Today is also, weirdly, simultaneously:

  • the anniversary of Brexit, aka the Colossal Waste of Time and Money Foisted Upon Us by a Generation That Tore Down Decades of Painstakingly Won Goodwill with Our Neighbours and Won’t Live to Experience the Disastrous Consequences, Thanks a Lot, Dickheads.

    And

  • International Women in Engineering Day


So, to close this post, here is a peaceful photo of a woman doing some engineering.

Scientist at work
Sorry to hit you with depressing posts about racism twice in a row, but I need to get this off my chest. I will do an Unscientific Poll later, I promise.

CN: Details of a threatening incident which occurred last Friday. )

I'm disabling comments on this entry because I can't deal with anyone else's feelings about this right now. I will, especially, have no patience with anyone telling me that everything's going to be fine in the next few months. It's absolutely not fine. None of this is fine. It's going to be awful. The agonisingly slow economic recovery we were experiencing before 23 June, which gave a glimmer of hope that austerity might be eased in the coming months, is completely gone. Austerity is at the root of much of the discontent that drove the referendum vote, and it is going to stay with us, and it will get worse. And so will the racism and the xenophobia.
Virgin_train_graffiti.jpg

My message to Virgin Trains Customer Relations:
Hello,
I was on the [HH:MM] on Thursday, 7 July 2016, from London Euston to Birmingham New Street. I had booked Seat [XX] in Quiet Coach [Y]. Just above my seat on the Quiet Coach sign, someone had written "BNP". Someone else had tried unsuccessfully to scratch it out, but the graffiti, as shown in the attached photo, was still clearly visible.

As a mixed-race British citizen, I found this unsettling. I did not particularly enjoy sitting underneath a blatant piece of unimaginative racist propaganda for the entirety of my journey. Would it be possible for the sign in the coach of that train to be replaced? I presume there is a way of identifying which train was running that route at that time?
Thank you,
[nanila]
.

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Mad Scientess
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