Saturday, 3 December 2011

My tramp experience

So you've probably seen the video of the lady* being racist on a tram in London. If you haven't, here it is for your viewing pleasure. Or not. I was going to post something with the above title on my facebook page but just as the thought came to me, another thought hit me. What makes me different from that lady? OK, of course I'm not racist, I don't go about hurling abuse at people because they look different from me. I don't go about swearing and telling people to go and sort out their countries and leave mine alone. No, I don't do all those things. So the tram lady is a bad woman. She is an evil, horrible person. Or is she?

I read something the day before I saw that video for the first time. It was written by the guy at 'Single dad laughing'. I love that blog. He's a very successful blogger/writer and when you read his stuff you can see why. Anyway, the post was titled 'I'm Christian, unless you're gay'. It's a very challenging piece of writing. The whole gist of it is about love, i.e. we can't claim to be Christians if we don't show love to the people around us. And I'm not talking about that 'church love' where we smile with our teeth and say 'I love you with the love of the Lord'. I mean loving people that are different from us. Loving people that don't look like us, talk like us, dress like us or act like us. It's not easy, but that's what being a Christian is all about, and I was challenged. So, I encourage you to read that post; it might change your life, as it has already done for many.

So, back to the tram lady. Are we really that different from her? Now, I'm not saying we are all bad, horrible people; we all know some are worse than others. But seriously though, if your mind was open for all to see and read, would they be encouraged or outraged by what they see? Would they think 'wow, I'm blessed' or would they think 'you hypocrite!'? I don't know about you but I don't think I'd be comfortable with people knowing my thoughts 24/7. Maybe it's just me. The thing is we may not openly insult someone but how many times have we done it in our minds? We may say we're not racist but how many times have we said words like 'you know how these white people can be' or something similar? Or for my fellow Nigerians how many times have we judged someone just because they're from a different tribe? (If you don't have close friends that are from a different tribe/race from you, be honest and ask yourself why). How many times have we looked at someone weirdly maybe because they're too fat ('all she does is stuff her face'), or too skinny ('she must be bulimic/anorexic'), or ugly ('hasn't she heard of make-up'?) or loud ('she obviously didn't have a good upbringing')?

Now I'm not condoning what the woman did (heck, I'm one of the immigrants she was insulting!) but what I'm trying to say is that none of us are perfect. Let me bring it back to the Bible. You know Jesus actually said if you look at a someone lustfully you've already committed adultery in your heart with them. Hating someone in your heart is equivalent to murder. I didn't say it, He did. I must say I joined in with the conversations about how terrible this woman is, how her poor child would grow up to be a monster because he has to hear this everyday, how she obviously is uneducated and ignorant, etc, etc. But then I hear about people sending her death threats and I'm like, who is worse- the racist lady or the person that wants to kill her? Let him that is without sin cast the first stone, right?

Anyway, I just wanted to get us thinking. There are racist people in this world, and there always will be. Some may need a bit of alcohol to get them going, but most are very good at hiding it. We don't have to be OK with it, but we can accept that fact and get on with our lives. Go to work on yourself first and you'll be amazed at what a better place this world can be. #justsaying.

*I use this term very loosely.


  1. wow, interesting read, and very true, recently i read about not hurting your brother - 'don't judge so you won't be judged, Remove the plank in your eye so that u can see clearly to remove the speck in your brother's eye'. also, with the 'i am christian unless you're gay' God doesn't hate anyone, there are things he hates, but it's not people, He loves people so much, and He commands us to love people the way He does, we've been enabled to, all we have to do is exercise that love. i miss u!

  2. You definitely got me thinking with this one, Renny. I mean, I would not be comfortable having my thoughts read 24/7 ... just saying. I did not get to watch the video (apparently, it has been removed from YouTube), but from what you said, she must have said pretty horrible things. But what makes me uncomfortable is not people who are openly hateful, but the ones who call themselves your friends and yet would stab you in 10 seconds i.e. 'Frenemies.') The love Jesus preached is an active kind of love, but if you have not received that love yourself, you cannot give it out to anyone else.

  3. @Chisome, miss you too! And you're so correct. We are called to love, not to judge. Unfortunately it's so easy to pick out other people's faults as this usually means we don't have to focus on our own. Grace...

    @Relentless! Shame that the video was removed. From my understanding, the police were looking into it, and to be honest I think it was inciting further hatred; it was that bad. Thankfully I haven't had many 'frenemies' in my time but I know what you mean! And when it comes to love, I agree, you can't give what you don't have.