Ruth & Subash's Story of Strength

RUTH & SUBASH’S STORY

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Ruth and Subash are a couple living in Lincoln. They are married with two children. In this testimony, they speak of a recent hate crime experience involving a flyer left in the family car. The experience made an impact on them, not only because of the racist content within the flyer but because it seemed to be directly targeted at Ruth and Subash who are a mixed race couple. Consisting of hate HI|ed rhetoric, the flyer was anonymously left in their car. Ruth and Subash have no way of knowing who left the leaflet and how it was left but wanted to discuss the incident and contribute to the Hate Crime Project to raise awareness of the issue.

Subash: You see, I found the leaflet in my car – on the passenger side because my car really needed cleaning so when I tried to empty the side basket I found this leaflet. Really, I’m not sure how it ended up there. Normally I chuck them out in the bin but when I saw the picture on the front of the leaflet…

Ruth: It was a horrible picture…

Subash: …a very horrible picture with a negative connotation. I think I felt something wrong in there. I didn’t read it fully and I handed it to Ruth…

Ruth: …oh no, I read it.

Subash: I felt there was something wrong in it…

Ruth: It was a picture of a doll with stitched… it had stitches across the face in different directions and one bit was brown… it looked a bit like… it was brown with white patches on it. It was a scary, horrible looking dolly even before they”d changed the image and the message in it was absolutely horrible. What upset me was that it was aimed at mixed couples which we are. It was aimed at mums of girls which… I’m a mum and I have a girl and it was aimed at Christians, which we are, and it was aimed at Indians. But the leaflet… it went on about how little girls like to grow up to look like their mummies and how awful it must be to see your mum and know you’ll never look like her and that she did that to you deliberately! Well, neither of our children look like me, they’ve both favoured the Indian genes. It just says things like you did it on purpose to make them look that way and that it is evil and wrong to marry because you were, for the man, in particular, ignoring all your years of heritage and culture and these children will have no heritage or culture but the way we see it is they have two cultures…

Subash: That’s the one thing that really struck me and really felt awful. In my life, I take everything positively. But, on reading that, I felt really awful.

Ruth: I don’t know how it got in the car and what scares me is how horrible it is to be on the receiving
end of it. And, actually, I found that leaflet in particular absolutely very hurtful because I felt it was aimed at me. It’s just hate. It’s just filled with hate. And, in the long run, we’ve got each other and we’ve got family and we have got friends but you… you’ve just got your hate. It has hurt us but they’re not going to succeed in destroying our relationship.

Subash: You know whoever has written this and distributed this leaflet has got to be mindful of the world that we are living in at the moment. We are in a small global village where we all need each other… to support each other and to understand each other and that’s really vital and therefore we can all live in peace and happiness. Whoever wrote that leaflet – you’re rubbish – you’ve got the message wrong and you deliberately tried to terrify us and, to the wider society, please stop doing it.