I fear this blog post will turn into a rant so, in advance, I wish to apologise. But I have been sitting on this since last night so I need to get it out of my system.
Yesterday, a gay couple won a court case. From what I understand, this couple were turned away from a B&B, because the woman realised that they were a couple and turned them away, saying it went against her Christian faith. I'm not talking about this as I don't really understand this case.
What I am talking about are the tweets from Nick Griffin, leader of the far right political party, the BNP. In a space of two hours, he tweeted the following: "If anyone can give us address of the 2 bullying 'gay' activists who've won case v Christian B&B owners, we'll hold demo … for rights of all home owners, gays included, to rent or not rent rooms to whomsoever they wish." and "A British Justice team will come up to [the couple's address] & give you [the couple] a … bit of drama by way of reminding you that an English couple's home is their castle. Say No to heterophobia!"
Later, he then tweeted "Why don’t left & gay activists confront Muslims instead of picking on meek & forgiving Christians? Bullies are always cowards!" and continued to defend his comments by saying he spoke out for the "silent majority" and "I think people have the right to discriminate."
I'm sorry, but pardon? He thought that his actions were ALRIGHT?!
Let's talk about his tweets and himself. Nick Griffin is the leader of a far right political party who, until recently (due to a law change), only accepted white men (and then used the term "I have black friends"). This is the man who describled gay people as "creepy" and would ban civil partners while claiming he had made his political party more gay friendly (which doesn't make sense!). This is the man who thought tweeting these words was acceptable, even though it revealed private information, was threatening and homophobic.
And he speaks for the "silent majority"? Is this the silent majority who were so outraged that they complained to Twitter to have him removed (he was but, strangely, the account seems to be reactivated this morning)? Is this the silent majority who phoned and emailed the Police, demanding an investigation into his words? Is this the silent majority who emailed the Prime Minister (via 10 Downing Street's website), demanding action for, not only did he break Twitter's Terms and Conditions, but he broke the law (I can't remember the act in question, but I know it's dated 2003)?
I know some of you are wondering why this upsets and angers me so much? I live in the UK and I know what the BNP stand for and I am against their views. So why am I so angry over it?
Because it brings a horrible truth: discrimination still happens.
In the last 100 years, women were fighting for the right to vote, the right to be seen as equal to any man. 100 years ago, people thought that if you didn't have the right skin colour, you were a second class citizen. 100 years ago, if you were gay, you would go to jail because it was against the law. 100 years ago, if you worshipped the "wrong" religion, then you would go to hell.
And look where we are now. We have a black President of the United States, Australia has a female Prime Minister. The UK had a woman Prime Minister in the 80s. People have the same rights, despite their gender, despite the colour of their skin, despite their religious beliefs.
And yet, more has to be done for equality.
I was bought up, believing that everyone is equal. That everyone is important. It didn't matter whether you were male or female, gay or straight, able-bodied or disabled, whether you are religious or not, etc.
I could go on with this list I won't as I don't want to waste any more of you valuable time, and I know how busy you all are.
I still believe in that view. So seeing non-equality really angers and upsets me. I know where still have a long way to go before we all live in a world where everyone in the world is treated the same. As equal.
So, my dear readers, I wanted to say that. I will be there, hoping for the day this happen. It might take days, weeks, months, years. I might not see it in my lifetime. I hope I do see this before I die. But, I wanted to say this:
YOU ARE IMPORTANT.
Whoever you are, you are important. You are valued. You are an equal to the person next to you. You have every right to be who you are, and don't let anyone take that away from you. We will change the world to be a better place. Might take a while, but we will get there. So be you.