Perhaps I am. Perhaps I choose my approach because I myself was born to a 17yr old single mother, my schoolfriends and I were raised by people who 'couldn't keep their knees together' on the council estates of South London, who were ground down by poverty and the dismissal of society and the culture of greed and avarice and selfishness. If I was a kid now, I would be the 'chav scum' that I keep reading and hearing about today. I was saved by being taught by liberal hippies at the Bermondsey Free School and, despite gaining no formal qualifications, being treated as an intelligent, creative worthwhile to society, made me a proud, creative, hardworking, passionate contributor to society.
As horrified as I am, and empathic with the fear and frustration that so many of us feel today, I refuse to take sides in a war between the overwhelmed police and the misguided youth of our cities. I think that we need to look at the big picture - why both our middle-class and working class youth have taken to violence and looting this year as the financial meltdown intensifies. The depressing racism and snobbery and unwillingness to take group responsibility is not helping. We don't know whether the shooting last week was justified, there was no trial, the investigation is pending. Meanwhile our youth believe that their lives have no value in society and so they are returning the favour in the most appalling, mindless way. I refuse to be mindlesss and destructive in return.
This is more than just delinquency. This is a sign of our times. I want change not blame. I want understanding not judgement. I want progress not name-calling and bigoted labelling. That's what my energy is for. That's what my life is for. And that what I am going to do with it. And if that makes me wet, (as some have called me today) let me be an ocean.
About Rikki Beadle-Blair
Born and raised in South London before migrating
to the mean streets of Primrose Hill - dedicated
to a life of creativity & inspiration, truth & miracles.
Rikki is the ultimate romantic - in love with every one,
every thing and every breath of life.
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