PEOPLE from outside of West Belfast love to hear about our racism problems. Mainly because we try to give this aura that we’re so open-minded and welcoming of people with different skin colours. We try to maintain that we’re different than loyalist areas; in that we don’t have as many drug dealers and racists. But we probably do and it needs to stop being covered up.

Last year, I put this blog out after an experience during a taxi journey. The grief I received after it wasn’t unpleasant but some people weren’t happy. I was told to stop writing a load of shite and stop generalising the area all because of one racist taxi driver.

Listening to Tim Brannigan talking about his windows being broken at the weekend has forced me to write about this again. At first I thought there’d be a rally outside his house to support him. But then I remembered that Tim is a local person. We don’t need to impress him and lavish our services on him so he can write home and tell his relatives it’s all better now because the good people of West Belfast came to his rescue.

Never mind standing outside his house supporting him with placards loud hailers – buy his book instead.  And pass it onto a younger person when you’re finished.

I know him to see and I’m sure he knows my face too. We lived in the same street when we both lived in Lenadoon. From my knowledge, he was never abused in Dungloe Crescent as he has been in Beechmount. And if he was, then I’m ashamed to be from there.

Beechmount is without doubt the most ethnically diverse community in West Belfast. Being so close to the Royal Victoria Hospital, the place of employment for hundreds of migrant health workers, the local primary school St Paul’s Primary boasts twenty-seven different nationalities among its pupils.

We need to accept that racism is taught in the home and it will continue to do so until each individual thinks for themselves. We cannot ask education providers to do the jobs of parents.

Furthermore, St Paul’s Primary School is situated on Mica Drive and the same land as the recent ‘anti internment bonfire’ during which, Tim’s home was attacked.

We all know that the Divis and Beechmount bonfire have no connection whatsoever to remembering internment. It has just become an annual gathering for incoherent stinkers to vent their ill-informed grievances, we should just rename it Wankerfest.

Building a 3G pitch on every bit of waste ground isn’t going to be the magic wand of wiping out anti-social behaviour and racism. These hopeless foul-mouthed tramps aren’t going to suddenly take an interest in the GAA.

The cretins that build and stand around these bonfires wouldn’t know what it’s like to be pulled out of bed at 5am, tortured in Castlereagh and interned without trial. And neither would I because it’s something that happened a long time ago. It’s in the past and the criminal justice system is more accountable.

We do have internment on remand and a chronic lack of opportunities for young people and it needs to be acknowledged – but not by lighting bonfires on waste ground and abusing anyone that objects to having their property damaged in the process.

Another blog I have written on racism and prejudice:

That time I lived in ‘Murica | Aine Carson