Lewes Forum thread

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mixed race and chose not to come home

On 15 Aug 2010 at 10:39pm lewes exile wrote:
I know I am late on this but I was on holiday last week!
I thought it might be interesting to hear the other side of the argument. I am white and was born and grew up in Lewes before I went to University in London. Lewes is a lovely place and I sort of imagined I would come back and any kids I had would go to school in Lewes too.
Well, fast forward and I found myself with a partner and two kids, living in south London and wanting to move back to the country. Trouble was, my partner didn't want to go. Reason being was, he is a black man with Nigerian family and he didn't want to go and live where he would be the only black man for miles around. "Lewes is not like that," I said, "Lewes is known for being Liberal and lovely". I took him on a tour and showed him the sights. He wasn't convinced and the more I thought the more I knew that it wouldn't be right for us.
I remember my time at school in the early eighties at Ringmer and Priory and at the time everyone in the whole school knew the names of the two or three black pupils. Did I want my children to be known purely for the colour of their skin. No. So we stayed in London. But we didn't stay because Lewes is full of racists. We chose not to move out to the rural idyll because we don't want to be "the only black's in the village". I wanted my kids to grow up somewhere where their identity wasn't defined by their colour.
David Smith and his wife chose the opposite. They moved to a small, predominantly white town. Lets leave aside him being just a bit chippy and irritatingly talking for his wife. Obviously he and his family have a right to live a life free from discrimination where ever they choose to live, but did he and his wife not look at each other before they moved and really think about what it would be like to live in a community where you are known because of the colour of your skin.
Now I don't want anyone to think that I am saying it is ok to be a bigot - it never is and it annoys the hell out of me that people anywhere in England still use the phrase "I'm not racialist but" But then again, ignorance and insensitivity doesn't necessarily equate to racism.
Some people such as Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones, embrace their differences and use it to their advantage Emmanuel-Jones, apart from making a mean sausage, is a confident, flamboyant type who doesn't mind everyone knowing him as the Black Farmer. Good for him (shame about his politics).
Unfortunately David Smith seems to have focused on the negative. My message to him is to stay positive and proud, as you are a trail blazer - you are opening up the new frontier for others to follow, but please don't alienate the natives!
I could go on and on but funnily enough I need to go and pack as I am coming down to Sussex to stay with my mum for a few days. I still do love coming down and haven't given up hoping that maybe one day I too will come home.
On 15 Aug 2010 at 11:13pm Doesn't matter who I am wrote:
That's the best post out of the lot.
On 15 Aug 2010 at 11:36pm Regular. wrote:
On 16 Aug 2010 at 11:31am Clifford wrote:
Great post Lewes Exile. It's Lewes's loss that you and your family aren't here.

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Five Lewes Pounds 37:132
Five Lewes Pounds

HS2 springs to mind. What a waste of money and environment. more
I like All the wide open spaces on the downs