Storytime...
Subject? HATE.
I apologise for nothing. Life was what it was.
1) When a pup in NI, I was quite partial to practising my kissing skills, finding motivation like nothing else before.
Unfortunately, I'd not be one to let 'religion' be a barrier, in my pursuit of glory.
2) This was a problem, back in the dark days.
When you came from an 'estate', known for being a 'stronghold' of one 'side' or other, it was frowned upon & tended to lead to violence of some sort.
God was irrelevant.
3) I remember walking a young lady home, one Saturday night, as one did.
I'm guessing anywhere between 16-18yo, so 1986-88.
I'd got into pubs from 13yo, as most local bouncers were 'locals'.
4) I went right into an estate I knew I should not have entered, but I was never one for rules, so ploughed on regardless.
Always seeking the prize, ignoring the price, always led to problems.
5) I paid the price for my folly, on leaving.
I was set upon by a few & my trip home took a few days longer than anticipated, with a brief hospitalisation interlude & a couple of scars to add to the collection.
I lay in the street for hours before anyone thought to look to me.
6) As was the norm, *my estate* took serious umbrage at this.
So on the day I was released from hospital, I was informed that 'car loads' had gone to the said estate & a riot had occurred.
Many people took a beating from both 'sides'.
7) It was an excuse, in reality.
I was their excuse. I hadn't asked for retribution.
"Own your own shit", has always been a motto I'd live by.
It happened a lot, to many people, but it was all a con. They merely sought an excuse.
8) It was a con, it kept the local youth under control, it fed their hate, it fed their wanton violence.
It bred 'them' the warriors they felt they needed.
It made the confused young feel they 'belonged' to something.
Prey, in reality.
9) Dogma & hate create a pressure-cooker environment.
When you have no release for that pressure. When you can offer nothing to make it reconsider.
It blows.
The young are particularly vulnerable to the pressure.
10) Nowadays, I visit that same estate regularly.
I have a friend there who used to fight me on a regular basis when we were young, but now we're strong friends.
I'd probably die for this guy, if I was offered the privilege to do so.
11) We both saw the religion barrier evaporate.
Saw enough destruction to realise god was absent from any of it.
We both now have an aversion to hurting anything, man or beast.
We both had lucky escape of a grammar school education, giving us an alternative path.
Thanks Maggie 👍
12) The crucial variable, which removed the 'hate' barrier, was the reduction of violence, the opening of debate & the release of the stranglehold that such estates were under from those who needed an army.
"Open the debate, reduce the hate".
It's not rocket science.
13) We'd have an odd drunken evening & debate can get lively.
We openly discuss our different attitudes, because there is no longer any potential for violence.
Violence was a must, in the dark days, or your own would set upon you.
Now it would be abhorrent among such friends.
14) This is why debate is a must.
This is why we cannot allow non-integrated communities to sit outside normal justice, normal transparency, normal debate.
When you leave no alternative, the path forcefed to some is the only path they can see.
15) Notice I haven't mentioned "Islam" once btw.
The religion is irrelevant, HATE ferments wherever it gets a chance.
That's a mistake, to blame the religion.
We need to reduce that, open the debate, give the pressure cooker an outlet, let the confused hear an alternative path.
16) The fake term #Islamophobia stifles debate, whilst it smears ordinary hard-working Muslims across our nation.
We have a radicalisation cancer. We need to open it & cut it out. Give Muslims a chance to show UK their grace.
The other option is hate & it's shit, believe me.
/End
Addendum.
The lady was worth it, I'd take it again.
By the way 😋
#PunchingAboveYourWeight.

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