Celebrating our diversity... Martin

My name is Martin and I was born on the Wirral – the place no one has ever heard of unless you live within about 20 miles of it! I’m not sure I’d know the meaning of the word “peninsula” if I wasn’t born on one!
Anyway, growing up in the 80’s and 90’s meant that racism was definitely present in the society around me but I have always been blessed in that I’ve never experienced anything severe despite being one of the few BAME students in primary school.
My parents had it tougher, with my Dad emigrating to England back in the 60’s and not only that but meeting and eventually marrying my Mum, a white woman. My Mum told me stories that when she was out walking my in my pram as a baby people would assume I was adopted rather than acknowledge that interracial relationships actually exist.
My secondary school was much more diverse in terms of it students and for that I am grateful however there were no BAME teachers at all. Growing up it was rare to see BAME leaders or experts/authorities on a particular subject with the exception of my doctor who is Indian. This trend continued into my professional career and I believe is a major contributor to how BAME people are viewed i.e. not valued enough to be given any authority.
I became a Christian at 15 and attended a Pioneer church on the Wirral. It was a relatively small church compared to Frontline, comprised of mostly families so I stood out for being the only BAME member there and also one of the few people who wasn’t attending with their family. Despite that I was always treated as part of the family.
Around 2004 I joined Frontline in Liverpool and found it to be much more diverse – a church with a strong emphasis on community and fellowship. I’ve since become part of the Frontline Wirral church as I still live on the Wirral and it has always felt like my home.
My fears have grown with the racially motivated events coming to the forefront of late. I got married in 2016 to my wife Becky (who is white) and at the time I was in no way concerned but only recently have I started to worry about what people are thinking when they see us walking down the street together. We have a son, Elijah, mixed race but light-skinned enough to pass for white and I’m ashamed to say I’m grateful of that as it’s one less thing to worry about (his surname isn’t going to do him any favours though!).
My desire is for these concerns to be proven irrational, for more BAME people in positions of authority and influence, for our kids to be raised within inclusive communities and with a diverse educational system, for us (me included) to be open to challenge of our behaviours, for us to treat each other with love and respect. After all, has Jesus not been asking us to do this for some time now?
“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”
                                                                        John 15:12


Josh Langlois - July 4th, 2020 at 5:09pm

Thanks Martin, really enjoyed reading that!

Steven - July 6th, 2020 at 8:23am

Great blog post Martin and I pray that your desire will in time come true.