On my way to homegroup tonight, I passed the row of billboards on Clarence Drive, and one of them bore the imposed message “GET THE ASIANS OUT” scrawled across in red aerosol paint.
It made me very angry and sad. Clearly a response to the attempted bombing of Glasgow airport, some people think the solution is to clear out an entire swathe of our population. Besides being immoral and racist (never mind a recipe for economic, political and societal anarchy), it ignores the fact that the perpetrators were not Scots Asians (or even a tiny unrepresentative minority of them), but very recent migrants (and a tiny unrepresentative minority, in turn, of them).
I despair of the ignorance racism, and when I got to homegroup I told everyone about it, and we all prayed for a healing of racist thought and protection for the city’s Asian community.
On the way home, I passed the same row of billboards… and the graffiti had gone.
I stood staring for a good few minutes, trying to figure out what had happened, and as I studied the giant car advertisement I must have looked like a gormless example of the power of advertising in today’s consumerist society.
Instead, I was looking for evidence of someone having cleaned the racist abuse off, painted over it, or defaced it. But I couldn’t find anything. It had vanished without trace. As if it had never been there before.
Strange. But reassuring.
Racism can vanish if we want it to.