Today I’m standing around eating some peach and apriocot yoghurt while my rapscallion nephew persists, alternately, in jealously guarding and throwing a hard leather ball to my father. He won’t let me have it for some strange reason and, to annoy him and hear him screech like an evil little monkey, my father occasionally throws it over to me. I catch it, and the kid comes over and slaps me around on my leg until I hand it over to him. He’s only two, but he reminds me of an angry little girl I used to work with.
The doorbell goes off, so I go to see who it is. I open the door and see two girls standing around on the porch – one Caucasian, one of African-Carribbean descent – it is not irrelevant or a coincidence that this is the case, as I am soon to find out. The Caucasian one is holding out a copy of ‘Kingdom’, the Jehovah’s Witness propaganda magazine.
Hello, says the Caucasian girl. Before I speak, she asks me do you want your children to grow up in a world of racism. I think to myself that I don’t have any children, but this little girl is about ten year’s old and probably doesn’t understand irony. I say of course not, wondering where’s she’s going with this. I once answered the door to some Jehovah’s Witnesses a while back and they started off by telling me that their kids had to study my religion at school (funny, because I didn’t and don’t have a religion).
If you don’t want your children to grow up in a world of racism, the little girl says earnestly, you should take up our religion. It’s all on pages 3 to 9 in the magazine she says, thrusting it forward in her grubby little paw. I take the magazine and look at it. On the front page, in very big letters, it says ‘are you frustrated with racism’ or something like that.
I shoo off the little girls and go back into the lounge. One the second page of the magazine, there’s a picture of a man beset on all sides by people of different faiths, each faith with its own ethnicity. Wow. I expect that these 6 crappy little pages will probably transform the entire geopolitical map of the world and transform our world consciousness, so I turn eagerly to them. The article on why the Jehovah’s Witness religion is the one true multicultural faith starts off with a rather simplistic definition of racism from an American dictionary and has quite a few laboured quotes from the Bible, the same book that originally invented our concepts of ‘nation’ ‘anti-semitism’ and ‘an ethnic people’. I read about two paragraphs and then throw the magazine in the bin. The two little girls, I see, are now trying to speak to our next door neighbours, who don’t have very good English.
I wonder if the Jehovah’s Witnesses have deliberately started recruiting ethnic minorities.