The remarkable caller who made James O'Brien's listeners see racism in a new light

3 June 2020, 12:59 | Updated: 3 June 2020, 20:58

By Adrian Sherling

This is the remarkable call to James O'Brien which listeners said changed the way they will see racism forever.

Tania told James of the troubles of bringing up black children in a largely white community and it was a caller that James will remember for a very, very long time.

She talked about how her mum, who was part of the Windrush generation, encouraged to read all about history in order to help her in life.

She realised how she had to educate herself to get out of the environment that she found herself in. And now, as a Mum herself, she's worried her children will finally see the thing

"We're not trying to scare them, we're trying to make them aware that it will be different for you. I tell her that Mummy's got a PhD and she still struggles every day in the work place. People still replace me with the name of the cleaner, even though I'm 6' tall with a suit on and she's 4'11.

"So I try to build their self-esteem. I've combed the earth looking for images of black children in books. I feel that is more educational than any curriculum I could ever follow."

Listeners loved Tania's remarkable take on racism
Listeners loved Tania's remarkable take on racism. Picture: LBC / PA

Tania revealed the experiences of her husband, who has people crossing the street to avoid him. About her nephew, who needs to take her daughters as escorts to stop him being followed by shop security. About her 14-year-old nephew, who neighbours told that if he accidentally kicked a ball over her fence, they'd call the police.

"My sister asked the neighbour about threatening the police on her 14-year-old son, he said to her, 'Well he is quite intimidating, isn't he?' My sister said to him 'I'm the only black family on this entire road of 200 houses. Do you think that if anyone should be intimidated, it's me?'"

"I could listen to you all day Tania," James told her. And his listeners agreed.

The full call is definitely worth 15 minutes of your time. Watch it at the top of the page.