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Myleene Klass opens up about the racist abuse she received as a young ‘mixed-race Filipino girl’

The presenter has spoken out about racism amid the Black Lives Matter movement

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Myleene Klass has opened up about the racist abuse she received as a young mixed-race Filipino girl.

The radio presenter, who has an Austrian father and a Filipino mother, listed some of the awful slurs she faced while growing up in the UK in a candid post on Instagram.

The 42-year-old decided to open up about her own experience, amid ongoing protests against police brutality and racism – following the death of George Floyd.

Posting a photo of herself as a child, Myleene wrote: “Chink. Slit eye. Number 69, Fried rice. Mongrel. Ping pong. Slut. All Thai brides are sluts. Banana.”

 

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She continued: “I’m trying so hard to explain the complexities of racism to my children. How it happens. How whilst I don’t understand the struggles a black person living in America might be experiencing, how I do understand and know my own experience of being a mixed race Filipino girl growing up in Norfolk.”

“I had those words thrown at me. On other occasions, it wasn’t just words, it was rock filled snowballs by a group of boys as I walked home, I had my hair cut in the school cloakrooms by some girls, later they threatened a lighter.”

“There was spitting. Why does your mum speak like that? Why don’t you have an accent? ‘I was born here. Yeah, but you don’t belong here’.”

“I also remember the pride and relief I felt when a bus of school children, aged 10 pulled up next to my own bus and the children opposite all started making ‘Chinese eyes and buck teeth’ to then have my own bus retaliate with fist signs and fingers,” Myleene wrote.

“It was small ‘victory’, I felt embarrassed, hot, shamed but I remember it so well because for the first time, I didn’t feel alone, I had a small token of solidarity that gave me courage.”

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“At college, I walked into the canteen only to have a group of students hand me their trays loaded up with dirty plates. You’re Filipino, you’re all cleaners right? Then the laughter.”

“In the area I live now, ‘get a Filipino’ is bandied around so easily when referring to getting a nanny, they don’t even realise they’re talking about a person, an actual person. A woman who will likely have sacrificed being with her own children for years to raise your snotty kids,” she wrote.

“Another popular quote… ‘We love our Filipino nanny (still no name), she’s like family, we send her home every year for Xmas’. Not doing a sister out of a job, but she’s not your pet and she has a name.”

 

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On @smoothradio right now…turn me on! (Jumper @scampanddude)

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“The world looks different now. I am mixed race and I am so proud of that.”

“Growing up in Norfolk, there wasn’t much visibility as to what a girl like me could aspire to be but I was surrounded by incredible, selfless nurses and those in service, the same who are tending our covid patients and dropping like flies,” she added.

Myleene shares a son named Apollo, 10 months, with her partner Simon Motson.

The presenter is also mum to Ava, 12, and Hero, 9, from her previous relationship with Graham Quinn.

 

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