So, hunting like crazy. The other day, out with a smaller pack of hounds. Unfortunately, the day was marred by an ugly racial incident.
The meet was at a crossroads, maybe a dozen or so mounted followers and as many vehicles. Hounds were sat waiting.
All looks peaceful in this picture, doesn't it?
Now I’ve often spoken proudly about the way that visitors are made welcome to hunt. In these days of our insurgency there are going to be some looks and questions if one just appears unannounced, but a bit of conversation and the “Do you know…“ game usually is enough to establish bona fides.
I’ve heard that in some places unknown attendees are sometimes discouraged, or even given rough treatment. And not in the fun way. But these tales never seem to come from actual witnesses, it’s always hearsay or reputation evidence.
Not this time. I was with R., so it was all smiles for me. Then, a visitor showed up unescorted, on foot. Just walking along a country lane minding his own business, not offering any offence.
Living down South, I’m used to seeing every colour all over the place, and don’t really pay attention.
But I was the only celebrator of diversity there. People instantly became tense, and parted so as to avoid contact. The staff and Masters did the opposite, blocking the way and impeding his progress.
You’d have thought it was a Mississippi lunch counter in 1953.
I figured this was just because it was a stranger, but there wasn’t any attempt to converse. Then it got worse, the Master told a couple of the foot people- terriermen, I later found out- to “Kick him down the road.“
He meant it figuratively I’m sure, and no actual kick was offered, but the stranger was grabbed by the neck and hustled- all but dragged, really- past the hounds and across the intersection. He was given a hard shove and a gruff “Get out of here” to speed him on his way.
Again, I’d like to think this was because it was a stranger, or even a monitor. But the Master distinctly said,
“Get that Black SOB out of here.” And he wasn’t the only one who referred to colour, or to possible immigrant status either.
Institutional racism, that’s what it is.
Unfortunately I was so shocked by the events that I didn't think to get my camera out until the whole thing was over. But as we drove away I saw and took this picture of the victim: