The legacy of the Norman conquest is insidious and painful to me.
Each time I want to go clubbing, I am forced to relive the greatest moment of oppression in my people’s and my nation’s history. Warehouse, Park End, Bridge and Plush: all involve walking in the shadows of a monstrous reminder of Norman-ative colonialism at its worst. Oxford Castle Must Fall!
Any Anglo-Saxon or mixed AS-Celt person coming to Oxford suffers severe trauma from reliving the lived experiences of their ancestors nearly a millennium ago. Such experiences included, but were not limited to, violent slaughter in East Sussex, near Hastings, harrying in the North (turning it from a mostly deserted and impoverished wasteland into a mostly deserted and impoverished wasteland) and racist depictions in a tapestry which was moved to Normandy after indigenous people made it.
I was horrified by the casual institutional Norman Supremacism and Norman-ativeness which is perpetuated by the power structures of the university. The Norman Supremacist British History course is triggering. British History II (c.1042-1330) systematically erases the voices of Anglo-Saxons by focusing on the ‘Norman Conquest’, which is a glorifying and imperialist term.
This Norman Supremacist outlook was literally forced upon me in my very first term by my Norman Supremacist tutor. Sitting in his room at St. Peter’s, I was literally in the shadows of the castle’s colonialist architecture, which I could not avoid seeing if I craned my neck to look out of the window. He actually pointed the castle out in one of the tutorials and said it was ‘quite cool’ to be studying the Norman Conquest and be near to a Norman castle. I felt too oppressed to call him out.
My self-reflexability has enabled me to see the powered structures which contribute systematically to the neo-colonialist society which we experience in Oxford. When I as a mixed-AS-C person consider the multi-part manifestations of this hetero-Norman-ativity which constantly reinforce the oppressive structures of oppression I think that we have to take back by restorative justice what was once ours.
Thankfully, the great work of OCMF will make sure the legacy of the Wicked Anglo-Norman Kings (WANKs) isn’t allowed to be forgotten by getting it torn down and a new Tesco Metro put in its place.