• Clodagh Meaney

Tara Stewart opens up about experiences of racism in Ireland

The Irish-Indian radio star moved to Ireland from Australia in her early 20s

RTÉ 2FM radio presenter Tara Stewart has opened up about her experience of racism in Ireland.

The 29-year-old of Indian-Irish heritage moved to Ireland from Australia in her early twenties, which led experiencing racism for the first time as an adult.

Speaking to Life Magazine, she said: "I was at the supermarket, and I moved in front of two people who I didn't realise were in the queue."

They got really angry and shouted, 'What the f**k are you doing pushing in, you black ba****d?' I was just shocked," she said.

Tara said when she was a child, people used to think her mother was a "mail-order bride" for her father.

"I know from when I was really, really young, people used to think my mum was like a mail-order bride for my dad, and that he'd bought her, from Malaysia. Or that she was my nanny."

"My mum laughed it off, because that's all she can do. And that's what I do as well," she explained.

The older Tara gets, the angrier she is about the racism she experiences.

"You can't say it's because people are old, because I have experienced it from people who aren't."

Talking about a more recent incident, Tara was walking down Camden Street in Dublin when two men hurled racial abuse at her.

"One of the more recent times was when I was walking down Camden Street in Dublin. I had just been nominated for a VIP Style Award, so I had got dressed up, and I was feeling myself."

"I was walking down the street and I had a bindi on. These two guys walked by me and said: 'Jesus, what boat did you come off?'"

"I didn't laugh it off that time. I was so embarrassed, and I shouldn't feel embarrassed. But I was so caught off-guard, because I was feeling so confident."

"I took my bindi off before I went to my meeting, because I couldn't deal with the attention. I hate that I did that, but also I'm not made of steel."

Tara said she has queried with her Black friends whether or not she should be speaking out about her experiences, but they encouraged her to do so.

"I'm half-Indian and half-Irish. I've been talking to my Black friends about whether I should talk about my experiences, because it's not my time, it's not my space. But they're like, 'Well no, it is. You're a person of colour'."

"I just feel so much for all of my Black friends, and I've been trying to be there, and share and support as much as I can on social media."

The presenter is also an advocate for sustainable fashion and posts her tips and tricks - as well as her stunning outfits - to her Instagram account regularly.

Tara's new music 2FM show is live on 2FM weeknights from 7pm.

© 2020 by EMPWR

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