It’s been a tough couple of days post the shocker that was Brexit. With so much initial numbness, followed by anger and then despair I was struggling to hone in on what I wanted to write about on here. I’ve decided to focus on me. You can find plenty of articles on the ridiculous reasons people voted to leave, the immediate retraction of promises from those leading and the frightening effect that’s already been put in place.
But this is about me and the thousands of British people of colour who no longer feel welcome here. Now don’t get me wrong – racism and xenophobia did not just appear overnight. Attacks – both verbal and physical – have always been around. It just so happens that this win has strengthened and empowered otherwise meek hate-filled people.
I have seen countless of reports – both from personal friends and those on social media – of abuse. People being told to go back because we’ve voted them out. People being shoved. People being beaten up.
And that’s what’s so terrifying. Being out of the EU of course has political and financial implications. But we will survive those. It will be naive of us to believe the EU is this magical fortress that we cannot live without clinging on to. The fact remains though that this referendum was not about the EU. It was largely about immigration – particularly on how to reduce it.
People – more often than not the working class – falling for the rhetoric that it is others just like them who are to blame for their hunger and pain. And not the 1% who orchestrated the destruction of their industries and prevents the growth of their home towns.
Now in reality this can’t happen. Whether we’re in the EU or not has no effect on non-EU immigration. And Boris is pushing for continuation of trade – leading to a continuation of immigration from the EU. So nothing has changed except the open xenophobia.
Britain is so terrified of its roosters coming home to roost that it is willing to cut of its nose to spite it’s face. Your yearn to be great again. Do you forget you were only great off the backs and blood of the black and brown people you now wish to erase? Do you forget the floods of people you called to your shores to rebuild the mess that you created? Do you forget the bombs you send to lands you do not know? There is nothing great about Great Britain. Only when you look at history with humility will you be able to learn the lessons that it holds.
And of course it wasn’t just white people – a significant amount of brown people voted to leave too. Children of migrants and immigrants themselves voted to leave so the Polish could stop stealing their jobs. What jobs did they apply to that was stolen from them? How quickly they forget the words that were repeated to them – that is still repeated to them? How easy it is focus on the differences and not the things that make us so similar? How disappointing. How shameful.
And all for a game. A game played by Cameron to prove his leadership and Boris to claim it. Neither believed this would happen. Yet when you not only play but create the fire it is very likely people will get burnt. And it is us – people of colour, visibly Muslim, migrants, the working class, people working in international firms, people working here from the EU, people from here working in the EU, the young – who will all get burnt.
I pray you all stay safe. Protect each other – please speak out if you see anything. In all the cases of attacks my friends have experienced, no one helped. We can turn the hate into love, as only people coming together can.
“I sometimes fear that
people think that fascism arrives in fancy dress
worn by grotesques and monsters
as played out in endless re-runs of the Nazis.
Fascism arrives as your friend.
It will restore your honour,
make you feel proud,
protect your house,
give you a job,
clean up the neighbourhood,
remind you of how great you once were,
clear out the venal and the corrupt,
remove anything you feel is unlike you…
It doesn’t walk in saying,
“Our programme means militias, mass imprisonments, transportations, war and persecution.” – Micheal Rosen