Post-Brexit Racism Increase
The dust and (some of the) anger has begun to settle somewhat after the EU referendum result was confirmed in favour of the ‘leave’ campaign. We will know in the coming months and years just how significant this decision will be for the British economy and our place in the wider world.
One deeply troubling consequence widely reported this week is the significant increase in racial hatred claimed to have been inspired by the result. Of course, it’s difficult to know if this constitutes a genuine increase, or if more cases are simply now being reported. I’ve also previously bemoaned the ambiguous criteria for confirming a crime of this nature.
Whilst I’m sure there must be a number of people in the leave camp who voted for purely racist reasons, I think it’s untrue (and lazy) to suggest that the leave campaign is racist by default, or racist in its entirety. I’d also be surprised if the backward dimwits responsible for this spike in racial hatred could spell ‘polling station’, let alone find one.
Britain has had its fair share of race related shame in the past, and there is still plenty of work to be done today of course. But happily, I think Britain has been on a path of progression in this respect for quite some time.
People of all races and creeds have integrated into British society and infrastructure at every level. In fact, I think it’s probably one of the best places on the planet to live as a minority, albeit not perfect. Despite its problems, Britain is not a place you need to be born in to do well in.
In just my own 32 years of British identity, I’ve seen a positive change in attitudes, rhetoric and behaviour towards minorities, and I’m confident this trend will continue given good people don’t take their eye off the ball.
I don’t believe these offenders simply became racist overnight, however. These culprits have always felt this way about non-indigenous minorities (or those they perceive to be). In all their misplaced Brexit excitement, they have simply made the mistake of assuming it’s now acceptable to wear their sinister colours in the full light of day.
It’s up to every sensible Brit to let them know they are wrong about that. To let them know we have the backs of our minority citizens against abuse of this kind.
See this recent footage captured on a tram from my home city of Manchester for instance:
Listen to the audible disgust from the other passengers. “You are an absolute disgrace. A disgrace to England” shouts one commuter at the racist cretin. That’s exactly the sort of attitude which makes Britain great, and one we should aim to emulate should we find ourselves in the vicinity of similar behaviour. Arrests have been made and the victim himself has said he is ‘overwhelmed’ by the support from people in Manchester (and globally) since the incident.
As Christopher Hitchens said, “Never be a spectator of unfairness or stupidity”. The racist far-right minority never went away, they are always there, waiting for their moment. Let’s not allow them to snatch it.