Sunday, July 3, 2016

Xenophobia in the UK

Julian Vigo is a scholar, film-maker and human rights consultant. In her latest article she discusses xenophobia in the UK. She says, "If the underlying bubbles of racism and xenophobia were not evidenced by the manifestations of 2011, then the Brexit vote in this country has precipitously pulled away the curtain of ignorant bliss to confirm the flip-side of this situation."
She writes: "One of the first times I experienced serious xenophobia in the UK was when a car, which had made an illegal turn, almost hit me on my bike. I shouted at him. He heard my accent. Then followed me and shouted at me to ‘learn how we do things here’. He probably added ‘sweetheart’, ‘darlin’ or ‘fucking cow’. I can’t remember. He’d made a wrong turn. He’d almost run me over. But I was in the wrong because I’m a foreigner… It wasn’t the first time and wasn’t the last… And I’m pretty tired of British people—especially today—trying to pretend that this stuff doesn’t go on. It does. A lot."

"While the current theatre of nationalism and xenophobia is not without its repercussions socially, politically, and personally, the current crisis of xenophobia and racism in this country is one that must be addressed head-on. No more can we pretend that these are one-off incidents... And when the recession hits the UK, which by the predictions of many economists is due to come this way soon, the levels of frustration and anger will only rise as will the sense of injustice and disenfranchisement. And the racism and xenophobia will certainly not be limited to solely Farage’s camp or to the right-wing. Plainly put, racism and xenophobia cannot be spun into class solidarity, nor can they be forgotten away as if some new class spirit will erase the eruption of hyper-nationalism. Race as a construct is a tool to silence those who are disposable by those who feel authorised to dispose. The moment the flags come out (and the Union Jacks are unfurled!), lines are drawn as to who does what to whom, who feels entitled to shout “Britain first!” while wielding a knife, or who tells the stranger with the “funny” accent to get out of his country."

"The unspoken dilemma central to all “white power,” neo-Nazi and nationalist movements is that they almost all invariably operate upon the myth of whiteness when the reality is that we all—each and everyone of us—have more than a few drops."

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