Well, now that the consequences of the UK voting to leave the EU have had some time to sink in, it is both fascinating and disturbing to see just what a lot of people thought they were voting for. Much has been made of the reports that a lot of people in the UK were googling terms like “what is the EU?” the day after the vote. I am not sure whether or not that data is accurate, and apparently there are other people who feel the same way. Still, it does seem that a significant number of people in the UK are acting as if the “stay” or “leave” question was not based on the UK leaving the EU, but on whether or not non-white and/or non-British people should “stay” in the UK or “leave”. And in the minds of many of these people, that answer is pretty clear.
As I had mentioned in my earlier post, Donald Trump’s campaign has really made a lot of racists in the U.S. come out of hiding and participate more actively in politics. David Duke, for example, has come right out and said that he thinks his fellow racist travelers should support Trump and vote for him. As Duke said, “I hope he does everything we hope he will do.” Gosh, whatever could he mean?
Well, in Britain all the ignorant racists have really felt like they now have been empowered and legitimized by this Brexit vote. Samantha Bee breaks it all down.
And I love the fact that the UKIPer in the video says she isn’t a racist right before she says the only people she has a problem with are “negroes”. Umm, okay. Maybe she just doesn’t understand what the word “racist” means. Possible.
At any rate, the number of racist incidents across Britain has increased dramatically since the vote. As Sam pointed out, apparently a lot of British racists think that the results of the Brexit vote mean that more than half of the people in Britain agree with them and their racist views. Good God, I hope not. Honestly, I had previously thought that a lot of the racial, homophobic, and religious ugliness portrayed in V for Vendetta was a bit overdone. But maybe I am too naive and too ignorant to understand how much of that actually exists in the UK. Not in a dystopic future, but now. I mean, yesterday someone threw a Molotov cocktail into a Halal butcher shop in Birmingham. And there have been all sorts of other incidents. Here’s more from that BBC article.
Iman Etta, of Tell Mama UK, which collates reports of anti-Muslim abuse, said: “We’ve seen a spike in anti-Muslim hatred incidents and racist incidents reported in to us that are related to the result of the referendum, where perpetrators have been using words like ‘we voted you out’, ‘you should be kicked out’, and ‘we no longer want you here’.”
Muslim Remain campaigner Shazia Awan, a former Conservative parliamentary candidate, told the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire she had received several abusive tweets and emails.
One email read: “You are not now, nor will you ever be, Welsh. Being born in Wales has nothing to do with being Welsh.
“I cannot wait to send you and the anti-white garbage that you stand for back to the Third World dumps that you came from.”
The Muslim Council of Britain said it had compiled more than 100 incidents of reported hate crimes since the result.
So yes, even in the UK, this sort of reactionary racism is not being addressed by politicians, many of whom probably still think they can channel and/or control it, even as it has already started showing signs of coming back around to bite them in the ass. And pro-Brexiters like Nigel Farage are being held accountable for things they had previously said when they expected to lose the referendum.
I am hoping that all this is the last hurrah of the old-school racists and other hateful crusty old white people, but I still worry. I’m trying hard to not lose my faith in people, but some days are tougher than others.
Probably going to have to watch a lot of videos of dachshunds and sea otters now.