Brexit Legitimising Racism


Brexit is a thing that has come and gone. Well, I'd like to think it's gone, but of course the truth is we're only getting started. I'm going to say right now that I fully supported to remain in the EU right from the very beginning, but this post isn't going to be me trying to persuade you why we've made an economic error. No, I'm going to focus more on the social issues Brexit has dished up to the UK, both pre and post referendum.

And your point is, DE?
As we built up to the referendum in the early parts of 2016, it became clear that media outlets - especially newspapers, who don't have to follow a political bias rule like TV broadcasts - were choosing their side. There's nothing wrong with that, of course; the fact that different papers were choosing different sides arguably allowed the UK population to weigh up each side and make their own informed choice. But I was starting to see a trend that made me feel uneasy within the Brexit-supporting outlets.

Casual racism has always been around in the UK, let me make that clear. In fact, you can find it pretty much wherever you decide to place your foot on a piece of land on Earth. I'm no expert in this kind of thing, but I can only assume it's a stone age kind of instinct where we feel more 'secure' within our own kind: similar ethnicities in this case. Or that could be complete BS, and people have just been spoon-fed that Islam is bad from the news stories from the Middle East. Because, you know, a few crazed extremists instantly makes 1.6 billion human beings terrible people.

This kind of racism has generally been frowned upon though in our modern society, because it's not nice and 99.99% of the time completely unjustified. You hate 'brown' people? Fine, but keep it to yourself.

Those damn Polish people, contributing to the economy and stupid shit like that!

The outlets that supported to leave the EU said there would be loads of money left over to spend on the UK itself, because we wouldn't be pouring billions into Brussels. That's fair enough, and in my mind, it's their strongest argument. But for some reason, the papers (especially the Express and the Daily Mail) put most of the focus on immigration. And they did it in such an uncouth way so that the readers were scared of these immigrants.

I say uncouth, but in reality, they knew exactly what they were doing. As well as scaring those sitting on the fence, they were simultaneously stroking the egos of those who already had these views. The casual racists, to put it simply. By dressing up the stories with delicate safe-for-work terminology, the articles appeared to be factual and professional. But if you just dissect the language even a tiny bit, you can tell the journalists were itching to use some properly derogatory nouns. But this 'professional racism' makes the story appear trustworthy, and therefore legitimate - something that's fine to share in public, because national papers talk about it.

This is totally what Dover looks like. Yep, 101%.
The result? I work in a retail shop in a large ethnically diverse town, with a rich population of Southern and Eastern Asians, and the amount of racist comments I hear towards these poor people has been increasing, and will always be jaw-dropping. "Speak propa' English" is the most popular one I hear. And I can't help but think the people they're insulting probably have a better grip of the English language than they do.

Essentially, this nationalist pride that the Brexit campaigners have given to the voters has created a hostile divide between the population. And that, to me, is arguably worse than the economic downturn that the leave vote has given us. I can't see the problem going away any time soon, either. Now that we do indeed 'have our country back' (whatever the sheer bloody hell that means), I'm sure many nationalists will want to make the country pure again. Gee, I sure can't wait for Hitler 2.0.

Edit, 24th July '16: I was a little concerned that I had no articles to back up what I was saying, but interestingly I found this little piece that essentially echos the above. It's a good read about the massive increase in hate crimes in Britain.