Brexit Aftermath- Racism Gains a Platform

The shock result of the referendum has had wider implications than the market chaos that has seen the pound diminishing in value and global stocks reportedly having £1.3tn wiped off them.

It has exposed an ugly undercurrent of racism that has apparently been bubbling under the surface all this time.

In the space of a week a lot has changed. A 60% surge in race-related crime has been reported, videos have circulated showing racial abuse as well as cards being distributed demanding that Polish people leave.

Despite the strong showing of UKIP in the previous General Election, without proportional representation they were only able to get one MP, Douglas Carswell elected to parliament. Nigel Farage, so prominent an advocate of leaving Europe was unable to enter Westminster. The BNP are just a footnote of history, if a very toxic one. A muslim mayor was elected for London, a city which is under 50% white.

Nevertheless, a populist storm has been brewing across Europe and in the United States, with far right leaders calling for more referendums and Donald Trump emerging as the alternative to Hillary Clinton. Nationalism has gained traction in the face of a complacent establishment that has appeared ignorant and out of touch. The very reason that ‘Leave’ won was because large swathes of the United Kingdom outside of London and Scotland rallied against globalisation and immigration.

The term ‘United Kingdom’ is itself something of an oxymoron at present. Never, since its inception has the British Isles been so disunited. 52% vs 48% is about as close as it could have been. Elderly folk have been accused of stealing younger people’s futures. Working class communities tended to vote out, whereas affluent areas voted to remain in the EU.

Questions must now be asked about the scale of integration of minorities in the UK. As Nesrine Malik writes in the Guardian, ‘Integration isn’t the ability to take a picture on the tube and see people of every colour. Integration is to look into your workplace, your government, your media and your social circle, and on finding it inexplicably white, understanding that it is not because of class, or education, or economic circumstances, but race.’

She goes on to give damning statistics that prove the extent of white privilege in modern day Britain. ‘Black and ethnic minority people are under-represented in almost all sectors of influence: academia, media and, most critically, government. Currently, around 6% of members of both Houses are of an ethnic, as opposed to 13% of the population.

A post-Brexit Britain must mend fractured communities and move forward with confidence and hope. Minority communities must be fully embraced if Britain is going to realise its true potential in a time of uncertainty.

Written By:

Daniel James


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