UK must confront racism
FOR weeks, the world was told that the Brexit vote was about three things: Sovereignty, economy and immigration. But over the past week, following the vote, it has become clear that immigration, a code word for racism and xenophobia, was a greater factor than anyone wanted to admit. Not everyone who voted Leave is a racist. Reasonable people can differ on the merits of a Brexit, but the Leave vote has certainly empowered and validated the position of those who believe that making Britain great again involved expelling anyone with the wrong skin colour.
A distressing and sicking number of incidents have come to light — from the racist taunting of riders on Manchester’s public tram to reports of an Eastern European family in Rugby finding dog excrement shoved through its mailbox. In the Manchester incident, the people involved did not fit the Leave demographic of older voters. They were young people, between the ages of 16 and 24, who were seemingly empowered by what they believe to be the prevailing attitude of the majority. British Prime Minister David Cameron has come out and condemned the incidents, which, for those effected must be like getting an apology from the arsonist who just burned their house down. That’s still better than either Nigel Farage or Boris Johnson, who, so far, have made no statements. It is time for Britain to come to terms with its place in the new post-Brexit world, a world which they created. Currently, the United Kingdom is seemingly on its way to establishing itself as an unwelcoming, intolerant place that will rather ruin its own economy than acknowledge that all people have worth, regardless of their race or creed. — Gulf News