Written by Holly Beattie
Blaming Brexit for racism is not only wrong but it’s also an insult to anyone who has suffered from discrimination in the past and been ignored as well as those that have campaigned for equality for decades.
Since the UK voted to leave the European Union racism seems to have risen across the nation; or at least it’s being commented on more.
Videos and tweets have taken over the internet, highlighting the disgraceful racist behavior that leaving the EU has suddenly evoked.
The BBC posted this tweet earlier:
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) June 28, 2016
Racism has always been an issue in the UK and has quite often been openly ignored or even condoned by leadership figures. The year started with Sadiq Khan accusing the Conservatives of running a “nasty, dog-whistling campaign that is designed to divide London’s communities” and shouts of “racist” rang through parliament.
Then came a bombardment of anti-immigration messages from political figures, including Farage’s horrifying poster.
Not once did David Cameron, as leader of this country, speak against the racist campaign being led by Farage yet now he claims the government “will not tolerate intolerance”.
It is not Brexit that has suddenly caused an outburst of racist comments to be yelled on buses and trains. It is the country’s lack of ability to take ownership of their mistakes and their willingness to turn a blind eye to important issues.
Calling out racism now suits the narrative of remain campaigners, giving them a pedestal to stand on above those awful leave voters.
Blaming racism on Brexit is providing those preaching hate with an excuse for their actions instead of just calling it what it is. A hate crime. It is undermining all of those people that have been subject to racism their entire lives and been ignored by those around them. It is undermining all of the work put in to making this country equal. It is using a very serious and sensitive matter to further the gap that has already been created in the UK.
Brexit aside, the media has an obligation to report what matters and this should have been addressed sooner. What matters now is stamping down on racist attitudes that have been condoned for too many years and not allowing racists, both those in the public and in parliament, to hide behind ‘Brexit’.