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I CARE - - Brexit has given voice to racism – and too many are complicit (opinion)

1.7.16

I CARE - - News - Internet Centre Anti Racism Europe: In Hammersmith, racist graffiti was daubed on a Polish cultural centre; in Birmingham, angry demonstrators shouted slogans outside a mosque; and most worryingly in Newcastle, a placard was placed urging the country to “start repatriation”. Unfortunately, these episodes are only the tip of this hateful iceberg. To claim these reports are solely due to last week’s referendum would be overly simplistic. Concerns about immigration, and in particular Muslim immigrants, have been simmering beneath the surface for some time. According to the British Social Attitudes, almost 50% of the population believe immigration has a negative impact on the British economy. Similar sentiments may also be found even within some established migrant communities, with individuals fearful that fresh waves of migrants will take their jobs or their children’s school places, as was voiced during the referendum campaign. This is despite the reality, that immigration is hugely beneficial for our nation.

The EU referendum result has perhaps emboldened racists by leading them to believe that the majority agree with their views on immigration and legitimising such public expressions of hatred. For this, the political elite must take responsibility, after stoking a divisive referendum campaign that demonised immigrants by spreading fictitious scare stories, all the while pandering to the lowest common denominator. Despite Boris Johnson once saying he was pro-immigration, his campaign focused its message on immigration, creating unrealistic and unachievable expectations of what migration figures could be. Not only did it falsely claim that Turkey was about to join the EU but it also claimed that Turks were in some way a threat to our national security, highlighting its proximity to Iraq and Syria on a poster. There are no two ways about it: such messages must either be the work of duplicitous demagogues or incompetent and irresponsible migration scaremongers.


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Dispatch: Aboriginal Press Media Group  |   Permalink  |   [1.7.16]  |   0 comments

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