Did Britain become a more racist place after Brexit?

2 answers

Racism allowed for Brexit to happen, rather than being a by-product of the referendum result.  

Racism is more than just attitudes and actions.  Thus, although there is a reported  41% increase in racial hate crimes post-referendum, this itself is not evidence of a rise in racism.   Racism is, more importantly, the process by which various racial groups in society are put into a hierarchical system, with 'white' at the top, and this system is then reproduced with support from political, social, cultural, and economic institutions.  Brexit, in this understanding, thus represents more of a re-affirmation of racism and white supremacy (keeping 'white' at the top of the racial hierarchy) rather than signalling the beginnings of a 'more racist' nation.

As I've explored in this short blog post, the language used both in the Leave campaign, and in the hate crime after the referendum result, is the culmination of racism being 'legitimate' in Britain.  In other words, prior to Brexit racism (not racist speech or racist acts - but racism as defined above) was already legitimate.  For instance, we have a mass media that is free to refer to all migrants (and refugees) as ‘rapists and murderers’, that can unequivocally state that ‘Enoch Powell was right’ (that immigrants are inherently a social problem because they never integrate, and they take jobs away from native people).  Our very own Prime Minister of the time - David Cameron - regularly attacked Muslim communities for 'not integrating' with British values; or present Prime Minister, Theresa May, when Home Secretary sent illegal immigration battling vans around non-white areas with the slogan 'Go Home' (echoing the racist speech that immigrants from Africa, the Caribbean, and Asia faced upon arrival to the UK post WW2); not to mention our foreign secretary (and key campaigner for Vote Leave) Boris Johnson's regular defence of colonialism (overlooking it's official history of being a project of genocide).  Far prior to the EU referendum, therefore, a mainstream racist ideology was already created that positioned the white British nation as under threat from foreign invasion.  On top of that, we have to remember that there's also significant underrepresentation of ethnic minorities in high employment in the UK economy, as well as on going wage inequality that cannot be explained by factors like education and social-class.    

Once we broaden our understanding of racism away from the idea that it's simply acts, speeches, and prejudices towards the idea that it's a lot more structural, we can see that the question over whether Britain became more racist after Brexit is slightly misguided.  

Comment answer

No Britain did not become more racist after Brexit racism is just another excuse ,I voted leave because I am genuinely concerned about the affect immigration is having on our services , surely it is common sense if you continue allowing hundreds of thousands of people in the Country every year services will be unable to cope . Finally this country is losing its identity because of political correctness people who want to live in this country should adhere to our ways not the other way round.

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