What a world we’re living in right now. My blindness to what has been going on is partly due to my forced optimism to offset any potential ill feelings I may encounter, but since the end of June, my eyes have been open, and what is being seen is a dangerous new world.
Firstly, there the EU Referendum in the UK that we had. I was optimistic that the scaremongering tactic of the Leave campaign would become apparent, but then there was a lacklustre counter argument from the Remain side and when I woke up and went to work on the Friday of the results, all hope left me. I voted Remain for my own selfish reasons, and that’s how many people vote, I accept that Leave won, I won’t try to belittle it and make it about more than it is.
However, with that said, I foresaw all this that has come since then. The far right have been given a bolster up the ranks, or so they seem to assume, and find it perfectly fine to attack innocent minorities. For now, it seems largely focussed on race or country of origin, and even religion, but I fear it is only a matter of time until that changes.
I have worked with people in my old job that are of European origin, as well as from other parts of the world – for the most part, they are willing to do everything they needed to, more so than some of the British people I worked with. When it comes to people saying that these people are taking jobs away from British people and the British youth, it is wrong. The people they are taking jobs away from are those who don’t want to be a cleaner, or a carer. Those are the people saying it. We have created a society where it is easier to live off benefits than it is to work, and people now expect to be able to get something akin to management level work without any prior experience.
I left University having had work experience in Photography, a small volunteer position in a charity shop and occasional work at the University as a Student Ambassador. I was realistic and applied for jobs in bar work, shops, and just the one care job that I was successful with given that I had a degree in Psychology. I was lucky enough to get the care job and progressed over five years to now have the job I have now, which puts more power in my hands and gives me more opportunities to network. I never expected to be handed a better paying job, you have to work for it.
As for the benefit system though, claiming people are coming over here for benefits, even if the person is an EU citizen, they have to have been paying into our system for six years in order to claim any benefits for just six months – that six years worth of work for six months worth of benefit. Non-EU citizens have to be in this country for three months before they can claim any benefit, so they either have to have their own money before coming over, or perish trying to find work to cover those three months.
It’s those facts that were left out of the campaigns and that may have changed the stance for some on the immigration front. As for the other lies purported by the Leave campaign, they were clear to see, but it was whether you wished to find out for yourself over just listening to the debates, which were poorly managed and the candidates for either side were lacklustre in defence of their side.
Now onto the rest of the world. I recently saw a family member, albeit a distant one, share an image claiming “All Lives Matter”, and although my instant thought was to delete them off social media, I decided to just unfollow them rather than have family members question me over it. I agree that all lives do matter, but right now, it’s not all lives that are at risk. The reason why Black Lives Matter is so important right now, is because for just being black, you can be shot and basically executed and that’s fine, so long as you are white. That’s not right.
At the moment, just for being something that you really can not control, you are at risk of being killed in the Western World. We’re not talking some religious extremist nation in Asia or Africa, we’re talking our world. Our streets. Racism is rife at the moment, at home and abroad, and over here in the UK, it is directly linked to the Referendum, but in America, it is linked to a corrupt system. So black lives do matter at the moment, because it is necessary for people, such as white people, to stand up and stand in the way of the persecution. It’s not about being sympathetic, it’s about putting yourself between the system and the people who it aims to injure.
I remember a few years ago I finally felt safe to be who I was. Yes, I am white, and I am male, but for once it felt safe to be gay. As time as progressed and the system seems to have been corroded, I find myself fearing that I can’t just be who I am. Everyone seems focused on extremist Islam, and forget that Christians were extremists long before, but now just the world has become extremist. The far right are taking over the streets and spreading fear into the world, the governments are not doing enough to curb it, and the world has essentially had its senses heightened to dangerous levels.
For those people who were born in a foreign land, for those who can not change the colour of their skin, the people they love, or anything that people are using the persecute them, I stand with you. I am you, we’re a minority and we need to stand together, each and every one of us. This world is about to be torn apart, to the point that everything will be called into question and everything we do, say or hear is potentially dangerous, could potentially end it all.
I stand with you.