I’ve heard the referendum has legitimised far right voices. Interesting as the voices were always there, they’re just louder, more visible and now directed at the ‘good’ immigrants like François, Róisín, José as well as the ‘bad’ immigrants like Pawel, Mohammed, Tunde and Gupta.
When you experience discrimination you never forget it, and sometimes it becomes part of your daily routine: get up, get ready, leave house, walk to work, get told to go back to where you’ve come from, enjoy the micro-aggressions at work, finish work, go home, set alarm, sleep and repeat.
I can still hear the monkey chants that I had to pretend weren’t bothering me when I was 11 years old in my high school playground, I still remember someone asking for ni**er coloured tights and I still remember a woman trying to befriend me with a Gollywog keyring. I never get tired of people remarking how amazing my grasp of the English language is, or forget the time a lady asked me to write my first name down as she was a bit funny with foreign names. I’ve lost count at the amount of times non-black men tell me when they’re wearing their beer jacket that they’ve never been with a black woman, so they’d like to give me a go. My mum did not come from S.Sudan for me to be fetishized, test driven and desired by Glen from Wigan for my high levels of melanin. I understand when you touch me you’re left with glitter on your hands, but in the words of Jesse Williams: “just because we’re magic, does not mean we’re not real.”
I know of Brexit’ers who are invalidating some people’s experiences and fears of the outcome of the referendum. To you: please, stop. I can’t control your words, however I can control what I see. You’ll soon find you’ve been unfriended and I’ll be recommended as someone you might know on social media. Also, if you try to call me, the number won’t be recognised, so you may want to “please check and try again.”
People who voted to leave are not by proxy racists. Some Brexit’ers voted to remove sovereignty from Brussels – what some feel is an anti-democratic, unaccountable, unelected elite – and take back control by giving it to our current elected Tory government, which most will agree is an elite group, where the future PM will be unelected. At the moment the current government is a shambles and the opposition is gripped by a poor attempt at a coup d’état. Side note, they should have learnt from most African leaders as they’re leaders in coups d’état. Anyway, other Brexit’ers voted because they truly believed once Britain became The Democratic State of Leavant by leaving the E.U., immigrants (first, second and third generation) would pull down the big suitcase from the top of their wardrobe, pack it and go back to their country of origin. In the words of DJ Khaled: “congratulations, you played yourself” – we’re still here!!! No one can give a definitive answer as into what our future holds, but what I do know is: I’ll continue to surround myself with and converse with great people; be a credit to my parents and other loved ones; to never live a boring life; go on four holidays a year and finally free myself from the shackles of my addiction to peanut butter M&M’s.