My thoughts on the EU referendum

I voted to remain part of the EU, as did most people my age. We lost the referendum and those who wanted to leave have won it. I’m sad about that, but I’m much sadder about the increase in racism that accompanied the referendum and has continued after the leave vote.

What can we do? We need to call out racism whenever we see it, we need to support the victims and show them that there are plenty of people in this country who value them. I  want everyone to know that I’m glad to be part of a multicultural society. I’m glad to have close friends from other countries in europe and further. They work hard, pay taxes and benefit the economy. They have interesting and valuable perspectives which I can learn from. They are kind, warm and openhearted friends. I hope they don’t decide to leave, but I will understand and support them if they do.

If you see racism whether it’s on the bus, in a restaurant or on social media then say something. Even if it’s a bit awkward. Imagine how it feels to be on the receiving end of racist comments time after time. Politely explain to the commenter why what they have said is racist, that racism is not tolerated in this country and that you will not put up with it. Say it loudly enough that the victim can hear you and ideally say it so loudly that anyone else who hear the racism can also hear you. If you think that it’s not safe for you to confront the person who is being racist then call the police and get them to deal with it. I’m serious. If you don’t feel safe to get involved then how safe do you think the victim is feeling? Here is more information on how to report hate crime (which includes racism).

 

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