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#COMMENT: Why did some Asians and ethnic minority voters choose Brexit?


One third of the Asian electorate voted to leave, despite of course being either immigrants or the children of immigrants.

Tower Hamlets (a predominantly Bengali borough), the majority of people voted to leave. So just what on earth is going on?

Don’t believe everything you read even though echo chambers like The Guardian want you to believe that anyone supporting Brexit is a swivel eyed racist who doesn’t look beyond immigration before making a decision.

It is no more honest than project fear.

That contends that while you might be Indian, Pakistani, Black, your ethnic derivation could be from anywhere and yet you chose to vote OUT, you chose to vote for Brexit, apparently you chose to side with the knuckle dragging fascist scum psychotics.

I submit that brandishing terms like that made and makes the whole campaign volatile and polarised.

People who voted Brexit did so for a variety of reasons.

And yes some did because of too much migration into the UK – not based on any race but purely on numbers.

That is a debate that needs to take place. Because clearly a lot of people are concerned about it. Merely sweeping it under the carpet and refusing to discuss it will not make the problem go away.

Maturity and intelligence need to prevail. And the people who voted on both sides of the argument need to be involved in discussions rather than being ignored.

No doubt there is a need to appeal to reason and nuanced argument, rather than reflexive passionate moralizing. The real issue is that anyone who wanted Brexit was immediately branded a xenophobe and racist and stupid and this is just wrong.

100 incidents in a country with a population of close to 65 million.

But that won’t stop many attempting to smear the 17 million odd leave voters as racist will it?

In the short-term extremist thugs may be emboldened, but they were craven, idiotic racists before last Thursday.

Well we live here in an imperialist construct, racism has always existed here and those victim to it will just have to defend ourselves and fight the racists like we always have done.

But to have voted Remain purely on the basis of the fear of the right is too insular, too short term in its thinking, this is far more important than some idiots who probably think the EU is a UFC wrestler.

Please consider the fact that many ethnic minorities voted for Brexit. To imply (even if only faintly) that there is some kind of logical inconsistency about doing so plays into a dangerous polarity of white (and lets add poor and uneducated) versus the enlightened rest.

The remain camp have lost and they need to put their race cards away now. Many ethnic minorities voted leave, this insinuation that everyone who voted leave is somehow sympathetic to Farage and his racism is completely wrong.

There will be a couple of weeks of triumphalism, then the fact that those with money require a large and fluid migrant population to obtain even more money will begin to prepare the people for the fact that not much is going to change.

The spillover of unrestricted migration has pushed a lot of goodwill out of the window though.

When people feel threatened (however ridiculous that perceived threat is in reality) they will react. Immigrants have always been persecuted, throughout history and that is the risk that you take when you move from being part of an exotic group to the mainstream.

It gets reinforced when road signs start appearing in languages that are not official languages of the state, when documents are published in languages that are not official, reinforcing a feeling of “second in my own country” mentality that exists for many.

And while the very few people who do feel dislike for other races may have voted out, the vast majority of concerns have nothing at all to do with race.

There is a perfectly reasonable desire to control immigrant numbers to a figure that our infrastructure can cope with, there is an equally reasonable desire to know who they are, to try to ensure that they are people with skills we need, and are not serious criminals as far as we can, and there is a wish to prevent further immigration of low-skilled workers from coming in such numbers that they drive down wages and damage job security – which even the Remain camp and the IMF has admitted is the case.

The majority of people affected by such an attempt at control will be white Eastern Europeans; to try to make it about race is simply incorrect. I strongly suspect the inclination of some on the left to dismiss the concerns of the lower-paid at their difficulties as racism, rather than trying to understand and address the problems, is a major cause of the anger so many Labour voters feel at their party.

It’s not racism that’s the problem, it’s scapegoating.

The Tory austerity policies built a country full of incredibly disenfranchised people and the media and the leave campaign basically pointed at the EU and went “This is all the EU’s fault these things are occurring”, all while the tory cabinet crossed their fingers and hoped no one notices how terrible they’ve made the country.

This tarring of brexiters as essentially racist needs to stop.

Perhaps if London-centric journalists had concentrated a little harder on the plight of the working class outside the metropolitan bubble, and a little less on the minutiae of identity politics, we wouldn’t be in this mess.

Lots of ethnic minority Brits vote for Leave. I guess they’re all just stupid, naive, bamboozled by the Tories or suffering from a false consciousness?

Or they maybe realised it was time to lance the boil of increasing disquiet in this country before the extreme right and left gained even more momentum? Maybe just perhaps they actually thought this through?

Britain has voted to leave a particular transnational political institution. Inasmuch as it affects immigration, it might affect the free movement of people from EU member states. In other words, our immigration policy could now treat people on an equal basis wherever they come from, rather than discriminating in favour of Europeans.

Even that might not happen, as the so-called “Norway option” for single market access requires us to accept the free movement of people from the EU.

And from this you conclude that it’s suddenly scarier than last week to be an ethnic minority Briton?

Since one of the key criticism of the remain camp were its unwillingness to listen to the working classes experience of imitation, surely it behooves the Brexiters to listen to minorities experiences of racial discrimination in the aftermath?

If we’re going to play competitive offence-taking then I’d like to say that I find it offensive when you insinuate that anyone who voted for Brexit is a closet racist or one of those yobs throwing bottles in Marseilles.

The other thing I find ridiculous is that media channels such as the holier-than-thou Guardian (which is meant to be the standard bearer for liberal democracy) has to print these diatribes about how overnight the UK has transformed into the Fourth Reich and that the sky has fallen in pluralism and democracy.

What absolute nonsense! It’s the same place it was yesterday but the only difference is that for the first time in 40 years its citizens were allowed to speak their mind over the issue of the EU.

What is dangerous and irresponsible, I believe, is journalists and social media missionaries post-referendum whipping up a climate of fear and suspicion and making all sorts of insinuations about how the country is going down the pan.

Face it: you may not like the result but it is what it is and as a good democrat you should accept it and move on.



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