You have to laugh at the naivety of some people. One Youtube video of a drug addled chav mumbling incoherently about how foreigners have ruined “her Britain” and people are up in arms about how shocking it is. Have they left their house recently? Have they turned on their televisions? Evidently not because there was nothing in that depressing video that I haven’t seen countless times each time I leave my house.
For those of you who haven’t been exposed to this latest political-debate-by-Twitter baiting video I shall give you a more detailed summary. A seemingly intoxicated woman, with a small child on her lap, is riding the Croyden to Wimbledon tram. Unprovoked she starts slurring racial abuse at the passengers, telling them that they should “go home” and that they’re not British. She seems barely capable of speaking English herself. She’s confronted by several passengers, including people who fit into her own demographic. She remains oblivious.
The video, filmed by one of the people on the receiving end of her moronic tirade, went viral and before you knew it celebrities were all chipping in with their views on how shocking the video was. Rent-A-Twat Piers Morgan even declared that “Britain is so much better than that vile bigoted creature.” But is it really?
While one video of someone hurling racist abuse and bewildered commuters was spreading round the internet like wildfire, there were some who were asking why far more shocking ones had been ignored. For example in June this year Brian Whelan posted a video of EDL members indiscriminately attacking Asian passengers on the tube in a super violent “happy-slapping”. The video itself still widely remains available on the internet yet doesn’t seem to have caused anywhere near the same stir. Is it perhaps a matter of some truths being too uncomfortable to face?
Rent-A-Twat Piers Morgan even declared that “Britain is so much better than that vile bigoted creature.” But is it really?
The rise of far-right sentiment in recent times is something that can’t be denied as much as people might prefer to ignore it. It is not three years since the BNP secured seats in the European parliament and in 2008 the party representative finished fifth in London’s mayoral elections, less than 8,000 votes behind that of the Green Party. The chairman of the BNP, Nick Griffin – seemingly a relation to Peter if his appearance on Question Time was anything to go by – achieved 14.6% of the vote in his Barking constituency to put him third. It was a record number for any of the seats the BNP had contested.
From my own personal experiences from living in Birmingham, a city that perhaps embodies the multicultural spirit more than any other in Britain, I have witnessed EDL marches and mini race-riots. I found it inconceivable to think that they would march here, that they would be allowed to try and invoke their hatred, but they turned up in force. The last time, just this October gone, I stood in the rain watching them try and provoke passers-by. Anyone who wasn’t white would be subject to racist abuse. Anyone with the tappings of Islam would be called a terrorist. Glasses and fireworks were hurled into the streets and at the police.
Despite these crimes being openly committed the local police made just four arrests. One of those was for possession of cannabis and the other was for an outstanding warrant. The other two related to weapons offences. None of the charges related to the crime of inciting racial hatred, which seems especially odd given the news that the woman who has sparked this whole debate has been arrested on the grounds of a racially aggravated offence. No doubt congratulatory backslapping shall ensue, as if with that gesture the spectre of racism has been banished from British shores. The reality is while it was vogue to rally against this one ignorant woman, daily far worse examples of racism are allowed to flourish in the dark corners of the British experiment.
The nay-sayers amongst you might say it is one thing to compare a spontaneous outburst in public to an organised and mobilised group of extremists. Yet what the video of our friend from Croyden demonstrates is what happens when the dehumanising mantra of racist language becomes subconscious thought, when racism is made to seem so socially acceptable that it goes mostly unchallenged and is dismissed as mere stupidity.
I would like to tell you I was shocked by the video in question but I wasn’t. Repulsed and disgusted but not shocked for a second.
I would like to tell you I was shocked by the video in question but I wasn’t. Repulsed and disgusted but not shocked for a second. I’ve seen that woman out riding my local buses, I’ve seen her doing her shopping on my high street, I’ve seen her having a drink down my regular boozer and I’ve heard her countless times. The depressing reality is that she is everywhere.
Like a permanent feedback loop of bullshit the racism described as free-speech bleatings of the EDL and the BNP go out into the public domain and are repeated back parrot fashion by people who are looking for easy answers and targets to blame. Racist sentiment goes up in times of recession… Cost of living is expensive, jobs are scarce and the media is all too happy to present images of wealthy asylum seekers on yachts or keen immigrants willing to undercut minimum wage for unscrupulous companies in order to take your labour away from you. Do any of these things actually exist? Hardly, but it’s a convenient scapegoat and one that is so emotive it allows those with their own sinister agendas to take advantage amidst the ill feeling.
As sure as the government is to blame for the collective failings that impact on the lives of its citizens, they are also partly to blame for these issues too. They won’t talk about the elephant in the room, avoid the issues that the extremists openly campaign on. This gives them a credence and authenticity they should not be afforded. These are, for the most part, thugs donning suits and playing at politics. They don’t have the answers. They barely have ideas.
That video is sadly an example of what passes for political discourse amongst a significant and growing number of British people. There’s no getting away from that. For many people exposure to that sort of hate is an almost daily occurrence. Racism doesn’t need an umbrella organisation to proliferate, all it needs for that to happen is to go uncontested by those with the means to expose it for what it is. Is the reaction to this video something more concerned with Twitter trends, or is it the start of a genuine stance against the casual racism that has become part of the day to day? Either way, let’s not use it as an excuse to pretend that Britain is an example of tolerance to anybody.
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