An Englishman Asks: Is Racism Destroying England?
With all the joy and excitement that the UEFA Euro 2016 football tournament brings both in Europe and here in football-mad Egypt, this week there’s also been a very dark side. It started with England and Russia fans fighting and smashing up Marseille and has gone on from there.
For me though, by far the most shocking footage was taken a couple of days ago. This video shows England fans ridiculing young refugee begging children. They shout at them, mock them and throw coins at them, which the little kids scamper to pick up as quick as they can. One man even goes over and pretends to box them. These are grown men, actual adults, behaving in the most sickening and depraved way. As an Englishman this made me actually sick to my stomach. They are a disgrace to my country and the scum of the Earth.
Some have called for the England team to be sent home and disqualified for the violence and destruction being dealt out on the streets of France by their fans. Cue outraged cries of ‘why should everyone be punished and shamed for the actions of just a few?’ Oh the irony! Yep, because Westerners would never blame an entire group for the actions of just a few, right? Westerners would never demand the entire Muslim community to feel shame and apologise for the actions of a few psychos who use a perverted version of Islam. No, never.
However, reasons behind the behaviour of these England hooligans goes much deeper. Currently, the UK is gearing up for a referendum next week as to whether the country should remain as part of the European Union. Throughout the campaign, politicians and right-wing newspapers who want the UK to leave have been stoking up fears on immigration. Telling people to be fearful of people who go to the UK for work, for better lives and to fear refugees coming across Europe from the Middle East.
It’s been pretty vile and disgusting. The language was been inflammatory bordering on outright racist. In fact for years politicians have used immigration as a political football, if you’ll excuse the pun. They tell people to fear other cultures and people who don’t look like them. Political parties fight to see who can sound the toughest on immigration, pitting different parts of British society against each other.
This came to a harrowing head yesterday when a pro-immigration Member of Parliament was shot and stabbed outside her office in her hometown. A young woman and mother of two, murdered by a right-wing racist bastard. It’s devastating and frightening. My country has become a hotbed of racist right-wing nationalism and I’m so so ashamed.
Not just my country though, the right are on the rise in Europe once more and of course the same is true in Trumpland (as America may soon be renamed). After the death of Jo Cox MP and the disgraceful behaviour of England fans this week, I really hope my country and its politicians will have a moment to think and look at what’s happening and take a step back from the abyss.
WE SAID THIS: If not, God knows where we are all heading.