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Tuesday, 20 June 2017

How British are you?

Growing up race/nationality was never much of a big deal. I lived in blissful ignorance, I was young my school friends were young and we liked Dragon Ball z, Pokemon, Digimon and Rugrats - if only things remained that simple. 
This whole idea of being and feeling British, seem to arrive with Brexit. What exactly was Britain and why did it mean so much? When people used to rant and rage about the white van man from the middle of the country displaying the St.George flag being racist and offensive, it always baffled me. Now I understand... nationalism at its finest... 

I've always seen England and Scotland as countries attached, united yet equally different, yet I've never understood why Northern Ireland was ruled by Britain and why Westminster had so much power in the matters of other countries, let's not forget Wales, who for some reason decided to turn their backs on Europe. To me the United Kingdom is the last of the empire which it seems the sun is finally setting. 

Over evaluated self importance is what led us here to the point where no one knows where to turn, Scotland and Northern Ireland want to remain in Europe, whilst Wales and England want to leave, what does that exactly mean when 48 to 52 prefer to remain a part of a wider union yet they're in a smaller Union that's forcing them to leave! Brexit is basically seppuku. We're leaving something that offers so much opportunity especially to the young, a specific group which this country/ government insists on punishing. 

What does it mean to be British/ European in sensibilities and African in heritage, when all you hear is immigrant, alien, asylum seeker, refugee. What does it mean if those seeking asylum look like you? Who are they telling to go back home? When and if they go back home when will the hate turn on me? 

What if you're like me, a second generation immigrant who's mother scrubbed hotels in the morning, cooked for lawyers in the afternoon and studied in the evening all while single handily raising four kids? Someone who's ambition burned bright and lived on a dream, seeing visions of a futile future one with a better life and more opportunities for herself and her children. Doing jobs that many see as beneath them. What happens then, when those who want to be serviced have no one to service them? 

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