Few thoughts on the Brexit situation…
Yesterday morning I was startled awake in the most British way with my fiancé Tom, bringing me a cup of tea!
I hugged him when he asked if I was ok and what was wrong. He already knew the news but I did not, but somehow the cup of tea and his presence in the room had pulled me wide awake from a gentle quiet sleep and I could feel a strange sense of fear and panic looming over me. He could probably see it over my face.
“I have some bad news…” he said after we shared a hug. I had already gone back into a foggy state and was miles away from what England had stepped into.
“Britain is out. We’ve voted out” at that moment I’m not sure I understood what he said.
My body had reacted before I knew the UK was out of Europe and once I was told, the information wasn’t sticking yet.
Tom left for work. I stayed in bed for another hour or so, drifting in and out of sleep while searching the web for information, for numbers…for reasons to comprehend what had happened.
Now that it as finally sank in and the shock has begun to dissipate I am left wondering: What happened?
I was confident that England would remain in the EU. I believed that people would do the “right thing”
However, I am not delusional about the state of England. I am not surprised by the number of people voting out. Not surprised by the xenophobic and racist plague that England suffers from, but the eternal optimist in me believed that at least greed would trump xenophobia.
In Barnsley, 70% of the population voted to leave the European Union.
In their own words, here’s why.
I don’t consider myself a political and social activist, I do too little to claim that title, but I do try and stay on top of political issues and social injustices that affect me and others.The more I can learn and the more I am aware of what is happening around The World, the better I can make a change in my personal life and prepare my future offspring to be kind, considerate, open-minded, world citizen.
But this time around it felt personal. As a European working and living in London close to 10 years, who studied and pays taxes here, who never claimed benefits nor job seekers allowance, I feel betrayed.
I feel betrayed because I was taught and made to believe that someone like me, someone born in Lisbon, raised on the outskirts of Paris and now living and working in London, could hope as a European to make a correct living for myself within the European borders.
Being multicultural I never felt like I belonged to a country in particular but I cherished the idea of being European. Because truly that is what I am. I was European when I was born in Portugal, European when I was growing up in France and European when I studied and worked in London. And now all has been taken away because some people fear the colour of my skin or the fact that I may not share the same religion, or that I am potentially stealing their jobs, or claiming benefits on their behalfs.
Do the people who think like that, wonder how their fellow British citizen are doing overseas? Whose bread are they stealing from?
At least, I find a small consolation in the 48,1% who voted to remain. I’m especially proud of Londoners.
In the words of Tom:
It’s a great day for xenophobes and a sad day for those of us that believed in building a better, more unified and stable world for our offspring.
How ironic is it that those who fear foreigners are too often those who have little to no contact with people and cultures different from theirs. While poly-ethnic, eclectic places always bring the people together… shame that this time around fear was louder than love and unity.