With the corporate media screaming out that post referendum racist incidents have dramatically increased – the latest being – Race and religious hate crimes rose 41% after EU vote I decided to look a little closer, close to home. Although a mixed picture the dominant negative narrative was either denial (in the face of independent evidence) or excuses. However for the vast majority condemnation of those responsible.
The following articles in the Dorset Echo paint a very depressing picture. Even more depressing are some of the comments that reflect a tragedy of personalities. They are of course eventually turned off when these contributions verge on the illegal. Many would argue that given the history of these ‘commentators’ it would probably be a good idea to turn them off at the outset.
A friend of a friend once said to me “look in to a person’s soul and you will see either darkness or light. Follow the light”. By this she meant that some people breed ignorance and rejoice in it. It gives them a level of satisfaction that cannot be measured but derives from prior childhood psychological experiences and/or educational deficits that will haunt them forever. Those in the light she said have either found a way to overcome something similar or never had to.
The message for those in the darkness is this: ” YOU are part of the problem“.
Almost certainly these same people in the darkness are more often than not also sexist, homophobic and have anger management issues. They are more likely to be selfish, egocentric and delusional when it comes to alternative ways of seeing things. Intellectually they prefer it simple. Even those people who consider themselves ‘Progressive’ are vulnerable but are very reticent to admit it.
Science is beginning to suggest that racism and conservative beliefs are the result of low IQ’s. I have a massive problem with the whole notion of IQ but it concerns me as much that stupidity might soon be a legitimate psychological condition to explain bigotry.
Following social media over the last eight or nine of months, especially the EU referendum discussions, has been a very mixed experience. Personally I surround myself with free thinkers who prefer to hold a candle close to reality and avoid rushing to judgement. However, I am fully aware that many others prefer to look only for explanations that reinforce their pre existing prejudices and respond much more with the emotional side of their brains. They surround themselves with those who don’t challenge them and the delusion continues unabated. This latter position is actually much easier because the mainstream corporate media feeds them as best as they can and the political parties have to be seen to be reacting to their parochial view for fear of being ridiculed and losing popularity. Apart from Jeremy Corbyn and a small number of Labour politicians as well as the Green Party the debate is largely shut down to transference. That is everyone else is to blame but not moi. The reality is that we are all to blame either for our ignorance or for not standing up enough to the ignorance of others.
I venture occasionally and hesitantly on to the Dorset Echo Facebook page and site comments in the expectation of seeing countless posts laying in to refugees, brown skinned people and the European Union. The ones that accept the UKIP diatribe as gospel and avoid the inconvenient truth in case they are threatened by the light. What a surprise to find that although there are some with the same old tired diatribe about not wanting a refugee ‘living next door’ many appear to challenge the nonsense of these propositions. However, the worrying part was the number of likes for some of these negative comments. Not willing to engage on an informed level themselves for fear of looking an idiot to anyone who knows better they still clicked that button to show their approval. Of course the darkness descends quickly in to personal attacks and thus the light win the argument. But the hate and anger remains and no one benefits.
(Over the last 15 years the level of self declared prejudice towards ethnic minorities has stayed static in the south west at 31%).
It is not only Dorset of course who are shamed by this. The whole country and beyond is tamed via ignorance and hate. People fighting each other keeps us occupied. The situation in the Middle East is in large part our making. Ignore that and your grand children will be having the same hate fuelled discourse. Bomb people and funnily enough they don’t like you more. In fact they hate you and the hypocrisy and patronising self interested tones that accompany them. I despise it when people justify genital mutilation of women but I also despise killing people because they are different. Both derive from psychopathic tendencies and should be shunned preferably together.
It doesn’t of course have to be like this as these people found out. Our attitudes can change significantly when we embrace knowledge and face our fears.
So Dorset. To be racist, forever in the darkness, part of the problem and an embarrassment or not? This must be your question. To those who are reasonable, compassionate and not easily hoodwinked – keep it up and keep challenging the hate.