I’m British Asian. I can’t quite figure out what generation immigrant I am or what box I fit in to. I feel more African too, knowing that’s an integral part of my family’s journey. The words we speak are a combination of English, Gujarati, with some broken Swahili thrown in there too.
But what’s confusing me more than the boxes, is seeing people just like me, backing UKIP. I don’t like to force political opinions upon people and I’m not saying we have to vote the same, or even believe in the same ideologies. In fact, I quite like it if we have opposing views, we can debate it out and learn from one another. But seeing British Asians backing UKIP is hurting me inside. And the purpose is a reminder of the inherited knowledge and experiences meaning we should know better.
Because the rhetoric that UKIP play out is reminiscent of the one that pro-actively opposed our very own families coming to this country. And for some, if turned away, they would have been persecuted further, tortured and killed by the same people who’d already that ransacked their homes and stole everything they spent their lives building.
We carry that journey with us. And even if we weren’t born to see it, we can still see the scars. And it is that feeling we get that should make us strong enough to be the first to stand up against xenophobia when we see it and support people wanting to build homes here.
Perhaps it’s the pain of exclusion and subconsciously, support for UKIP is an understanding of the shift of exclusion from our group to another. The hate forced on Asians shifting to the EU migrants. Or perhaps it’s an attempt to reassert British identity. Perhaps it’s because a British Asian UKIP support gains attention. All of these are negative experiences recreating negativity. This energy should be used for strength.
If we glance back, history tells us Britain broke it’s borders along time ago- consequences of which are playing out across the globe.
Creating a culture where everyone’s out for their own, lurching and leaching, will only encourage people to take advantage of systems that were created to help people. UKIP and it’s backers revere that culture They are the values that have been used throughout history to turn people on one another, destroy communities and economies.
The Daily Express have openly supported UKIP giving them one million pounds for their campaign this year. This same paper said the British shouldn’t let Asians in to Britain- ultimately a sentence to death. When people say UKIP and it’s backers are just fruitcakes, we have to go a step further and oppose them because people’s lives depend on it. If people like UKIP governed our country, we would exist, let alone have the privilege of having a say in the system.
Immigration is a complex process. There are many different reasons behind migration- and yes, I understand it’s not all about Asylum. Perhaps there is a conversation to be had around UK’s independence from the EU, but it should not be led by those who seek manipulate groups of people against another. The UKIP manifesto is set-up to pit nationals against immigrants – saying the system favours immigrants and discriminates nationals.
The beauty of democracy is being able to vote freely. My knowledge and experiences taught me to apply my vote to help people ultimately generating positive outputs in the society I live in.
A society where values are respected allows people to share with one another and that’s precisely what migration is. That’s why the movement of people, sharing knowledge, technology and resource, has developed the societies we have today.
My values are ones that oppose fascism because we know what it feels like. My values are ones that teach me to support people, because we know what it feels like.
My values… make me more British than UKIP.
Peace, Love and Voting.