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To think friend is BU to think all Brexiteers are racist?

(110 Posts)
Soodoenim Fri 19-May-17 11:02:14

Have NC as this is outing. We both voted remain. Friend, who was previously not particularly engaged with politics (neither was I), became v passionate about the EU debate.

Ever since, she is really scathing about anyone who voted leave. She thinks they're all racist and possibly of low intelligence. I've tried to explain to her that yes, there probably are some people who voted for racist " get rid of the bloody immigrants" reasons but there are many others who I'm sure had very valid reasons for voting leave. She just won't have it and says even if they didn't primarily vote for racist reasons, they're "obviously ok with the anti-immigrant stance of the leave campaign". I said that actually some might be really uncomfortable with that but still felt conpelled to vote leave for other reasons that were important to them that over-rode that.I suggested to her that leavers might think she's an idiot for voting the way she did but she things there's no valid reason they could think that. I've also said it's like her voting Labour and thinking that anyone who votes for another party is stupid but she thinks it's not the same.

Obviously I disagree with the leave decision but I do respect other people's right to a different opinion than mine. TBH she's getting on my nerves. She now judges EVERYONE based on how they voted in the referendum and where possible will avoid mixing with any leavers.

How can I make her see that she's being unreasonable?

VladmirsPoutine Fri 19-May-17 11:09:37

You can't.

As you say:

Obviously I disagree with the leave decision but I do respect other people's right to a different opinion than mine.

Leave it at that.

Ravenblack Fri 19-May-17 11:14:29

Only the most badly educated, narrow-minded individuals would assume or claim that everyone who voted for brexit is racist.

What makes me laugh is the claim - from some remainers - that people who voted to leave the EU didn't know what they were doing, and didn't know what they were voting for; but of course everyone who voted to remain DID know what they were doing. PMSL.

This is one of the most ignorant, narrow-minded comments of all the gems the remainers have come out with!

WrongTrouser Fri 19-May-17 11:17:01

Tell her she is being an intolerant bigot in the same way you presumably would if she made untrue, stereotyping derogatory remarks about any other group of people.

And possibly consider whether you want to remain friends with an intolerant bigot.

WrongTrouser Fri 19-May-17 11:24:26

She now judges EVERYONE based on how they voted in the referendum and where possible will avoid mixing with any leavers


Actually I think the fact that she wasn't particularly politically engaged before is probably key here. She probably hasn't really thought the issues through properly and is more invested in her "identity" as a remainer: therefore good, open-minded, tolerant, free-thinking as opposed to a leaver: therefore bad, closed-minded, intolerant and blinkered, that she can't see that she is actually behaving in exactly the opposite way to that which she thinks her "remainer" status confers on her.

I wouldn't waste too much energy on her. It's a year on, people have had time to get over their shock.

Arcadia Fri 19-May-17 11:27:30

ravenblack I am glad you seem so confident that people knew what they were voting for because no one in government - including Theresa May - seems to have a plan, the 'negotiations' haven't taken place yet, and even when there is some kind if a 'deal' no one knows how this is going to pan out and impact on this country. Feel free to enlighten us though if you can see into the future.

Hidinginthespareroom Fri 19-May-17 11:34:12

Obviously its U to claim that everyone who voted leave was racist. However, I think you have rather answered your own question with your statement that:

"actually some might be really uncomfortable with [the anti-immigrant stance of the leave campaign] but still felt compelled to vote leave for other reasons that were important to them that over-rode that."

I'm not sure that it shows them in the greatest light, really, does it, regardless of whether they themselves are racist. Obviously there's nothing inherently wrong with wanting to be in or out of the EU (or wanting the Italian trains to run on time, etc) - it's just a matter of opinion. However, I'm not quite sure what would be so compelling to me that I would risk other people's potential safety in order to get it. Perhaps the bodily safety of my own kids? Not much else that I can think of, really.

Everyone has the right to vote however they want - completely up to them and none of my business. However, the joy of living in a democracy is that I have the right to look at the people who thought that there were "other reasons that were important to them that overrode [the anti-immigrant stance of the leave campaign]" and be confused as to how anything could be worth that risk. I have the right to conclude that if they genuinely believe that getting what they wanted was worth the risk to others whose safety would or might subsequently be put at risk, then they are people who are perhaps less likely than I thought to share my values. Doesn't mean they are racist. Just that we hold very different values.

And there was always a very obvious risk. It's pretty disingenuous for some voters (like my DH) to now claim that they were surprised by the increase in hate crime. It was blindingly obvious to anyone who had read a newspaper in the previous fortnight that that was what was going to happen.

Soodoenim Fri 19-May-17 11:38:59

I'd like to think of an example of a remain policy that people might assume she agrees with when she doesn't necessarily - to compare to her assumption that all leavers are comfortable with the anti-immigrant stance. Any ideas?

TheLambShankRedemption Fri 19-May-17 11:42:01

She sounds an utter joy to be around. How draining for you.

Arcadia - the opposite is also true; the EU is continuously evolving and what you vote for today is not how it may be in 5-10-20 years. Both sides are taking chances on the unknown.

UserX Fri 19-May-17 11:43:18

Now is the leave voters chance to prove it wasn't a racist vote. Brexit is going to happen, but the terms will be set out by the party in power. Theresa May has put forth some very racist policies and we all have a chance to vote against her party. Will brexiters show support for freedom of movement? Or go for brexit at any cost?

I won't believe that brexit wasn't mainly about immigration unless all the educated open minded brexiters put their money where their mouths are and vote AGAINST regressionist, racist immigration policies.

Whiterabbitears Fri 19-May-17 11:48:51

I can only speak from my own experience, and although I'm sure that not everyone in the UK who voted leave is racist, in my world, all the people who did vote leave did because of immigration. Not one person gave a different reason for wanting to leave the EU, even though I personally could see why people might, greater autonomy and such. The leave voters I know in work and as friends were very vocal about immigration and I as a remain voter felt I had to keep quiet, I was accused of being unpatriotic!
What I'm trying to say is depending who you know, it might well feel like immigration was the only reason for people voting leave. I also agree that there was no clear plan for leaving and people I know were following Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage because they liked them. That for me isn't a good enough reason to make that decision. Again I will say that I'm not speaking for everyone, just the people I know.

QuietCorday Fri 19-May-17 11:50:15

The late Tony Benn loathed the EU and thought it was a highly undemocratic and dangerous structure. I think you would be hard pushed to find grounds to argue that he was of low intelligence.

Again, back in the 90s, most anti-EU feeling came from the left as they saw the structure as facilitating transnational
capital flows without restraint. I don't think you can argue this is a racist or unintelligent position.

I know a number of campaigners who voted leave because of the EU's stance on tariffs applied to African exports of processed goods, which are significantly higher than those imposed on raw materials. This, to me, is the very opposite of a racist position; the racism here is in the EU import policy.

So yanbu.

53rdWay Fri 19-May-17 11:52:07

Maybe you could introduce her to some people who voted Leave but were uncomfortable with the anti-immigrant approach? Or find some, I don't know, newspaper columns or blog posts or some such by Leave voters who took that approach? There's surely plenty of Leave voters here - could any of them point you towards any links? What about the Lexit types - left-wing Leave supporters?

Because honestly, if your approach is "I'm sure there are plenty of Leave voters who didn't like that but I have never met one and can't think of any", I don't think you're going to sound too convincing.

KC225 Fri 19-May-17 11:54:24

Surely if all Brexit voters were racist than BNP and UKIP would have faired better in the local elections. Nor are they serious candidates for the general election.

Lillieslamb Fri 19-May-17 11:55:52

Most of the people I knew who voted leave actually mainly voted that way for reasons other than immigration. I believe that even if you did vote leave because of immigration, that doesn't necessarily make you a racist.

To be honest I find people like her to be of lower intelligence. Being narrow minded and not understanding that people have different views without them being racist, is ignorant and I wouldn't even engage in a conversation with them about it.

surferjet Fri 19-May-17 11:56:18

Tbh op, I judge people on how they voted in the referendum & avoid remainers as much as possible.

AgainPlease Fri 19-May-17 11:57:44

OP I'd happily talk to your friend. I'm an immigrant and agree with the leave vote, as in if I were a citizen I would have voted leave. I don't think Brexit is so binary as yes or no to immigration.

Monkeypuzzle32 Fri 19-May-17 11:57:58

She's a bigot. End of.

drwitch Fri 19-May-17 12:00:24

I think your strategy needs to be more pragmatic. One reason that Brexit happened (in part) was that the liberal left failed to engage with peoples worries about immigration and change. This left a vacuum for the kippers to come in an offer a solution

ofshoes Fri 19-May-17 12:01:18

Well even the ones who weren't voting for racist reasons were happy to stand shoulder to shoulder with the obviously racist ones because it meant they would get their own way. She kind of has a point with that.

UnconventionalWarfare Fri 19-May-17 12:09:16

Really going to go with a guilt by association argument ofshoes?

ofshoes Fri 19-May-17 12:12:28


pipsqueak25 Fri 19-May-17 12:13:35

there are bigots in both camps but for very different reasons, your 'friend' sounds like one too imo, no one knows how this is going to pan out so there are no rights or wrongs on this as lamb shank correctly pointed out as things are always evolving in the eu who knows that other countries won't vote to leave in the future.

specialsubject Fri 19-May-17 12:18:51

MN is very pro-remain and this probably won't end well.

there were plenty of reasons for voting both ways, given that the EU is by no means all bad or all good. If your friend's mind is so closed that she can't see this, dump her as a bigoted and stupid waste of oxygen.

'all leavers are racists' is as stupid a statement as 'all remainers are only worried about their kids being able to sell drink in Magaluf'. Or indeed that 'most young people voted remain' in the absence of any real evidence.

WrongTrouser Fri 19-May-17 12:18:58

Tbh op, I judge people on how they voted in the referendum & avoid remainers as much as possible

Stop it surfer grin

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