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How would an open discussion about immigration with this young man have helped?

(21 Posts)
SeekEveryEveryKnownHidingPlace Tue 28-Jun-16 14:12:56

racist abuse on a tram in Manchester

So of course not all Leave voters would behave like this, to the terror of everyone else on the tram. Of course they don't all think that 'Pakis' should 'fuck off back to Africa'.

And we've been told on here that the idea of educating young people about voting, about democracy, about the responsibilities that come with the right to vote, would be patronizing and offensive.What we also keep hearing is that someone should have been listening to the working class in the North, and not dismissing their perfectly valid and not racist concerns about immigration.

So what form would that listening have taken? What can we possibly do? This isn't an isolated incident, as is becoming increasingly clear - so it's not good enough to write it off as one little twat acting like a twat.

This video is the first thing that's really made me just want to cry, as opposed to feeling angry, alarmed, and ashamed. I can't help feeling that the bastards have taken control - and along with that has come a contempt for thought, for analysis, for expertise, which is also really worrying.

So: in a nutshell. All this 'listening' the middle class politicians in London should have been doing - when they'd finished listening, what should they have said to this youth?

smallfox1980 Tue 28-Jun-16 14:26:50

That Manchester voted in, he should be the one leaving.

0phelia Tue 28-Jun-16 14:35:42

The damage was already done long ago, when successive governments succeeded in disenfranchising the poorest under a process of privatisation/globalisation with no foresight to the impact.

It's not the fault of the people who are angry. They are angry for a reason.

The right question anyone should ask is "What can I do to help?".

Pangurban1 Tue 28-Jun-16 14:36:05

Swedish acquaintance and her daughter were told by a neighbour that they would have to be going home.

This was in London.

Pangurban1 Tue 28-Jun-16 14:37:48

Swede highly qualified. Neighbour wouldn't be in competition for their job, so don't know why they would feel resentful of them.

0phelia Tue 28-Jun-16 14:37:51

Throughout history right wing racism always grows immediately after a financial or security crisis (look at the timing of the Nazis).

Look at the rise of populist right wing views right across Europe after the 2008 crash.

SeekEveryEveryKnownHidingPlace Tue 28-Jun-16 14:38:50

Right, Ophelia, I'm afraid I can't think quite so magnanimously about it as that, but ok - what can anyone do to help?

whattheseithakasmean Tue 28-Jun-16 14:39:31

I agree. I was watching footage of the England football fans shouting vile obscene racist abuse and wanted to weep. I should be proud to be British? Really? Frankly, I am ashamed. It feels like wilful stupidity, racism and xenophobia have won.

SeekEveryEveryKnownHidingPlace Tue 28-Jun-16 14:41:06

It does, whatthe. I honestly didn't realise so many people in this country held quite such abominable views. Still less that they would win the future of the country - or think they have.

MrsTerryPratchett Tue 28-Jun-16 14:42:20

How would an open discussion about immigration with this young man have helped? It wouldn't have. But the destruction of education and the elitism of the political class (most worryingly 'Labour') have led to this.

Good quality education, with small class sizes, supportive, well-trained staff, with exercise and good nutrition built in might mean that he at least knew where Pakistan was. And hopefully about colonialism.

SeekEveryEveryKnownHidingPlace Tue 28-Jun-16 14:50:47

But Labour didn't destroy an education system that was like that - there never was one. Thirty years ago, this man would have either gone to an elitist grammar school or an overcrowded, underfunded, secondary modern - and thirty years ago, I would actually expect this kind of behaviour more than now. Up until recently, that is.

It's still not clear how anything about the system right now leads to someone so full of hatred and ignorance - not directed at the elite, or the politicians who might have failed this man, but at a woman on a bus.

SnowBells Tue 28-Jun-16 14:55:21

I am surprised those boys on that tram were not killed.

I think things like that should be squashed and the people around should have done something than just sit around. C'non... 2 boys versus a crowd of 30? No brainer.

SnowBells Tue 28-Jun-16 14:56:59


SeekEveryEveryKnownHidingPlace Tue 28-Jun-16 15:01:41

I agree that I wish someone had taken them on. But I can see why you wouldn't. You'd be frightened. That's how thugs and racists get away with it, isn't it? Or maybe it's worse than that: maybe we need to be frightened about apathy every bit as much as racism.

MrsTerryPratchett Tue 28-Jun-16 15:03:16

It goes much further back than the last Labour government. Or the 70s. In England particularly it goes back 100s of years. My DH bores me rigid with tales of how the Church of Scotland was making sure the poor could read while the English couldn't. Literacy rates were far high in Scotland in, for example, the 19th century than in England.

There is a celebration of ignorance, a hatred of learning and books, a willful refusal to engage, that I haven't encountered in other countries. Possibly America...

I'm just waffling on but in the last few days I've been thinking about elites and ignorance and the fact that the Scots and the Liverpudlians voted Remain and why that is.

MephistophelesApprentice Tue 28-Jun-16 15:03:35

My mum was talking to a friend yesterday. They were passionate remain voters and are feeling very distressed. They were talking about how they felt so angry and upset; How it felt like to them, they were surrounded by strangers; that the country has changed around them and they had no say in it. Suddenly my mum's friend stopped, grabbed her arm and said "they (leave voters) have felt this way for years". They both felt a little chastened after that.

We allowed an empathy gap to grow in this country. Social media allowed us to surround ourselves with people who only talked about things we agreed with and ignore - worse, dismiss - everyone else. They were as alien to us as immigrants are to them and we treated them with distrust and contempt.

Perhaps if we had listened to them as of their concerns were valid, they would have listened to ours too. Perhaps they wouldn't have been quite so ready to f**k us all over if they hadn't thought that we were quite cheerfully f**king them over in the name of our own globalist privilege.

Hockeydude Tue 28-Jun-16 15:03:54

that person belongs in prison, surely there is a crime he has committed

SeekEveryEveryKnownHidingPlace Tue 28-Jun-16 15:07:18

Perhaps if we had listened to them as of their concerns were valid, they would have listened to ours too

Are you saying this young man's concerns about the 'African Paki' were valid?

MephistophelesApprentice Tue 28-Jun-16 15:24:22

Are you saying this young man's concerns about the 'African Paki' were valid?


If we had listened as if his concerns were valid (his fear of losing his identity, his ostracism from the wealthy mainstream, the lack of future for himself or his community) then he might have listened when we told him it wasn't the fault of migrants.

But instead, ghastly classist snobs dismissed him because, ultimately, he used the wrong dialect, was poor, and dressed in a way we consider uncouth. Why should he listen to our perspective on prejudice while we're so flagrant with our own?

SeekEveryEveryKnownHidingPlace Tue 28-Jun-16 15:33:38

I'm sorry, I can't buy that.

I don't care what his dialect is, or what clothes he wears. And I think the very people most likely to be most sympathetic about the disenfranchisement and disadvantage you're talking about would feel the same. I care that he's on a tram screaming at people to get off it based on the colour of their skin and his perception of them as immigrants - I'd feel the same if he was a fucking Bullingdon twat!

smallfox1980 Tue 28-Jun-16 15:39:49

"But instead, ghastly classist snobs dismissed him because, ultimately, he used the wrong dialect, was poor, and dressed in a way we consider uncouth."

No we dismissed him for shouting racist abuse at someone

You can talk about whatever you like but the economic woes of people like this are in no way the fault of migrants.

For a liberal lefty even I find your attempt to defend this guy horrific, there are millions of people who feel disenfranchised from society but would not behave in a way like this.

Also please don't say "we don't listen" cause the reason we don't listen is because when these people come out with racist garbage like "they feel surrounded and live in fear." we can either try to deal with their prejudice which they resist often saying "its my opinion" or we can just leave them to it.

This was a racist, bigoted attack by someone who has been validated by the brexit vote. The leave camp have stirred these emotions for political gain and allowed these people to feel that these types of attacks are in someway valid.

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