Brexit and Racism

Plenty of late-night voices have weighed in on Brexit. But Samantha Bee’s Monday night take really got interesting when she got into the effects of the referendum’s success on British society—namely, the empowerment and (at least self-perceived) normalization of white supremacists. Racial and ethnic slurs on social media and in the real world, along with calls to “get out of our country” and even a “make Britain great again,” have threatened minority populations in one of the world’s great strongholds of diversity.

Source: Samantha Bee Explains Why Brexit Is Really About White Supremacy

I was good and ready to hate this clip. I am not a fan of Samantha Bee, who strikes me as aught more than a professional attention-monger and Jon Stewart wannabee pumping out glandular lefty hyperbole to get cheap laughs from everyone living on the blue side of the aisle.

But this clip may be the best thing she’s done since starting her show. Please ignore the headline. Bee does not say that Brexit is all about white supremacy.

She has the intelligence to understand that Britain’s history with the EU is fraught and complex. She does not mention, but surely understands, the fundamental miscalculations made by Eurocentrists in their quest to turn an economic union into a single polity of two dozen states. She acknowledges the social and economic disruption caused in Britain by the unprecedented (since 1066, anyway) immigration it has experienced. And she reminds us of the growing dissatisfaction among the working-class and middle-class in Britain with the uneven distribution of the benefits of globalization, and a frustration with political elites.

So she does not say that the Brexit vote is all about white supremacy. Her key point is this: whatever the reasons for the Brexit vote, it has given Britain’s vocal minority of racists and xenophobes the mistaken impression that half of their country agrees with them.

And that’s the kicker: whatever other reason you might have to vote for or against Donald Trump, you must acknowledge that by voting for him you are aligning yourself with some of the meanest, most ignorant pond-scum among our fellow citizens, and in so doing reinforcing their belief in the legitimacy of their baseless hatreds.

Watching the video, the one American – aside from Donald Trump – who looks really foolish in all of this is Van Jones. Bee shows one of Jones’ videos, and he is almost hyperventilating in his angst about how Brexit means that the door is wide open for Jim Crow (or worse) to return to America.

Jones is proof that there are those in America who reduce the Brexit to a battle between white supremacy on the one hand a liberal inclusiveness on the other, not in an effort to tell the truth, but in order to hijack the issue for their own narrow political ends.

To her credit, Bee resists going down that road. She seems to understand that the way to steer America clear of its darkest future is not to attempt to drag the nation to the opposite extreme, but to forge a consensus around the center. One can only hope that such reasonable voices dominate the American dialogue in the months remaining before the election.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

The Golden West Review

A Californian Perspective on History, Arts, Land, Literature, and Politics

A Bucket and a Pen

In Search of Life after the Career

coffeesteffi ♡

coffee, art & my brewed thoughts

Sea Scout Ship 9201

Channel Islands Harbor • Ventura County Council, BSA

Troop 234, Boy Scouts of America

Port Hueneme/Channel Islands Harbor, CA

Dirty Sci-Fi Buddha

Musings and books from a grunty overthinker

The Chinafornia Wolf

Gratefully Chronicling a Remarkable Journey

The Thousand Books Project

Reading a Meaningful Life

Cafe Book Bean

Talk Books. Drink Coffee.

Silicon Hutong

Addressing China as it is, not as we want it to be

Maura Elizabeth Cunningham

Historian and Writer

Runningwinegirl's Blog

Colorado Girl Sharing Insights on Wine, Public Relations and Life's Adventures

ARLIN REPORT...................walking this path together

PERSPECTIVE FROM AN AGING SENIOR CITIZEN

Blue-eyed Ronin

A contrarian who enjoys challenging existing illusions, one truth at a time.

Observer

People and Trends

commentisfreewatch.wordpress.com/

Promoting fair and accurate coverage of Israel

twitchy.com

Who Said What

Barton's Blog

To the clouds and beyond...

Coffee Shop Rabbi

Basic Judaism spoken here.

Cami Ryan

Science, society, and life

Pacific Paratrooper

This WordPress.com site is Pacific War era information

______Assessing China / The TEA Collaborative______

Tech, Energy & Ambitions: Assessments at the Intersection of Technology, Investment and Policy

Cliche of Logic

This is the beginning of my writing.

An Ordinary Website

of interest to few.

Der Bananenplanet

Alternatives Informationsmedium

Corey Robin

Author of "The Reactionary Mind: Conservatism from Edmund Burke to Sarah Palin" and "The Enigma of Clarence Thomas"

Ragan Communications

The Center Must Hold

The China Story

The Center Must Hold

Yale E360

The Center Must Hold

Xindanwei | 新单位

The Center Must Hold

WritersDigest.com

The Center Must Hold

WordCount

Freelancing in the Digital Age

FriendFeed Blog

The Center Must Hold

Business

The Center Must Hold

Blog Daily Listings RSS

The Center Must Hold

Speakeasy

The Center Must Hold

The Center Must Hold

Opinions

The Center Must Hold

RSSOpinion

The Center Must Hold

WebMD Health

The Center Must Hold

Renewal

The Center Must Hold

Village Voice

The Center Must Hold

Uploads from The U.S. Army

The Center Must Hold

TechNode

Latest news and trends about tech in China

WritersDigest.com

The Center Must Hold

Techmeme

The Center Must Hold

The Center Must Hold

%d bloggers like this: