An open letter to…

Dear racist, ignorant, self-righteous xenophobes who have seen the result of the EU-Referendum vote as a stamp of approval to shout abuse and hate freely both in the streets and from behind their computer screens, 

Over the past few days I have seen endless posts appearing on social media of people, both born and bred UK-citizens, and people who have made the UK their home, speaking of the abuse and hatred that has been directed at them since the result was announced. I have had friends who, having heard and read about such incidents, feeling threatened and scared to walk around their own home town.  

And it’s because of you. 

How dare you think that you are somehow afforded the right to throw hatred out into the world right now? How dare you hijack a democratic process for your own hate-filled agenda? 

While you may be frustrated with the hand that life has dealt you – blaming immigrants and throwing hate out into our world will not change your lot. Hurling racist abuse at people in the street will only result in all that hate being returned to you in some way. These hate-filled diatribes that you throw around like confetti only result in YOUR shame and show the ugliness on your heart and mind. 

Take a moment away from your racist keyboard warrior agenda and, for once in your life, take a look at the facts. 

The UK is a tiny little nation with a rich and diverse history. However, it would be significantly less so if it weren’t for immigration. 

Without immigration, our free at the point of delivery NHS would struggle to exists. According to the General Medical Council, 37 per cent of doctors are foreign born, and 40 per cent of nurses. 

Without immigration, the UK economy would be in even worse condition than it is. Foreign-owned companies only make up one per cent of registered businesses in the UK but account for over one a third of the British economy. 

In a similar vein, almost 40 per cent of food manufacturers are migrants. This means where almost half of food companies receive their food from businesses owned or operated by migrants.

Speaking of food… do you remember the curry crisis of 2012?In 2012, the government announced only the top 5 per cent of the most skilled chefs qualified for admission to the UK, which naturally led to a shortage in chefs in Indian restaurants. Britain’s curry industry stands at between £2.5bn and £3.6bn and a good portion of those businesses are run by Asian entrepreneurs and rely on foreign chefs. Just a little something to remember the next time you go out for a curry…

The next time you complain about taxes, consider this. The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has warned that if immigration to Britain was reduced, the government would have to increase taxation just to be able to meet government targets to lower the deficit. 

Even the world of sport is positively impacted by immigration. Foreign players continue to boost England’s football teams, and most recently Riyah Mahrez, an Algerian, won PFA Player of The Year as part of Leicester City’s title winning side. 

People have long sought out the UK as a beacon of hope, safety, and possibility – they often come here by choice but sometimes they have no choice but to run to the UK for refuge. 

You talk about refugees using the word ‘migrant’ – as if, somehow, there was a choice involved – as if there weren’t guns and bombs punctuating their lives with fear and terror. They are running to safety through no fault of their own and we have a human duty to do what we can to help. 

You will NEVER have to endure what some of these refugees have been through because you have had the PRIVILEGE of somehow being born at the latitude and longitude of a peaceful, democratic and safe nation. This privilege of birth does not now, nor will it ever, give you the right to abuse those who were born elsewhere. 

Thousands of people from the UK migrate around the world every year. In fact, 4 million UK citizens currently live and work in other countries and, as one of them, I am thankful for the fact I can travel freely to work in another land, meet new people, engage with different cultures and customs, learn new languages, and see all that the beautiful people of this incredible world have to offer. 

We do not get a choice of where we are born or what we are born into. But we do have a choice in how we handle our circumstances and what we make of it. By handling your own circumstances with hate and ignorance, you are only destroying your own prospects, your own chances, and your own future. Your ignorance closes you off to that incredible world out there and you are all the worse off for it. 

You say ‘England for the English’, ‘Britain for the British’…yet are completely clueless about the diverse cultures that make up Britain. Aside from the fact that the British Isles are made up of 5 nations – culture hubs like Shoreditch, Hackney, Brick Lane and Chinatown only exist because many years ago people brought their experiences and cultures to their new land, shared them, merged them with others, and built a rich, diverse community. 

In fact, no matter how ‘British’ you may think you are, you are a citizen of the world, made up of so many pieces of the hundreds of generations that went before you. I would only ask that you watch this video to see what I am talking about: 

So the next time you are sitting on your Swedish furniture, eating a Chinese or Indian takeaway, and watching your favourite football team, take a moment out of your hypocrisy to educate yourself. Learn from history. Meet and get to know these incredible people and hear their stories. Understand who you are and where you have come from. 

Or remain ignorant.

But, if you do choose to remain ignorant, don’t for one second, think you are supported in your ignorance. You are not. You do not speak for me. You do not speak for the UK and it’s citizens. Your hate will not win. 

With kindness, hope and an unwavering belief in unity,