Part of the “Brexit” vote over in the UK may have been due to an anti-immigration fear campaign. In fact, the posters and advertisements made it clear that whether people voted to leave because of those fears or not, those fears were one of the reasons cited.
Claims of gang rapes and crimes against women are a particularly large fear being pushed.
And while I certainly don’t think everyone who voted to leave chose to vote that way based on those fears, I do imagine they a played a large part for some people. Especially given the post-referendum spike in racial incidents being reported in the UK.
Here in America, Donald Trump has gained power by attempting to play on those same fears. He has used high-profile cases such as the murder of a woman in San Francisco by an undocumented immigrant to scare people. He does this of course, while conveniently ignoring that the murderer was already deported to Mexico five times and crossed a border illegally that is just as porous as if there was his fictional wall. He has called for a ban on Muslims entering the US after San Bernardino and again after Orlando. He has made it seem as though the people responsible for these crimes are representative all of Mexicans, Muslims, and other non-white Christians.
And I’ll be the first to admit I have big problems with the way some cultures, some religions, and some countries treat people. I find that women and the LGBTQ people are especially targeted in some of those cultures. So why am I not afraid?
Because people are targeted here, by our own culture too.
Almost all my friends are women. Guess how many of them have been the victims of sexual assault or other sexual violence? It is too many. Now try to think of who the perpetrators of those horrific crimes were? Were they Mexicans or Muslims or any other minority?
Nope. They were white guys. They look like me.
And I haven’t even started on the terrorism yet. From Timothy McVeigh, to Robert Dear (the radical Christian Planned Parenthood terrorist) to Dylan Roof…terrorists do not have to speak another language or be Muslim to apply.
When a Texas mother flips the fuck out and shoots her two daughters in Houston suburbia, you know it just isn’t the people coming in from somewhere else you need to fear. When an Uber driver in Michigan decides to go on a shooting spree claiming the app told him to do it, it isn’t the Muslims. When Police kill black people for being black and get off simply because you can’t prove their intent such as in the Freddie Gray case, it isn’t the immigrants I fear.
If I were to live my life in fear, I’d fear you, middle class white person who just fell on hard times for the first time. I’d fear you, Christian preacher who celebrates when a bar full of people who would never do anything to harm anyone else is murdered in cold blood. I’d fear you, politician who acts like people are expendable in their quest for power. I’d fear you, hyper masculine homophobe.
Our collective society, our world society is sick. People are snapping under the pressure of being told to fall into line and fit into a box they were not designed to fit into. They were told that if they worked hard and finished school they could take care of themselves and their families and instead find themselves struggling under stagnating wages, downsizing, and crippling debt. They did as they were told. They woke up, they went to school where they learned to fall in line and respond to the bells, to never question authority and to be loyal to the system in exchange for a relatively comfortable existence. They gave up their imagination and individuality only to be used to temporarily satiate the greed of their masters. They are told who they must love, they are told what schedule they must follow. They are told to go along. They have done everything asked of them only to be met with the realization it was for nothing. They keep playing the game until they are too sick to realize it is killing them. And then they snap.
Our society is unconcerned. It’s all about the money, you see. We’ll just sell extra life insurance policies for the potential victims, and more clips and ammo for the ones who kill. We’ll just stoke people’s fears and distrust to keep people in line instead of paying them better or treating them with respect because that is much cheaper for us to do. We’ll sell arms to countries in an unstable area of the world where we regularly condemn the treatment of people. We’ll make them so concerned with the things that don’t affect them that they completely ignore the fact we are screwing them on the things that actually do.
It has to stop.
Live in peace how you choose. Do not be afraid. Try not to hurt anyone. Do not believe those that tell you anyone who does not believe as you do is evil. Do not support those who speak in hate and attempt to divide. If you don’t like something people are doing that doesn’t actually hurt anyone, keep your fucking opinion to yourself. Think critically. Question authority. Be an individual. Worry more about the glorification of violence that is acceptable in all levels of society more than who is consensually fucking who.
Or keep living in fear and anger of anyone different from you and participate in the horrible tragedies we see all too often. The choice is yours.