I voted. Although I voted remain based on hearing the different arguments, I didn’t want to vote. I wished there was at least a third option.
I’ve been working so hard over the past year to overcome ‘black and white’ thinking, ‘this way or that way’, ‘right or wrong’, and so when confronted with this ‘choice’; In or Out, I felt uncomfortable. What also didn’t help were the personalities ‘leading’ each campaign. Cameron and Osborn the faces of the Remain camp. And then Johnson/Gove/Farage for camp Leave. Neither camp exuding me with any confidence.
Britain has its problems. And the problems/challenges are real. Poverty (food banks), immigration, health, education are serious concerns for many many people. I mean I have a personal problem of my own. Over 2 months ago, I was told the NHS can’t fund my cancer with a breakthrough treatment as it costs too much. Now who do I blame? I felt sorry for myself for a few days but then I had to focus on life to find a way forward. Blaming anyone or having self pity wasn’t the answer. 2 months later with the help and support of family, friends and strangers I have started my treatment. That’s another story.
Back to today. I voted and as I stepped out of the polling station, there were several adults from a Bangladeshi descent, many of whom I know in their 50s, 60s, 70s, sharing their reasons for voting Leave. Their reasons saddened me. I have many friends who have publicly declared that they would vote Leave. But what saddened me today as I stopped to hear this minority community complain was that they were blaming other minority groups, specifically Eastern Europeans, for the state of the country.
I mean, as a British Bangladeshi Muslim in my 30s, I have been on the receiving end of racism and Islamaphobia over the years. I’ve been called a ‘Paki’, I’ve had eggs thrown at me by groups of white boys because I am Asian, I’ve been ‘stopped and searched’ because of my racial profile. There’s no doubt these adults too have faced such hate over the years, if not directly then their family or friends or through backlash in the media. So hearing them bitch about other minority groups for the problems Britain faces was so sad. I felt disgusted. I won’t repeat the language used but for me to blog about it, clearly needs releasing from my system.
A case of divide and rule at play. One minority group blaming another minority group.
Let me go micro to macro for a minute. So I have my own problems. Britain has problems. The EU has problems. And then there’s the world. Humanity is going through a lot of pain and suffering.
Focusing on who to blame, be it Muslims, immigrants (including Mexicans from a Trump perspective), or the rich, is definitely not the solution.
Regardless of how the vote turns out on the 24th June when results are announced. Whether Britain votes to leave or remain, the problems will still be there, both on a micro and macro level. It’s up to us as individuals to come together as a team, as a collective to solve the issues at hand. And there are no shortages of issues. I hope there’s a will to do so.