A couple of months ago, I was encouraged by the number of my friends supporting Black Lives Matters. This weekend, I am appalled at how many articles discriminating against asylum seekers in the UK have appeared.
Are we now saying Black Lives Matter, unless they come from Afghanistan, Syria or other countries like these? The truth is closer to what I first suspected. They were sharing Black Lives Matter to jump on a bandwagon. They didn’t believe what they posted. They wanted to look acceptable in front of their friends. Their prejudice and white privilege were still intact.
The white privilege complaint one — Housing
Asylum seekers are housed when they enter the UK and we have many British homeless on our streets.
Looking at both of these statements. First asylum seekers are housed when they enter. Having worked with these young people to teach them English, this is not the luxury people believe. The detention centres are normally old care homes. They are dark and cold. Many rooms have 4–6 young men in each.
There are many homeless on our streets. Many of these are ex-servicemen. That is a fact I don’t deny. However, some of them choose to go on the streets as psychologically they find living in houses too much. They have seen the worse of the world and their mental health suffers. This sees them addicted to drugs and alcohol and ostracised from their families. The problem here is the lack of support for these families. Our poor mental health provision means there is no support. The problem is caused by our system, not asylum seekers.
Still, to listen to some of these bigots you would like asylum seekers were marching up to servicemen and forcing them onto the streets.
The white privilege complaint two — Benefits
Asylum seekers are given money from our taxes every week to spend. Families are starving and asylum seekers get free money.
The facts are asylum seekers get £35.39 a week to live on. This is in the form of a food card not cash.
As someone who regularly donates to Oxfam and other charities to feed the world. I’m happy to give the money over to feed them.
There is terrible poverty in the UK. Families are starving, nurses are having to use food banks. The situation should not continue. But as asylum seekers aren’t going up to people and stealing their food, I’m not sure why the anger is directed towards them.
You Are Angry at The Wrong Person
Be angry at the system. The system that has cut money to mental health services so not everyone can get help. The system that refused a pay rise for our nurses so that they have to use a food bank.
A system that has capped families for only claiming for a maximum of two children. The average family size in the UK is 2.4.
There is plenty of evidence that supports anger towards a government, that has so little regard for its constituents.
Don’t be angry at families who have risked their lives to cross the channel in tiny boats for a better life. Families that have come from political atrocities we can never imagine. Families who daily wonder if this is their last and a bomb will wipe them out.
Some will say to seek asylum means you claim it is the first country you arrive at. How can a little island be the first safe country they arrive at? I agree, but again be angry at the system that pushes these people through their borders to reach another country. The French navy has been observed leading these boats into British waters and then retreating.
With our white privilege, we can sit here and judge others less fortunate than us. One day it could be us. We could be persecuted for being disabled and have to flee our safe homes. We could be under the threat of being held in camps because of our ideals and religion.
Pray if this happens to you, there is a safe country to take refuge in. A country that will help, who’s people will provide for you whilst you get back to your life. A country that will not judge and use the colour of your skin against you.
It appears, that I am of need of a Facebook purge. I will remove these privileged ignorant people who have no compassion for others. We are one world and one species, you can take your privilege away from me and my children.
Ask yourself this question. Are the media sharing these stories to highlight the plight of these people? Or are the media sharing these stories to incite racial prejudice in the UK?