I'm Terrified of Where We Are Now and What We May Become
On twitter I said “An MP gets stabbed and shot by someone shouting “Britain First” on the day UKIP copies Nazi propaganda. This is terrifying.” Someone accused me of trying to make political gain. This was my response.
I'm Terrified of Where We Are Now and What We May Become
Ed: Brexit campaign poster unveiled by Nigel Farage on the day Jo Cox was murdered
By Chris Brosnahan / medium.com
Jun 18, 2016

I’ve just been accused of trying to make political gain out of Jo Cox’s death. As opposed to the reality, something I don’t say often. The reality is that I am fucking terrified of what is happening in this country.

When Farage started becoming part of the media’s story of this country, I thought ‘this guy is scary’. I thought ineffective. But scary.

When Boris Johnson started being taken seriously as a politician, I thought ‘this guy is scary’. Again, ineffective. But scary.

But the BNP terrified me. Nick Griffin terrified me because he sounded reasonable. Not the things he said. But the way he said them.

In exactly the same way as Johnson and Farage, I was scared of good talkers who some people liked, who others wrote off as ‘funny’. Shit, I wrote them off as funny at times. But at the same time, I was aware that the more seriously they were taken, the scarier they were.

They started being featured more and more. Being given more and more platforms. Being allowed to say more and more. It was in the name of ‘balance’, but it was also in the name of ratings. You didn’t see the far left given the same platforms as often.

The mainstream politicians started trying to appeal to the fringe groups and gave the arguments even more credibility. And at the same time, recessions and austerity gave people more reason to be frustrated, angry and afraid.

We had generations raised on Thatcher who felt betrayed by Blair. So many people lost faith in ‘the establishment’. My generation was raised on Thatcher. I thought everything would change. And our age group were the ones that watched as free education died.

We stopped investing in our future and invested in the rich and corporations instead. We disenfranchised entire generations. These generations didn’t go away. They became poorer and more disenfranchised. And angrier and more afraid.

So when good talkers who had been given credibility by TV started telling them again and again that it wasn’t their fault… they listened.

“It’s not your fault” is an incredibly seductive argument. “It’s theirs”. Because there’s always a ‘them’. Always. That’s easy. “You’re not being treated fairly. We have too many people. That’s the problem.” And the argument becomes who has a right to be here.

And this was the point where “these people are scary” became “these people are fucking terrifying.”

That’s the point where we start debating which people have rights and which people don’t. And it’s based on who was here longest. And when you start basing it on that, you start basing it on where you were born. And somehow, we let them say that wasn’t racist.

“It’s not racist to want control over immigration!” “It’s not racist to say they should go elsewhere!” “It’s not racist to want to stop them coming here!” “It’s not racist to say they should be sent back!”

And the message has become more seductive and more powerful. And it’s overtaken logic and it’s based purely on emotion.

John Oliver said about Donald Trump “They may not understand what he stands for but they understand the fuck out of how he makes them feel.” And again, the problem is that the emotional argument is an impossible one to win.

Gove says “people have heard too much from experts”. Yes. They’re exhausted and frustrated and angry and afraid. They want control back. And the good talkers who have no problems lying and no problems creating hatred and fear tell them “this is how you get control back”. And we’ve had a right wing media that has been telling us for decades that immigrants are the problem and Europe is the problem.

And what fucking terrifies me is that this is not a logical argument. It’s an emotional one. And the emotions are fear and anger.

My fear is not “Oh no, we might leave Europe”. My fear is what this country will become. What it is right now.

My fear is that we treat people as ‘other’ and as ‘wrong’ and as ‘they shouldn’t be here’ and as something other than people.

My fear is that latest fucking poster from Nigel Farage. My fear is cropping out white people from pictures of immigrants to scare people.

My fear is when we start treating people as less than other people. Because that’s when people die. My fear is that when someone stabs and shoots someone shouting “Britain first”, my first thought is that this was inevitable.

My fear is that when you mainstream ‘othering’ people, you create situations like this. Like Orlando. You create motivation for death.

And I’m fucking terrified because I don’t know where the end point to this is. I don’t know when we decide we’ve gone too far in hatred. World War II didn’t happen because of the holocaust. It happened because of invasions of other countries. That’s a really scary thought. If Hitler hadn’t decided he wanted an empire, when would anyone have intervened? We don’t know where that hatred actually ends.

So yeah. I’m fucking terrified right now. I’m terrified of what has become acceptable rhetoric. Acceptable front pages. Acceptable campaigns.

I’m terrified of what we are now and I’m terrified of what we may become. Because I don’t see an end in sight. The hatred has taken hold.

There’s no political gain here for me. I’m not campaigning. I’m not running for office. I’m not a journalist. I don’t have a platform. I’m terrified that Jo Cox’s death isn’t the end point to all of this that it should be. Because it’s an awful, awful thing to have happened.

I’m terrified because I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to fix this. I don’t know how to help. I’m not sure there is a way.

I wish I had a more hopeful point to end this on. Maybe tomorrow, I will. But right now… right now, I’m out of hope. I’m just scared.


Editor's note: It has been pointed out that the UKIP poster bears a striking resemblance to images from a Nazi propaganda film from 1941, which you can view here.

4.0 ·
1
Trending Today
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 11,088 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
The Corporation (2003)
145 min · 6,710 views today · The Corporation is today's dominant institution, creating great wealth but also great harm. This 26 award-winning documentary examines the nature, evolution, impacts and future...
Coping With Narcissistic Personality Disorder in the White House
N Ziehl · 2,937 views today · I want to talk a little about narcissistic personality disorder. I’ve unfortunately had a great deal of experience with it, and I’m feeling badly for those of you who are...
Dinosaur explains Trump policies better than Trump!
8 min · 1,850 views today · Donald Trump is actually the corporate triceratops, Mr. Richfield, from the 90's TV show sitcom, "Dinosaurs". 
The Comprehensive Activist Guide to Dismantling Neoliberalism
Drew Serres · 961 views today · “The creation of today’s market society was not the result of a sequence of spontaneous events but rather of state interference and violence.” – Naomi Klein in The Shock...
22 Documentaries That Tell the Truth About How Government Really Works
Tim Hjersted · 886 views today · And 6 that show how people are responding.
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 769 views today · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
90 Inspiring and Visionary Films That Will Change How You See the World in Profound Ways
Tim Hjersted · 617 views today · The world today is in crisis. Everybody knows that. But what is driving this crisis? It's a story, a story that is destroying the world. It's a story about our relationship to...
This Woman Gets No Applause...Why? They Are Too Creeped Out...
7 min · 461 views today · Think you aren't being fooled by advertising tricks? Take a look at this so-called expert revealing food marketing's secret weapon. No amount of marketing makes factory farming...
Positive Thinking in a Dark Age: A Guide to Gracefully Losing Faith in a Collapsing Dominant Culture
Jim Tull · 413 views today · I recall a Buddhist parable involving a stick that appears from a distance to be a snake, causing fear to rise in the perceiver. As the perception shifts upon closer...
The Invention of Capitalism: How a Self-Sufficient Peasantry was Whipped Into Industrial Wage Slaves
Yasha Levine · 411 views today · “…everyone but an idiot knows that the lower classes must be kept poor, or they will never be industrious.” —Arthur Young; 1771 Our popular economic wisdom says that...
The White Man in That Photo
Riccardo Gazzaniga · 315 views today · Sometimes photographs deceive. Take this one, for example. It represents John Carlos and Tommie Smith’s rebellious gesture the day they won medals for the 200 meters at the...
The Age of Anxiety
Grace Blakeley · 299 views today · I began to experience the crippling power of anxiety in my third year of university. The panic attacks were one thing, but the most horrifying thing about anxiety, the thing...
Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed (The Real Reason For The Forty-Hour Workweek)
David Cain · 295 views today · Well I’m in the working world again. I’ve found myself a well-paying gig in the engineering industry, and life finally feels like it’s returning to normal after my nine months...
Live Before You Die
6 min · 286 views today · Travelling the length of the country and back again with a pair of horses and gypsy caravan, Live Before You Die is the ultimate horse-drawn road movie, following a band of...
The Top 100 Documentaries We Can Use to Change the World
Films For Action · 264 views today · A more beautiful, just and sustainable world is possible. Take this library and use it to inspire global change!
Regenerative Agriculture: Our Best Shot at Cooling the Planet?
Jason Hickel · 233 views today · It’s getting hot out there. For a stretch of 16 months running through August 2016, new global temperature records were set every month.[1] Ice cover in the Arctic sea hit a...
One "Piece of the Oppressor" That I Have Discovered Within Myself
Tim Hjersted · 223 views today · One "piece of the oppressor" that I have found in myself during my inner activist journeys is my use of shame as a method of engaging with the world's problems. Having learned...
Bertrand Russell & Buckminster Fuller on Why We Should Work Less, and Live & Learn More
Josh Jones · 169 views today · Why must we all work long hours to earn the right to live? Why must only the wealthy have a access to leisure, aesthetic pleasure, self-actualization…? Everyone seems to have...
Who Are You? Watching This Breathtaking Video Could Be the Moment You Change Your Life
2 min · 163 views today · "Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work, driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for, in order to get to a job that you need so you can...
Load More
What's Next
Like us on Facebook?
I'm Terrified of Where We Are Now and What We May Become