Friday, 27 September 2013

Casual racism is not ok

An article in the Portsmouth News reported that a Portsmouth University student had been caught up in the attacks in Westgate mall in Kenya. The report speaks of a terrified 18-year old girl, working with a group of innocent children on the roof of the shopping centre - found herself and the children she was working with in the middle of a horrible terrorist attack, and who lost friends in the attack and feared for her life, and - despite all of this - will still be arriving shortly in the UK to begin her degree.

One reader felt that, rather than reacting with compassion and concern, this presented them with the opportunity to comment & question the woman's right to study in the UK, and the nationality of others who were caught up in the attack. Some people's cold desire to tread on others in an attempt to secure privilege for themselves over those they deem less deserving is horrifying.

Below is their comment, followed by my reply ...
8:39 AM on 27/09/2013
A Portsmouth student who isn't even here yet, how does that work?Amazing how many 'BRITS' were caught up in this attack........none of them actually British I can wager.......
9:21 AM on 27/09/2013
As you may not understand how the process works for foreign students, I'll explain ... you apply to the university, and if you get accepted, you pay your deposit and are then a student of that university.

As for your second comment, I'm not even sure where to start. Kenya used to be a British colony, which means that there are undoubtedly strong links with Britain, with Brits moving there, starting businesses and raising families. No doubt families ended up with family members in both countries.

Some of those undoubtedly retained their citizenship, and rightly so, and several - no doubt - have family members and friends that regularly visit from the UK. So, it's no surprise that there are bound to be large numbers of UK citizens both living there and visiting.

That's kinda how the process of global business, travel & resettlement works. You don't always have to lose your citizenship when you settle in a new country, and your children can often have both nationalities.

I often wonder how people would feel if all those Brits living abroad in places like Europe & the Med. were treated in the same way that people treat foreigners that move or visit here? You can't have it both ways ... want access to other countries, but have your border flow only going in one direction.

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