My run-in with intolerance

20 Mar

We all know there is plenty of racism and intolerance out there. The BNP has two EU seats, numerous Councillors, the English Defence League holds regular rallies and extremist numbers are regularly going up – fact. But until last night, I’d never met true intolerance, I don’t run in circles where I would normally come across racists.

Yesterday however, I was at a very enjoyable wedding. But late in the evening, I was chatting with a guest and somehow the discussion got onto climate change. He discussed how he thought it was a load of old claptrap and just a con by the British Government to raise taxes. I obviously disagreed and said it was a global phenomenon and Government’s around the world were starting to take the threat seriously and I pointed out that even the US under Obama was starting to engage with the issue. This gentleman then started on Obama and I think the nicest of the many adjectives he used was to refer to Obama as a slave. His choice of words was abhorrent and ugly and I had no problems telling him so, but he didn’t see what he was doing was wrong. Instead of fighting him, I walked off, disgusted at his opinions.

This clown is a frightening example of a growing sector with society and it needs to be actively fought against. There is nothing that could change this person’s mind, nothing, but the danger is that his opinions spread to his children, friends and colleagues like a virus.

Politicians on both sides of the aisle need to work harder to and work together to stop this intolerance. Politicians should point out the benefits of immigration and of multiculturalism and end divisive talk of capping immigration and the dangers of unfettered population growth. People should realise that immigration has been vital and is important for a strong economy and people should embrace other cultures.I too am an immigrant in this country and I feel that I as well as many other immigrants make Britain stronger.

I feel it is impossible to legislate and condemn people for their thoughts, but it is important that we make intolerance die out. We need to educate children to learn to accept, we need to show people that they have nothing to fear. At the same time we need to encourage positive integration so people no longer fear the unknown. This is perhaps the greatest threat to our democracy and we need to fix it now, before it spreads even further.

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