Fighting (too) Black Britain?
The importance of existing in a space that’s safe and warm enough to call my own drove me to fight for the house I live in now. For two years, Corey’s house was one of the safest spaces I felt comfortable in. It was an extension of him, his goodness, his warmth and hospitality, it was an environment I felt whole and free in. But we didn’t live together, so I couldn’t constantly be there. I would trudge back to my four walls at uni and for a moment, bask in that feeling of love came with visits to his. Between 2018 and 2019, Corey lived even closer to me which meant more time with and proximity to him to escape the hellishness of my then house. Housing should provide shelter as an environment to feel comfortable and safe enough to live in.
Not everybody gets that.
‘The policies that she implemented while she was home office secretary are still at play and they are to the detriment of Black people and other marginalised communities and I’m not with it. I stand by the fact that Theresa May is a pussyclart’ – Kelechi Okafor
In 2012, Theresa May gave her infamous hostile environments speech. Charged statements and the culmination of Brexit gave Britons the ammunition they needed to tell Black people to ‘go home’, and when the now ex-prime minister took to seat, she ensured they did. The number of recorded hate crimes between 2012 and 2013 was 42,255. In 2016, around the EU referendum, the home office reported a 44% increase in racial and religiously charged hate crimes. And between 2018 and 2019, 103,379 crimes were stated as such. These numbers only reflect reported incidents, the numbers of unreported cases will increase these numbers drastically.
For many who have made lives outside their countries of origin, it’s hard to define where and what home is. Individuals who were brought over, migrated, invited to the UK and otherwise have faced threats of deportation or been deported and forced to live a life in an environment they barely know or have never seen. And so what does this mean for those at intersections of sexuality and/ or disabilities? For relationships and livelihood? For sheer mental health?
The Apellant’s Tale as told to David Herd highlights the lengths in which anti-immigration laws and policies give leeway to the enforced removal of residents whilst out-rightly denying their rights to safely exist in the UK. The Windrush scandal is just another example of the framed language and targeted actions to criminalise and deny Black existence in the United Kingdom.
Most interesting is the language used by Brexit means Brexit campaigners, gunning for an immigrant-less England. Yen, yen, yen they’re taking all our jobs, our money and whatnot are always fascinating statements:
1. Because of the irony
2. The grand delusion of it all.
The home office spends about £12,000 per person on a chartered flight. At least half a million Great British Pounds have been spent to support a Tory Britain, meaning there’s money available when you really want to get something done. Meanwhile, Grenfell survivors — numbers of which are still uncertain — have yet to be rehoused in a country run by persons who have made it their mission to uphold a hostile environment to the detriment of Black and brown lives. There are not nearly half enough safe spaces to account for the callousness surrounding the lives and existence of Britain’s minorities. And the onus goes beyond individuals and smaller parties who are trying but who do not have as much resources available to create a space for all who require it.
When things are *redacted* even at home, where do you go?