Is xenophobia acceptable when racism isn't?

If it's not racism then what is it? We have a phrase for unintended prejudice and illinformed behaviour in organisations its " institutional racism". What is the equivalent for the same behaviour amongst voters? Those who voted "out"say it was because of concerns about immigration and they are defiantly not racist. Do they mean that it's not people's colour or religion they object to but simply that they are " foreigners". So they are not being racist because they also don't want Polish people or any one from Easter Europe! And the reason they are not wanted is simply that there are not enough jobs and houses to go round plus they put pressure on an already over stretched NHS and their children take up too many places in local schools. 

If you look at the jobs "foreigners" do they seem to be either low paid unskilled unattractive work that locals would rather be unemployed than do or skilled professionals like dentists, nurses and plumbers were there is a national shortage. The housing shortage is the result of government policy to restrict local authorities from building social housing for rent and the difficulty of obtaining a mortgage for first time buyers due to the government's  financial restricts on lending. If people come here and work and therefore pay taxes then why wouldn't they have the right to use the NHS which is funded from taxes and why wouldn't their children have the right to attend local schools. If there is a shortage of local places is that not a consequence of a failure of the government's schools strategy and a failure to support local authorities?

My understanding is that the country needs  an influx of young people who will start a family, preferably of two or more children, in order to support are increasingly elderly population. Their taxes will pay for my pension and since young people make less demands on the NHS than older people their taxes are my best chance of keeping the NHS afloat. 

So what is the collective noun for prejudice and ignorance that isn't just about colour and religion? 

Blair McPherson  

Security level: Public

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7 Comments

CM
Carl Moreira-Smith 3 Years Ago
An interesting viewpoint that makes me wonder if have a phrase for unintended prejudice and ill-informed behaviour in Remain voters.
john mortimer 3 Years Ago
I would like to reply, as there has been much discussion with people I know on the continent, that racism is winning in the UK. And this is based on the fact that one of the main aspects of Brexit is immigration. Well, I would like to demonstrate that by taking a systemic approach to looking at this problem. Firstly, I would take a person, Bob, who 'does not want Poles living in my street'. I have to have a real person in mind, so I will take someone I know to demonstrate this. How can we solve anything unless we understand the real problem. So, the next step is understand why someone thinks this. Ask why? ‘They come flooding in, they think its better in England so they all come with their family and use our NHS. With open borders, how many more people are going to come in?’ Right. the problem seems to be; how many, no-one can tell me? We find out that he has a son who cannot afford to live in the same street, because of the high house prices. We find that he heard Angela Merkel say that the open borders were 'non'negotiable'. We also find that Bob has worked with Poles before, and goes to the pub sometimes and drinks with them. Bob has a neighbour is retired, with deteriorating health. With a systems approach, we look at this from what matters to Bob. We do this until we get to the root cause. The root cause, with Bob, is that he is afraid that more people in this country will strain the health systems that are already straining. Bobs world view, is of a mass of people, invading. Why? Because he has seen this repeatedly in the paper he reads, and there are no immigration limits - it could be millions. The influx of migrants is a real example that he has seen on the TV, and he has also seen how poor the EU are at resolving that. Bob sees this, and he is fearful. Fear breeds illogical solutions - Voting to exit the EU, because thats the only solution that will remove Bobs fear, by putting in some control. If, Angela Merkel understood this, maybe her response to the question about floods of immigrants could have been: ‘it is important to ensure that we match the resources each country has, with people coming in, and we need to deal properly if too many people want to go to populated areas that cannot cope. Lets monitor the numbers of immigrants, and keep recording the situation. Lets review this position regularly across the EU.’ Maybe Bob would have got the idea that someone somewhere able to control the situation if it got out off hand. Then maybe Bob would not be fearful. Then maybe Bob will have voted to stay, as he had wanted to do. Listen, then understand why, then discover the root cause. If this enquiry then is logical, I believe that many in this country would be branded a racist. Actually, this could have been caused by the system not listening and responding to fears. John https://uk.linkedin.com/in/john-mortimer-06117083
JM
John Mukungunugwa 3 Years ago in reply to john mortimer . - Edited
Blair, I like your visionary approach to the main reason why people voted to Leave the EU. Most ordinary people do not look at issues that way. John has demonstrated how ordinary folk would likely respond to the question of immigration. By nature we are very selfish beings. I know of many immigrants (mostly from the Commonwealth countries) who voted to leave the EU but their basis for doing so was not racism but selfishness. Some said East Europeans are replacing them on the job market and if cabbed job priorities would revert back to them. Different motives but achieving the same result. The selfish immigrant and the racist voter inadvertently worked together to achieve their desired result, Both these parties have been used by politicians who are very skilful at exploiting unfounded but real fears that ordinary folk have. The Right Wing Agenda has succeeded in creating havoc not only in the country but in both main political parties! It has been reported that the most googled question soon after the Leave vote was, "what does EU mean?" They say ignorance is bliss but we will be barking up the wrong tree. What this means is that people are not given the opportunity to make informed decisions. In most cases we are misinformed. It is argued that the British are masters of diplomacy. Very soon we will come up with a noun for xenophobia. Just watch the space.
Nick Molyneux 3 Years ago in reply to john mortimer . - Edited
John Mortimer, this doesn't make a lot of sense to me, because whatever assurances Merkel could give about 'monitor the number of immigrants' and 'dealing properly if too many people want to go to populated areas', under the rules of the EU there is no method of controlling where people go. Whether or not immigration is really causing a problem for 'Bob' and his housing/employment situation is another issue, but unless the EU is about to change one of its fundamental principles (free movement of people) then there is no point monitoring migrants because it will not be possible to act on the information. EU leaders have been quite clear that they have no intention of changing this principle. The irony in this discussion is that one of the reasons so many people voted Leave is due to the attitude displayed in the original post above, which despite claiming to use the force of logic and claiming the high moral ground with regard to tolerance, snidely portrays anyone with a different opinion as a bigot. The final sentence reveals that he considers 17 million people in this country to be prejudiced and ignorant. What a very patronising and pessimistic view of your countrymen!
Nick Molyneux 3 Years ago in reply to Nick Molyneux .
I should add that one view from a 'Remain' standpoint which I find quite convincing is that the EU may well actually review the principle of free movement, given the pressure that has been mounting due to the refugee crisis, so we should have remained in the EU and might have achieved some rebalancing of the situation as you suggest. But if 'Bob' considered this possibility he probably decided it was unlikely.
SR
Simon Russell 3 Years Ago
Short answer is no it is not acceptable. One definition is : 'an unreasonable fear or hatred of foreigners or strangers or of that which is foreign or strange. ' For me the word unreasonable is the important one and as such any display in the workplace needs to be treated along the same way as racism.
FM
Former Member 3 Years Ago
This is very interesting, as is John's comment below. My understanding of institutional racism is that it is racism which is largely unrecognised - so there's an unfair set up which hasn't been challenged because it's always been that way and nobody has really thought about it?