BLACK BRITONS are not part of the EU debate. We have been marginalised if not ostracised from it and we find ourselves in the same position as women throughout the country (and that includes female politicians in Westminster), mere spectators in a war of words that is being played out between white men.
We should be used to being shut out of the grand scheme of things by now. When it comes to the big discussions of state the door of the boardroom has always been closed to us. We will get invited in when it comes to discussions about the police and crime and even education and health. But when it comes to the state of the nation, well, it is not ours to contribute an opinion to.
Or at least that’s how it seems.
As much as we feel ourselves to be Britons we do not have the requisite wherewithal to really change the direction of this country.
Oh, don’t get me wrong. We have made this country the coolest place on the planet with our music, our culture and our jive talk. And we have made it the most colourful place in the world with our assimilation and embracing of white folks to the extent we have changed the direction that this country was going in - the dreary and miserable post-war fifties when everything was grey (you only have to look at the black and white films of the age to see my point on this).
But when it comes to where this country finds itself geopolitically, anyone would think that black Britons don’t exist. When actually we do.
So where are our BREXIT and REMAIN conversations around the middle class dinner tables of black Britain? They are nowhere to be found. We are not discussing it amongst ourselves or with our families as the Scots did when they had their ‘Should we stay or should we go’ referendum two years ago.
Then, every Scot - man, woman and child, black or white, thin or fat, long or short - was talking about it. In every pub and haggis shop in the Highlands and Lowlands.
I myself talked to black families up there in 2014 for my radio programmes, and to hear them talk you would think that Scotland belonged to them and that it was a little corner of the world that would forever be Africa and that their referendum was a matter of Africa for the Africans - at home and abroad.
You could say it is the same with this EU referendum on June 23rd. Yet, by all accounts, many black Britons are not even going to bother voting even though the outcome will affect who we are, what we are, and how we see ourselves in this great country of ours that will forever be (to us) Africa in the North Sea.
We’re just going to sit back and kotch while those who want to send us back to slavery get to determine our future. You can bet that they won’t be kotching on June 23rd.
Should we be worried then?
Of course we should. Whatever the outcome it will seriously impact on our children and our children’s children. We should be terrified - whichever position we find ourselves in the debate. So it is when we are posed with the awesome task of deciding destiny. Our children and our children’s children will ask of us: “Why did you never vote in the referendum?” And we won’t be able to look them in the face for shame.
Talking of destiny, whilst we have been excluded from the BREXIT/REMAIN debate, many of us are considering our own BLAXIT/REMAIN debate.
As you will know, the Nation of Islam have long advocated a ‘separation’ of the races, stating that we can ‘go our own way’ and it would be better for us. They ask for one state in America (not one of the cold northern states if you don’t mind) to be given to black folks to determine their own destiny.
Their BLAXIT position is not unlike the BREXIT position of so-called Eurosceptics. If we take the English peoples to be a race then it is exactly the same position. The BREXITERS say that we would be better off out of Europe.
The BLAXITERS (not just the Nation of Isam, but indeed many other BLAXIT supporters) say that we would be better off in control of our own destinies. The BREXITERS say that we were better off before. The BLAXITERS say that black people were better off before we ere integrated.
Before integration there was ‘apartheid’ in Britain, in South Africa, and in America. And this notion of ‘separate development’ of the races benefits us IF we are in charge of our own destinies. So like before but with us in charge of us rather than some racists in charge of us.
It never was so in Britain you say? Well, the BLAXITERS beg to differ. They point to the days before Britain became truly multicultural and we had thriving black businesses in Brixton and Tottenham and Hackney and Wandsworth and wherever there was a black community.
They ask, where are those thriving black businesses now? They have in the main been absorbed by the ‘mainstream’ (whatever that is). Look at the radio station Choice FM, the BLAXITERS say. Once upon a time that was a thriving black business. It is no longer black.
But does it matter?
They point to the underground black music business where once upon a time reggae albums could sell a million copies for a hungry lovers rock audience here in the UK who were made to feel unwelcome when they tried to go to the white clubs, so they set up something of their own and everybody was happy and making money.
All of that has disappeared, say the BLAXITERS. They add, if we were put in the position of doing for self, we would achieve more and get more respect and have a greater say in the destiny of this country.
But there are (at least) two sides to every ‘referendum’.
The REMAIN side of the ‘black referendum’ debate say that the BLAXITERS are talking rollocks, that we are far better off now that we are part of the greater landscape of Britain and that the ‘small islanders’ of the BLAXIT campaign cannot see the bigger picture, that we are now part of the mainstream and that that is a better place to be than in the marginalised ghettoes that were once the black ‘community’. Those are their words. Not mine.
And just like the REMAIN campaign in the EU referendum the REMAIN campaign in the black agenda referendum is desperate to stay where we are and not allow ourselves to revert back to what they consider to be an uncertain future in the doldrums. They say we cannot survive by ourselves.
They say that BLAXITING from the greater Britain would be impoverishing and devastating to our economies and our lives.
They say that Great Britain offers us certain protections that we wouldn’t have otherwise if we were on our own.
What do you say? Are you an Anglo-sceptic BLAXITER? Or are your feet firmly in the REMAIN camp?
Let me know please by June 23rd.