Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Brexit Lesson 3 - How Should We React When People Leave?

In my last Brexit post, I provided a bit of history to refresh our memories on what has happened in the forty years since Britain joined the EU.

One of the things we saw from the history is that in the European Union, like in most communities, the membership changes over time.  People leave for various reasons and new people join.  That is why it is important to bring in new people, because others will leave.  People leaving isn't in and of itself a bad thing.  It may be inevitable.  So why are those who voted to leave being labelled racist?

I'm not suggesting that there aren't racist people in Britain.  We've seen some ugly evidence of racism since June 23.  But the Leavers aren't all racist.  What is racism, anyway?  Back to the dictionary we go:

Prejudicediscrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior

No, the Leavers aren't using racial discrimination based on a belief in racial superiority as a reason for leaving.  Voting to leave due to the economic effects of immigration is not the same as racism.

The other label that the Leavers are being given is ignorant.  Having a different opinion doesn't make them ignorant.

Today's lesson is for everyone who lives in community (i.e. all of us).  We should think carefully before we label someone because they hold different opinions than we do.  Honest and rational debate doesn't need name calling.  If I think honestly about the last time I labelled someone, I catch a whiff of that superiority referred to above in the definition of racism.  Ouch!

"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?  How can you say to your brother, 'Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,' when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye?  You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brothers eye."  - Luke 6:41-42

1 comment:

  1. Excellent points because I really do want to believe it isn't just about racism as I mentioned. I do understand the need to simplify life especially in complex times. But nothing is ever simple although I have always been attracted to wise sayings from various creeds and religions. Now, how can a few words really cut to the chase...and yet they do.