Not so long ago I became disillusioned with the world and politics in this country. Listening to politicians just talk about people’s struggles with such a lack of compassion in this political point scoring facade was really taking its toll on me. The ripple effect of the personal echo chambers that most of us call home (Facebook) only adds to the continuous circle of clicking ‘like’.
In 2011 I started to think of ways of breaking my echo chamber and challenging views that I inherently opposed or thought were damaging. So I took the advice of Morpheus and “went down the rabbit hole”.
At the time there was a huge surge in support for organisations such as the EDL (English Defence League), Britain First and the BNP (British National Party), who were hellbent on “taking our country back”. Right. OK… Erm… Just gonna ask, where’s it going mate?
So I spent a lot of time trying (keyword) to engage in discussions on their pages about some of the ridiculous misguided views about our country. 9/10 times it ended with me just being insulted. So I asked myself ‘what’s the point?’ This is where I took off my keyboard warrior armour (mostly due to being banned from said pages), and began going to protests. The thing is, the protests and marches I went to – were the ones held by these groups. Now, I didn’t go to troll, or try and provoke people, I genuinely went to understand and engage in conversation. In my head I thought speaking to people face to face about these issues as humans will surely encourage progress. Huge face palm moment.
What became apparent to me was that an extremely small minority of people attending these protests would engage me in a discussion… progress. But the overwhelming majority would often chant a barrage of misinformed islamophobic songs towards me or anyone else that looked brown in the vicinity. It was horrendous. The open racist and prejudice language that would fly around in earshot of the police, who were being forced to manage the whole thing. There was one protest that did fascinate me though. In 2013 I went to an EDL march in Birmingham on Broad Street, and during all the hate fuelled nonsense – there was a very strange, yet contradicting moment.
The group would sing songs towards anyone not white who walked past, that was the routine. But when a disabled asian man in an electric wheelchair came passed the mob fell deathly silent and created a path for him to continue his journey reminiscent of moses parting the seas.
Then after he had gone, they resumed the aforementioned routine. Wow what actually just happened? Did this group – so focussed on hate, just experience a moment of empathy? Whatever it was, it was forgotten quickly. To this day I’m still unsure whether this was a sign there is hope, that when people emphasise they can be progressive with their thinking or if it was an awkward anomaly amongst the chaos.
Fast forward 6 years and It fascinates me that the term “liberal” is now becoming a insult and a large chunk of the population seem to be stuck with an outdated grandeur view of ” British superiority “.
This government is actively, not passively, but ACTIVELY (with their mass hegemonic media machine) creating wild hysteria around refugees which is creating a general mindset amongst communities that ‘refugee = bad’, ‘strain on resources’, ‘we can’t afford it’, ‘strain on our NHS’, ‘Our country is on its knees’… The country is being bled dry by this uncompassionate government, who are deliberately crippling the NHS with the top level management – and slowly privatising more services within it. That’s why it feels like there is a strain on the NHS, all the money is ongoing to companies charging extortion for services.
We are entering an age of mis-information.
The world is fake. Everything is just fake. We all know it. We believe that it can’t change and we keep swallowing the blue pill. Every system feels messed up, no one knows what the hell is going on but continue to keep trying to make money and get by. I feel each day there is a global shift towards hate and the notion of ‘the other’.
“You take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.”
Morpheus mate, the rabbit hole never ends.
Written by Jay Crutchley