Readers, in light of not only the news of thousands of migrants fleeing via Calais to the UK, but also the recent racially-aggravated stabbing of teacher Vincent Umoza in Bradford, it is important that we not only tackle racism and anti-immigrant myths, but also the root causes of racism and anti-immigrant feeling, which can often develop in childhood (the boy who stabbed Mr Umoza was only 14 years of age).
Given that racism and anti-immigrant propaganda and myths have been on the rise since the Great Recession started, what important things should we all do?
1. Remember that fundamentally we are all human beings, regardless of race, gender, disability, orientation, religious belief etc. In particular, our children should know this as well as respect for diversity and free thinking, and the good it brings to us all, needs to be taught from an early age. Given that dangers such as long-term austerity and adverse artificial climate change affect all of us, now more than ever is a time to remain united and resist the divides the capitalist establishment foists on us.
2. Know that the small, very wealthy elite are the real enemy here. Many migrants flee their countries because they have no real choice, and capitalist interests have played a hand, to one degree or another, in civil wars and other conflicts that have ravaged many poorer nations. Many dictators and other authoritarian regimes abroad whose policies and brutality cause many people to flee their homeland, often in fear for their lives and those of their families, are generally aided by the same capitalist interests e.g. some European countries are still granting export licenses to export arms to Saudi Arabia, which has one of the world's worst human rights records.
3. Boycott newspapers and other media that promote stories designed to denigrate migrants and other vulnerable groups in society. This is not just limited to the right-wing newspapers that are The Sun, The Daily Mail, and The Daily Express, by the way. Independent online media and blogs can be useful for getting the truth out to us.