Some may view my opinions as being anti-British. I want to say it is not. My views represent years of pain and trying to feel I belong. I am tired and exhausted. I have given up trying to belong. I am glad to be alive and to have the opportunity of experiencing life. I am opposed to extreme nationalism because it inevitably leads to the exclusion of less advantaged groups.
Maybe, I am suffering from that degenerative ageing process nostalgia. Nostalgia, one can argue, is at the root of nationalism, the desire to return to a reality that never really was. One man’s nostalgia is another’s nightmare.
In my nostalgic world, politicians used to offer leadership. Today this government appears to lead via opinion polls. Every day, it seems, I am bombarded with opinion polls asking my views on government policies or political events.
Britain’s political leaders used to be respected, or one could argue were better at disguising their belief in their superiority. Today, nationalism erodes this respect or is shining a light on hidden cultural beliefs depending on your point of view. The government and the populous appears unconcerned. I, however, feel that this represents taking a short term view.
It is time I feel for the black countries of the commonwealth to move away from the commonwealth. The commonwealth represents a legacy of white supremacy ideology. Alternatively, the commonwealth needs to remove the United Kingdom and Australia and create a new body. One can argue that is already happening. However, is Chinese colonialism the way to go?
Britain, it appears is only interested in what it can gain to the total exclusion of what it can give. When the British Establishment talk about the commonwealth, read: Australia, Canada, New Zealand, The Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, The Rich of Hong Kong, and White South Africans of British descent. What have all these countries have in common?
Many people from black commonwealth countries will argue that they do not trust their governments. I feel that this represent a slave mentality that they are not capable of leading themselves. They need a white master to look over them. I am all for countries coming together for the common good of the world and their people. However, how can there be a coming together when one nation believes that it is inherently superior?
The Caribbean has the opportunity of showing the world that multi-culturalism can work. The people of the Caribbean can draw from influences from around the world. They should make the most of their diverse cultural heritage. Yes, slavery bought us to the Caribbean. Yes, it was inhuman and brutal. Can they turn negative into a positive and be a beacon for the world? The Caribbean region has such rich cultural influences: African, European, Caribbean and Asian, Central and South American. Yet, we elevate European culture above all others.
Ironically some of the most vocal opponents of dismantling the commonwealth are the Windrush generation (the first generation of mass migration from the Caribbean to the U.K.). I believe this stems from the fear that they will be left stranded without a cultural anchorage. We can celebrate our heritage without anchoring ourselves in the middle of the Atlantic ocean.
They, like me, need to fight for our rights to be accepted as English (British). I started this piece by stating that I have given up the fight to be accepted. In the short time that I have left on this earth, I have resigned myself that this is unlikely to be realized. However, this does not mean that I will stop fighting. I was born in England and will fight for my rights and future generations to be seen as equal and belonging. I will not retreat into any utopian fantasy of ancient motherlands and fatherlands. I am a product of many cultural influences, as can be argued are many other so-called English nationalists. I intend to celebrate those cultural influences. I, however, refuse to elevate one above the other. I am foremost a citizen of this planet.