The immigrant, the nationalist and the limitations of the English language.
I do spend an inordinate amount of time in social media. I have done since 2011. It is my portal to political and popular opinion since I was told, in no uncertain terms, that talking politics, religion or philosophy at the pub is in ‘poor taste’… People just want to get pissed and ignore how the world is going to hell, you see.
Anyway, since the referendum I have spent a lot of time in the less salubrious FB groups full of right-wing backnuts who believe the referendum result is the best thing since the introduction of ‘happy hour’. And that anyone that asserts a different opinion is not only unpatriotic but should leave, with immediate effect. The actual sentence is ‘Well, if you hate this country so much, why are you still here?’. You can imagine this lovely bit of evidenced based debate gets pulled out at the earliest opportunity.
So the other day I decided to actually debate the point with one of these wonderful people. The centre of the issue was that this particular backnut felt racism and xenophobia had not increased, yes there was a ‘core’ of people like that but it was not a major issue. I simply pointed the fact that the ‘minority’ might have swung a referendum on the basis of immigration control, and that the Daily Mail and the Express have the highest circulation (by 200–300%) which provided evidence that the ‘small core’ of racists/xenophobes was larger than she anticipates. This was met with the aforementioned statement inviting me to take a permanent holiday ‘wherever I came from’… Obviously the irony was completely lost on her.
Of course we have an issue of vocabulary, these backnuts are right in the sense that they are not strictly racists since race is not the main feature of the targets of their discrimination, neither are they xenophobes since they do not necessarily dislike people from other countries, as long as they stay the other side of the border. They are nationalists but in the racist sense, this is people who believe in the superiority of their country over others but who also dislike people from other nationalities and believe they are more entitled to the resources and benefits of living in this country based only on the patch of earth their mothers happen to push them out on. They disregard how those resources where obtained on the first place or the contribution the ‘outsider’ has made. I feel we need a new term to describe them because it is not fair to put people from the SNP and BNP in the same category. Wanting independence and wanting to exclude everyone you feel is not worthy are two very different things.
Therefore I propose the use of ‘xenocism’
Prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different nationality based on the belief that one’s nationality is superior and that it confers the holder the right to a better quality of life regardless of contribution to society.
I would hope this might help during further discussions when the backnuts feel they hold a righteous position because they are nationalists… not racists or xenophobes.