And not just in the Euro Cup. Following the Brexit, people in the UK feel as if they have the right to be terrible, racist people. And if the UK succeeds, it will give other countries the permission to act the same way.
I am a citizen of both France and the United States, and in both countries, there are groups of racist people who want to kick out immigrants. In France, it’s the Front National, headed by Marine Le Pen. In the US, it’s the far right who have rallied around Donald Trump.
So if immigrants leave the UK and the UK’s economy actually does well, then the Front National in France will gain more steam than it already has, and we’ll be seeing a similar referendum there. And in the US, more people might feel emboldened to vote for Donald Trump.
And that would be horrible. After all, it’s 2016 and we should be celebrating our differences instead of hating them. We should be able to recognize that immigrants make a country, not break it. But if the UK succeeds, we’ll be set back fifty years. All the progress we’ll have made will be erased by racist leaders who point to the UK and say, “They succeeded, so if we do the same thing, we will too.”
And to be honest, that’s not the world I want to live in. I don’t want to witness hate crimes on a daily basis (and if you think that’s an exaggeration, know that after the Brexit, racist incidents skyrocketed).
So let’s hope the UK fails.