The Colonial Racism We Must Protest

While Ukrainians are welcomed to Britain, dark-skinned asylum seekers are deported, like 160,000 Irish, writes Fr Shay Cullen.

Colonial crimes and atrocities are always with us. Colonial rulers have stamped their cruel laws and vices on the occupied and exploited nations. The victims have suffered a loss of identity, and cultural and moral values and have been corrupted by the vices of the former colonial rulers and occupiers.

In the Philippines, a massive sex industry was created by the American colonial occupation around military bases with corrupt Filipino collaborators that exploited their own people.

King Philippe of Belgium, on a recent tour of atonement to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (the Belgium Congo), expressed regrets for the brutal colonial history where millions of Congolese died in slavery in their own land. Continual violence and exploitation of the people by armed groups fighting over mineral wealth is the colonial legacy there.

The King made a special visit to a humble gynaecologist, Nobel Laureate Doctor Denis Mukwege, awarded the famous prize for his campaign to stop sexual violence and rape as a weapon of war. The DRC and Doctor Mukwege accused Rwanda of backing the rebel group M23. Rwanda has denied the allegations. Rwanda’s human rights record is questionable. King Philippe expressed regret for the colonial “paternalism, discrimination and racism. It led to abuse and humiliation,” Philippe said. He fell short of offering a full apology, however.

Over a million people have fled violence and war and live as refugees in camps in Turkey and Jordan. They fled Syria with their wives and children to escape the indiscriminate bombing and chemical attacks by the tyrant Assad backed by Russia. Others flee assassins, execution squads, extortioners, and criminal gangs.

Western nations have to take responsibility for their involvement in causing or aiding some of these conflicts like arming Saudi Arabia and others to attack Yemen and the invasion of Iraq by Western nations including Britain.

Britain is the destination of many refugees fleeing the war and escaping threats of death from tyrants that Britain supported. The government of Boris Johnson wants to stop them and more coming as do Belgium, France, Italy, and The Netherlands. These nations have influential right-wing, racist groups opposed to dark-skinned, Muslim asylum-seekers and refugees.

Britain led by bumbling Boris Johnson, having stupidly left the European Union to get rid of European citizens and asylum seekers, is floundering in economic meltdown. Johnson is trying to unilaterally change the EU-Brexit agreement over Northern Ireland which will violate international law and surely lead to the cancellation of the vital trade agreement with the EU. If possible, he would rid Britain of Filipino healthcare workers, but Johnson dares not. Britain has too few of its own.

In a few years, the Scots could be barred from Britain if Scotland succeeds in winning its independence from Britain, ending a thousand years of colonial rule and an independent Scotland joining the European Union, as eventually will Northern Ireland join the Republic of Ireland since it is under the EU single market already. They will realise that must leave the sinking ship of broken and racist British governments.

However, Britain has opened its welcoming arms to more than 60,000 Ukrainian refugees in the past few months. They are fleeing the Russian bombing and have been given immediate privileged refugee status and welcomed into British family homes. They are white, Christian, and Western-educated, “just like us,” say the welcoming British politicians and officials.

However, to the eternal shame and disgrace of Britain, those dark-skinned, Muslim asylum seekers and refugees like the Ukrainians are fleeing similar Russian and Assad bombings in Syria and the other oppressive regimes.

No British family for them, they are being held in immigration prisons and have been arrested on the beaches as they land from rubber dinghies seeking asylum. For the British government, the white Ukrainian refugees are the right ones, the dark-skinned Muslims are wrong for Britain and other countries that discriminate on race. If returned to their countries of origin, they are likely to be jailed, tortured, or killed.

Britain is determined to deport them without asylum hearings as is their right by International Law. They brand them illegals, treat them as they would convicts and bundle them on a Spanish chartered plane costing US$500,000 a trip, and transport them to Rwanda in Africa, no less. The first flight was cancelled by successful legal action by their defenders.

The British policy is an unchristian, hard-hearted, cruel, harsh unjust punishment, devoid of justice and compassion. It is approved by heartless British judges whose colonial forebears deported 160,000 Irish men and women to Australia for life for committing petty offenses like stealing bread to stay alive during a famine.

No Ukrainians will be deported, not unless they are dark-skinned or non-Christian. This deportation policy is sinful racism, bringing shame and disgrace to the British government and embarrassment to the good caring non-racist English people.

The Church of England and Wales and most UK charities and non-government organisations stand against it. Legal action by the European Court of Human Rights stopped the first deportation flight but more will come. Britain has a signed deal with Rwanda and has paid about $150,000 down-payment to Rwanda to accept them, suffering human beings treated like garbage shipped abroad.

This British government’s inhuman racist policy, supported by 44 % of Britons and opposed by 40%, is to deport people for petty infringements of “wrongdoings” is not new. It was common practice for the British in occupied colonial Ireland that was suffering famine and starvation. They would convict anyone for stealing bread or taking clothes from a clothesline and other misdemeanours and punish them with life-long deportation or “transport” to Australia, never to return.

From 1791 to 1867, a period of 76 years, the British tore Irish men and women from their families and communities, convicted them as criminals for petty offenses, and transported them to Australia. They did this to a staggering 160,000 Irish men and women allegedly like “slave” labour to provide labour and populate Australia. An estimated 20% of the Australian population are descended from convicts. While 10% only admit they are of Irish descent.

While Britain convicted the Irish for stealing a loaf of bread and exiled them to Australia it stole a whole continent from the Aboriginal people. That was no small crime. It appears racism continues today in Australia as in Britain. Aborigines make up 28 percent of the adult prisoners in Australian jails, but they are only three percent of the entire population. Up to 68 percent of juveniles in detention are aboriginal.

The new British destination today for unwanted, dark-skinned asylum seekers of a different religion is Rwanda, a land from which no asylum seeker, like the Irish sent to Australia, can ever return.

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