Online only

‘A sense of betrayal’

REPORTING OF THE EU referendum campaign raised real fears of racial hatred, LFB members were told by Kiri Kankhwende, guest speaker at the July branch meeting.

She is a journalist who specialises in politics and immigration and writes for the Media Diversified blog. She told the branch:

"As a migrant, a black woman and a millennial, I didn't feel represented or talked to in the referendum campaign. A lot of the discourse broke my heart, there is no other way to put it.

"There has been a rise in xenophobia and racist attacks. There are families that don't speak to each other. There is a lot of casual racism.

She said the campaign had left her "with a sense of betrayal. It has frightened a lot of people, including me.

"Everyone is now expected to be a border guard... teachers, doctors, lawyers, all have to ask people about their migration status.

"It does not all sit on the shoulders of the media - we are an easy whipping horse - but the campaigners were not challenged enough on the things they said. Some of the things were just lies.

Kiri Kankhwende became a UK citizen a few years ago. "I did it because it is my home," she said; she lives in north-west London, in one of only five London boroughs that voted to leave the EU, and she gave an example of the casual racism she had seen in everyday life there.

"When I became a UK citizen Teresa May sent a letter then saying I was welcome here. It certainly clashes with the hostile environment around me now, and media coverage has colluded with that."

Last modified: 29 Jul 2016 - © 2016 contributors
The Freelance editor is elected by London Freelance Branch and responsibility for content lies solely with the editor of the time
Send comments to the editor: editor@londonfreelance.org