This tweet perfectly sums up the terrifying reality of what Boris Johnson's win means for people of colour

Sirena Bergman@SirenaBergman
Sunday 15 December 2019 10:30
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(POOL/AFP/Getty)

After the Conservatives' landslide win which put Boris Johnson back in Number 10 for the next half-a-decade, most progressives are feeling at best dejected and at worst terrified.

This is especially true of people from marginalised communities who have been on the receiving end of Boris Johnson's bigoted and offensive verbal attacks, such as single mothers (and women in general, really), LGBTQ+ people, immigrants, the working class, and – perhaps especially – people of colour.

Had we all come together to keep Johnson out of power, we may have actually succeeded, but that's not what happened.

It has been said over and over again that the "working class" (whatever that means in 2019) deserted Labour in this last election, largely because they agreed with Boris Johnson's Brexit deal.

According to a pre-election poll, exactly the same percentage of working class people and middle class people (42 per cent) were planning to vote Tory, and only 33 per cent of working class voters were backing Labour.

Writer Chanté Joseph encapsulated this perfectly in a tweet in which she made the point that a vote for the Conservatives is – in effect – a vote to further oppress people of colour.

There was a fair bit of "not all working class voters", which obviously goes without saying –​ no single group will ever vote or think homogeneously.

But most people – especially British people of colour – hard agreed with the original point.

The tragedy is compounded by the fact that working class or low-income people who backed the Tories were obviously voting against their own interests.

Many drew the obvious parallel with Donald Trump's 2016 win, which was similarly carried by white working class America, despite the xenophobic, nationalistic and racist undertones to his campaign.

The divisive nature of the current political climate cannot be overstated, but if we want to live in a more equal society, it's imperative that we find a way to bring people together to fight for each others' rights, not just our own.

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