The 1995 John Singleton film, Higher Learning, told the story of how white supremacy can breed like a plague of rats, and left undetected it becomes an infestation. As the film closes, it ends with the message “unlearn”, which is ultimately urging the audience to close the door on what life may have taught them, to step away from unhealthy prejudice.
Despite the film’s central message being a powerful one, not much has progressed in the 23 years since its debut. Just this past summer we witnessed the killing of 22 people in El Paso, Texas, at the hands of a white supremacist who was targeting Mexicans.
It’s important to remember that the United States is not the only country to suffer from the infestation of white supremacy – the United Kingdom also has a history of this cruel and volatile disease.
From the Teddy Boys of the 1950s, who attacked the Windrush-era black immigrants, to the National Front, UKIP and far right leaders such as Tommy Robinson, it may seem like white supremacy is a recent thing the country has been battling. But we now know that white superiority was a disease lying dormant, waiting for a tool such as Brexit, to reignite and breathe life into its divisive agenda.
Of course not all Brexit voters are white supremacists, but what has come from the UK’s decision to leave the EU has been a undercurrent of white nationalistic views, according to some experts.