By Jason Michael
It only turns out that Thomas Mair is from Kilmarnock. Does this shocking revelation indicate that this less than sleepy Ayrshire town has a problem, or is the real problem to be found on the bottom shelf of every town and city in Britain?
Ouch! There I was just minding my own business, reading the Guardian – as you do – when the reporting journo informs me and the rest of the reading public that Thomas Mair, the far-right nutter who murdered young mum Jo Cox, came from Kilmarnock; my hometown. There are things we Kilmarnockonians can just about cope with; the odd stabbing, a murder every now and then, at least one cannibal, and the BBC’s nasty depiction of the town in The Scheme. But how can we come to terms with a Neo-Nazi with links to far-right, white supremacist groups in Redneckville, Virginia? I used to be rather proud of telling people I came from “Kilmarnock-nil.” Will I have to start telling people I’m from Ayr now?
Okay, the closest Kilmarnock gets to a branch of the Hitler Youth is the BBs. In spite of the pretty atrocious press it often gets, Kilmarnock is a fairly decent town – and I am still very proud to say that it’s where I’m from. We do have a problem with racism, but no more and no less than any other working class town – anywhere in the UK – that is subjected to the disgusting headlines emblazoned across the front of the Mail, the Sun, the Daily Redcoat, or the Torygraph every morning.
You see, there’s a grim logic; even an honesty, to the truly despicable actions of Mair. It doesn’t matter that he came from Killie. He could have been from Ayr or Dundee or Upton Snodsbury. The result would have been the same. With these “newspapers” telling us that every brown person is a potential terrorist, and that migrants (also known as “refugees”) fleeing war in Syria are coming in planes, trains, and automobiles to take our jobs and our council houses, it’s only ever a matter of time before the fear causes someone to snap.
The tabloid media and the London establishment have constructed a hierarchy that most of us at some point have consciously or unconsciously subscribed to. At the top of this list are the white Britons. Sure, didn’t we conquer the world? Obviously we should be at the top of that list. Under this are the other Brits – the yellow, tan, brown, and black Britons. They didn’t build an empire, but they’re not like those “other,” non-British, coloured folk who talk “foreign.” These are the ones we know, the “exceptions.” Lower down are the harmless outsiders. Who’s ever heard of a Brazilian suicide bomber? Down and down the list goes until we come to the bad guys – the Jihadis, the Islamists, the five year old Arab kids who happen to be from the wrong side of Aleppo.
We can’t have a society where the state and the media construe this racialised, supremacist pecking order – infused, as it is, with the poisons of fear and ignorance – without expecting some clown somewhere to take it seriously. I’m not suggesting we should let Thomas Mair off the hook. He’s an adult, and his calculated, premeditated, and hate-driven murder of an innocent young woman has rightly earned him a small room with barred windows for a very long time. Yet before he committed this outrage the outrageous was already on the boil in his head, and it was the media that helped to make that happen.
So there is a problem in Kilmarnock that we need to be talking about. It is the same problem that is affecting every village, town, and city where there are shops willing to sell these gutter rags. Racism is an infectious disease of the mind that, as we have seen, has horrific consequences. Until we are prepared to stop funding the hate by buying this rubbish and really begin to challenge a press that profits from peddling undercurrents of racism, bigotry, and intolerance then we can only expect people to take their message seriously.
Daily Mail Defending Racist Tram Woman
Author: Jason Michael (@Jeggit)