“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” — Emma Lazarus
The human memory is partial to recalling events by their sights, sounds and smells. Being somewhat musically inclined myself I shall always remember & associate the Great Change with the rapturous tribal drumming emanating from the tent of a Ugandan man I met in the Calais Jungle.
It was February. Cold and damp. A light rain falls. The murky clouds gathering above us, making this early afternoon seem as an evening already shrouded in dusk. David and I were making a pilgrimage to the Calais Jungle camp to do what little we could to help these brave pioneers of cultural renewal.
Entering the camp in our 4×4, hoping to pass out what few items of clothing and food we were able to gather we found horror, true horror. What wretched stench of human misery was this? The ground strewn with rubbish, makeshift tents, a muddy sludge as deep as your ankles, the smell of decay.
The sound of The Great Change
It was then that we heard it. Low and deep, somewhere in the distance. Instantly we felt almost magnetically drawn to it. Moving through the crowds we got closer. The rhythmic bass sound calling us like a siren song.
My friend commented:
“The ecstasy and power of the drumming was enough to overwhelm, this is it, this is what we’ve long worked so hard for, this is Europe now.”
The light rain had become a downpour, the sky had darkened. The drums grew louder. Turning the corner now we see it, a large tent covered in blue tarpaulin. Outside two dozen African men. The drums now accompanied by chants, singing, wailing. The drums were building to something, louder and louder. “DUN DUN DUN, DUN DUN DUN”, you could feel the reverberations in your chest. The men danced. The rain lashed down with apocalyptic fury. One man ripped his soaked t-shirt from his back, tearing the fabric like tissue paper and falling to his knees, arms outstretched towards the sky, in an almost religious rapture.
David drew close to me, shouting in my ear “Absolutely inspiring, amazing, what a stunning display of humanity and hope”.
The drums grew faster now, as did the dancing and wailing. Powerful. Building, building, building, the tempo growing quicker and quicker until the final crescendo and an abrupt end. That end met with all 25 of the men beating their chests and howling with joy.
Europe must not slam shut its borders
These men weren’t quite living their European dream, but they were close. Dover and the promise of a better life in Britain was just 25 miles away. These men had fled poverty in Uganda, Eritrea, Kenya and beyond, what kind of cold soul or dark heart would turn them away now, when they’re so close?
The far-right is rising across Europe, energised by new and particularly pernicious brands of populism and nativism. Using meme terrorism they take over huge swathes of the internet spreading their racist propaganda. Calling for armed revolt.
Europe is in the throes of a monumental change. The biggest in European history. Europe is now going into a multicultural mode: The Great Change.
Those on the extreme far-right are not brave enough to make this transition, they believe that Europe is something wholly owned by people of European descent, they jeer and cry of demographic replacement. But is this replacement of the old not necessary for Europe to be reborn anew?
A rebirthing of culture, a hypodermic needle of vibrancy injecting and energising the old with the new!
Blending, mixing, ultimately changing. In our great quest to end hatred and racialism we’ve found the most potent weapon of all: Love. Imagine, for instance, a European woman. Perhaps she hasn’t been properly educated and she’s at risk of birthing more people of privilege. Would her line–a small slice of the society at large–not be permanently inoculated against hatred if she were persuaded to date an African man and have mixed race children?
We have to recognise that we must change and therefore, we shall change–ending White Supremacy forever.
There are hard and soft objectors to The Great Change. The conservative right are soft objectors–they object in principle only–but hate speech laws protect us from any urge on their part to engage in violent rhetoric. The “alt right” group on the other hand is fully willing to spew phrases and ideas that are explicitly illegal in many European countries. They are the hard objectors.
The alt right object on the principle of nativism, an unscientific notion that populations have a claim to land that the fore-bearers developed. In the new globalised world, populations are on the move. Markets are free. Borders are a thing of the past.
Other objections are levied on basis of the theory of a culture clash, the idea that certain people entering Europe will have incompatible belief systems that will make integration impossible. These people are usually Islamophobes who believe that Islam is guilty of terrorism. And to these people it doesn’t matter how many times we educate them that Islam is fundamentally an enlightened religion–indeed, a religion of peace–they keep spewing their hateful bile after every act of violence perpetrated by anyone with an Arabic sounding name. 99% of terror attacks in Europe are not carried out by Muslims (or rather people claiming to be Muslims, real Muslims would never commit violence).
Together we can overcome these petty nationalists, these populist wailers, these nativist bigots. Together we can make The Great Change a reality.
Together we can end White Supremacy forever because we must.