While I’ve been working on our Summer of Random Acts of Kindness Project I’ve become more and more sure it’s exactly what we need right now. According to the National Police Chief’s Council, reports of hate crime have risen 57% since the referendum vote. I’ve read countless stories and watched countless videos of some of these incidents and I can’t even begin to put into words how upsetting it is. So here’s something I need to say.
To the small minded, racist, xenophobic idiots out there – you do not speak for me. Your thoughts and your opinions do not represent the UK’s and the referendum result has not given you licence to spread your hateful views. It will not be tolerated.
To our foreign born family, friends and neighbours – please forgive us for the actions of a small minority. Please do not tar us all with the same brush. Know that we value you as an important part of our society and we appreciate the contributions you make. The different cultures and traditions you bring with you add to the richness of our community and without you we would be so much worse off. You are welcome here. You are needed here! You run our local businesses, you staff our NHS, you help keep our country going. From you we can learn tolerance and respect, we can practice being open minded and inclusive, we can become better.
Remember this. For every act of hate there are at least 20 acts of good. For every small minded person shouting their vile words there are 50 others with words of kindness. For every time someone is made to feel unwelcome here there are 100 more opportunities to show that they are welcomed with open arms.
Which ever way you voted, whatever your political views may be. This should be one thing we can all agree on. I’ll ride with you, I’ll wear a safety pin or I’ll write it on my forehead – whatever it takes. Hate has no place here, we can all make sure of that.
Photography by @mr.adamrobertson