A mixed-race caller to a British talk and phone-in radio station revealed he was attacked, threatened and called a Nazi for handing out material for the European Union (EU) Leave campaign.
A listener who identified himself as ‘Robert from Dulwich’ — who happens to be half Caribbean — called this morning’s Ian Collins show on LBC to recount his recent experience of campaigning for Leave in London. He explained that he and other volunteers had been labeled racists and Nazis by “white, middle class people”, and suffered both physical assaults and threats of violence.
As the LBC website notes, this “comes after politicians promised a ‘kinder politics’ following the killing of Labour MP Jo Cox last week.”
Mr. Collins said he could barely control his emotions as Robert told his story. The caller explained
“Yesterday, I was called racist all day. I was called a Nazi. My friend had his foot stamped on… He was assaulted technically.”
Mr. Collins questioned him, asking: “Really? What? For campaigning to leave the EU?”
Robert described the events as “scary” and the radio presenter replied:
“I thought I’d got my emotions under control on this, and I understood that there are some nutters out there, but when I hear somebody say it like that, that’s just deeply upsetting for anybody, isn’t it?”
Robert described the experience further:
“We had our stall kicked, punched, we had leaflets taken from the table, someone tried to knock the table over. As I say, someone tried to kick my friend and they mistimed it and they ended up stamping on his foot instead.
“But the weird thing is, I’m half Caribbean and he is Jamaican, right? So all these people, by the way, over the course of the day, every single person who called us a racist and Nazis – and there were many – were all white, middle-class people.”
Mr. Collins interrupted, saying: “Oh stop it! I knew you were going to say that, it’s just getting worse, this story, isn’t it?”
Clarifying, Mr. Collins asked: “So you’re essentially, in terms of ethnicity, you are two black guys, and lots of white people are attacking you because of your Brexiting credentials.”
Robert confirmed that, but then introduced what he called “the happy side to the story,” saying:
“We’re in Brixton, where there’s obviously a high ethnic minority, actually I don’t even think it’s a minority, and ethnic people were around our stall, and they were saying ‘these guys aren’t racist’ and they started laughing at the people calling us Nazis.”
Mr. Collins expanded: “So they are actually implying, essentially, you are sympathisers of mass genocide because you happen to believe that this country’s place is better out of Europe.”
Robert added that he and his friend were told they were “poster boys for UKIP”, at which they laughed, but admitted that they “got a bit nervous” because “one guy threatened to stab us.”