"The influx of yellow people into Donegall Pass has done more damage than 35 years of the IRA's recent campaign of republican propaganda and violence waged against the Protestant community of Donegall Pass. It is eroding the Britishness and the Ulster Protestant culture and heritage from our area more than the IRA could ever have hoped to do."
"These foreign immigrants have no sense of Christian values or decency and have no respect at all for our community. Rid our community of these Chinese immigrants and clear the way for Protestant families to move in and our young people to remain and contribute in helping to make our community a better place to live."
It is the surest sign of the congenital stupidity and spite of the people who prepared and distributed this hatred around Donegall Pass earlier this week that they fail to notice the irony of building their arguments around the accusation that the Chinese community lacks Christian values and decency! Why would anyone want to live within a community in which peddlers of sectarian and racist bile feel free enough to hand out their trash, while claiming to be defending Christian and Protestant principles?
Racists have very little understanding of the importance of migration as a key factor in the make-up of any nation. They are ignorant.
They inhabit a blinkered little world in which the assumed supremacy of those who hold views similar to their own is the cornerstone of their perspective. Their political outlook is determined by appeals to an invented history and self-serving patriotism.
But they are embittered, too, blaming "foreigners" for the fact that they have achieved so little in their own lives. In essence they are throwbacks, the sort of people who think that the use of "Chink" and "Nigger" is acceptable, but become angry if they are described as "Irish" or "Paddy". In truth, they are the real foreigners in society, immigrants from a time and place in which looking down upon those of a different colour was considered acceptable.
One imagines them gathering in a pub; drinking their European beer, wearing non-UK clothing brands, and stopping off for a curry before returning home to watch the Latin-American football league on a Japanese-made widescreen television. And, all the while, complaining about "bloody foreigners".
The people who produce this sort of literature are not sick or disturbed: that is to suggest that they have a mental deficiency and are not entirely accountable for their actions. They do not deserve that type of defence. These people know what they are doing: stirring up hatred; stirring up community tension; playing on manufactured fears; seeking to blame others - anyone in reality, for their own social and political inadequacies.
Isn't it interesting that they want Donegall Pass cleared of the Chinese - not in favour of Northern Ireland's indigenous population (which would be a bad enough argument in itself) - but in order that Protestants only can move back? They are sectarian bigots. They are racist bigots. They need a focal point for their hatred and they will settle on anyone. But what do the rest of us do? Politicians trot out the usual sound-bites, dismissing the leaflets, but what they haven't done is produce a strategy for ensuring that racism isn't allowed to become a politically acceptable policy.
It is surely no coincidence that the British National Party in
particular is trying to get a foothold in the working class areas
of Northern Ireland. In a few months, fifteen new countries will
join the European Union and tens - maybe hundreds - of thousands
of migrant workers may head towards the United Kingdom and Ireland.
And, given the fact that there is an open border between Northern
Ireland and the Republic, those who orchestrate the political manifestations
of racism are hoping to play on fears of the threat of "swamping"
and cheap labour.
We need to address the issues of immigration and integration. One thing we have, or should have learned, in Northern Ireland, is that segregation and "us and them" communities lead to huge problems.
It is the failure of mainstream politicians to address, let alone understand, the issues which allow the racists to promote their poison. In the case of Donegall Pass, though, it may come down to the fact that the Chinese have incurred the wrath of UVF racists because they refuse to pay protection money to the local bullies.