The @UKLabour / @jeremycorbyn #antisemitism issue shows no signs of abating. Unfortunately, there is even a difference of opinion on why this is, which is why I've been incredibly reluctant to write anything about it. Regardless, here's my perspective: /1
My entire life, I have been opposed to racism and prejudice in any form. This was instilled by my upbringing, personal experiences and natural inclination to defend others facing prejudice. As a teen, I was the one in school who stood up to bullying whenever I saw it happen. /2
I fought my own fights and the fights of people too scared or small to take action. It was a natural instinct. It got me into some trouble, but generally, what I did was appreciated by the victims of the abuse, the parents of the victims, teachers, bouncers and even the police /3
Having trained in a number of martial arts from the age of 8 put me in this advantageous position. Skinny, but scrappy, I still got the shit kicked out of me a fair few times. An operation set my nose back in place after 3 breaks and I was close to losing an eye one Xmas eve. /4
Despite all of this, I can proudly say I have never instigated any confrontation. I have only ever defended myself and those that needed defending.

Being white, British and male has meant that the prejudice I have faced has been few and far between. /5
The instances I have personally experienced, have all been cases of #antisemitism, despite not actually being directly Jewish. "Looking Jewish" has been enough for some to level abuse at me. It would be easy enough to laugh it off, but I've always chosen to confront it. /6
I can't imagine the pain it must cause someone of undeniable Jewish heritage.

I'm not going to claim that there is no racism within @UKLabour. People can be fucking idiots. Anyone caught directly abusing someone for their heritage should be removed from the party immediately. /7
This should be the same for all political parties. Unfortunately, though, some political followings are inherently racist. UKIP has been widely responsible for the demonisation of immigrants, making them scapegoats for the country's ills and woes. /8
@Conservatives MEPs backed Hungary's racist leader and regime and have been plagued with counsellors, MPs and members using Islamaphobic rhetoric on social media and in their everyday life. This isn't whataboutism. This is a real problem. /9
I cannot sit back and just listen to the people that tarnish @jeremycorbyn, probably the most prominent anti-racism campaigner, with allegations that he himself is racist, while @BorisJohnson still holds a public position. While @Mike_Fabricant gets away with flimsy excuses. /10
While @theresa_may, the creator of the Hostile Environment Policy, possibly the most racist policy in recent years, holds the highest position in the nation.

Until 2015, I was politically homeless. Generally, I would vote @TheGreenParty or @LibDems, usually. /11
Not because they were the best option, but because they were the best available option for me.

I became aware of @jeremycorbyn due to his connection to @Arsenal, not his politics. I admired him for his honesty, his passion and steadfast belief in equality for all. /12
When he gained the nomination for leadership, I was surprised. I remember clearly messaging one of my best friends, then a Labour member, pleading with him to vote for Corbyn. He told me he didn't stand a chance. That evening, I joined @UKLabour myself. /13
It was too late for me to vote in that leadership election, but I watched as his profile rose and saw the "not a chance in hell" change to a landslide victory. This told me there were other people like me and I began to believe in politics for the first time. /14
It wasn't long after that, I saw a change in attitude towards him. Not from the people. But, at first, from the press. "He's not a leader," they said. They said it over and over. It made no sense to me, but then I started hearing it from friends and family. /15
Part of me even believed it for a short while. "So what?" I told myself. The man shares my values and for as long as he represented them, I would support him. When the leadership challenge from Owen Smith came about, I was emboldened by his gain in popularity. /16
@OwenJones84 had written an article on Medium around this time, where he conceded that he had been wrong to write off Corbyn's popularity. Fearing that socialism could never truly oppose the Tories, he too was feeling the change in momentum in the country. /17
It was a fantastic article. Humble and poignant, it resonated it with me enormously. I started to read works from other writers like @DawnHFoster, @MissEllieMae, @mattzarb, @rey_z, @AaronBastani, @MattTurner4L and @AyoCaesar, amongst others. Each was just like me. /18
Angry, passionate and with a thirst for change.

The General Election came about and I got to have a meaningful vote for the first time in what was rapidly closing in on two decades of voting eligibility. Despite what we were told would happen, the left made huge gains. /19
And that's when things really started to change.

I could see the numbers for myself. We all could. Yet, there we were told on most news outlets "No change. Carry on as normal."

It was hypernormalisation in action.

When that failed to work, antisemitism came into play. /20
It was a hook that caught the public's attention.

I wasn't shocked to hear there are cases of antisemitism within the Labour party. As I said earlier, I've faced some abhorrent, if not foolishly directed, antisemitism in the past. But I didn't expect "this". /21
And by "this", I mean the veracity in which the media, a minority of more centrist Labour MPs (buoyed by the opposition they are meant to challenge) and conservative Jewish organisations that have criticised @UKLabour and @jeremycorbyn, while ignoring @Conservatives bigotry. /22
Defending the Palestinian people has never been an antisemitic endeavour. Criticising the government of Israel has never been an antisemitic act. Hoping for a solution that no longer sees the deaths of Muslims and Jews alike in the Middle East is not antisemitic. /23
We need to be able to talk about these things or nothing changes. We need open and clear debate.

The second that turns into antisemitic, Islamaphobic or any racist rhetoric, it needs to be addressed and rectified immediately. /24
This shouldn't be about political allegiances. It should be about inequality and addressing it in the firmest, fairest way possible.

@jeremycorbyn and the majority of the @UKLabour party fundamentally believe in that, and in turn, I believe in them to make things better. /END

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