Generation Brexit

Brexit and the role of the media

I believe that Brexit has impacted several groups with the feeling of not being welcome/desired in the United Kingdom. I also see an important role of the media and the speeches that were broadcasted during the referendum to foment this feeling. The same phenomena can be observed in Brazil, regarding the election of Jair Bolsonaro (extreme right-wing president).


Trying to explain in more details: With Brexit itself (before and after the referendum), a lot of people who were “hidden”, had the feeling that they had the permission to talk about their ideas, even if they were xenophobic, racist, etc. This issue was legitimized by the media, that simply reproduced those speeches, giving them space and legitimacy. After certain point, people could express ideas that they couldn't (or shouldn't) before. And suddenly, it was "allowed", and also part of the mainstream discourse. 


Also, as Nicole Fusi mentioned in her comment, the media coverage reinforced the Us Vs. Them narrative, which is an evident component that make anyone who is not British, feel at least unwanted here. As I said before, the same issue happened in Brazil, with the election of Bolsonaro, but not regarding identity in terms of where you were born, but regarding "the side" of politics which you identify. (left vs.right) 


He was a very insignificant candidate, and got a lot of free media because of the things he used to say, sometimes very bizarre, without measuring the consequences. Due to that, he got a lot of media attention and coverage, and was elected. I am not saying that Brexit or Bolsonaro election were factors only fomented by the media coverage, but I think it was an important factor to both results and, here in the UK, helped to undermine the multicultural narrative, and actually revealed that the UK might be different than the “official policies” of integration, and in the Brazilian case showed that the population were "blind" due to the speech of anger towards the left party, and "take them out of the power" was the only goal of most of the people who were voting for president. 

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