A drawing of Ana holding a phone and taking a photo of a cat who is washing itself. The cat says, suprised, oh, hello Ana.


Jottings from Ana Rodrigues

My only note about the B word

I feel nothing but anxiety at the moment. I have little energy to describe what I am feeling and explaining why everything is bad regarding Brexit. But I have one note that has been bothering me. Whenever I tell people that I am worried about Brexit, the response is usually: “don’t worry, you will be fine”.

In the past two years, when there are discussions about Brexit and how its campaign was around immigration, and when I tell people that I am an immigrant and it affects me, I hear back “yes but you’re one of the good ones and this wasn’t about people like you”.

As well meant as it can be, I need people to understand how dehumanising this statement is. To me, it means that in “their eyes” I’m still “one of them” but accepted because I’m “good”.

This is what “good” means: I speak English, I always had a job, I don’t claim benefits or use the NHS. This is what people perceive “as a good immigrant”. All this plus my skin colour and country of origin privilege.

For the past two years I’ve been biting my tongue but all I want to ask you is: what happens when I stop being a “good one”?

What happens when and if I have an accident and may not be able to work ever again?

What happens when and if I have children and I need support?

What happens when I get older and need to use the NHS?

Is this my new status of constant probation? I am not fine. I am worried for everyone. I need people to stop telling me to stop worrying. Everyone who says this has absolute no experience in discrimination or exposure to the lengths people go to hurt other humans.

P.S.: I hope it is implied that I don’t believe in the concept of “good” or “bad” immigrants and I don’t believe “I am one of the good ones”. Please don’t bother arguing with me and denying that the campaign was mostly about immigration.

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