Twenty-two-year-old Osime Brown has lived in this country since he was four. Whatever the law may say, he is British: he has spent the majority of his life on UK soil and has the vaguest memories of Jamaica, the country in which he was born. Yet Brown, who has autism and a learning age of between six and seven, now faces deportation because he was jailed in 2018 for the robbery of a friend’s mobile phone – something he denies responsibility for.
Despite all the platitudes and regrets expressed in the aftermath of the Windrush scandal, here is the unapologetic racism of the British justice system. After serving his sentence, Brown, a black man born overseas, will receive a second punishment that would not be imposed on someone born in the UK who committed the same offence.
That’s nationalism, citizenshipism perhaps, but it’s not racism. Would, could, the same happen to a white folk from, say, Russia? Yep – so it’s not racism, is it?