This tweet is worth discussing:
Strange pub experience last night. Romanian woman told me I couldn’t be British as my parents are Indian but Brits were racist for treating EU people as foreign. I was half tempted to tell her to go back to Romania.
— AB (@botzarelli) June 9, 2018
What this shows is how different the concept of race and nationality is viewed by Brits compared to much of the rest of the world, particularly eastern Europe. To a Romanian, a British person is not someone who merely holds a British passport but who has what they consider British ethnicity, i.e. they’re white. When I lived in Sakhalin, the idea that third-generation ethnic Koreans were Russian was preposterous, even if they’d never been to Korea, were born in Russia, and held Russian passports. Much of the world views people by race rather than nationality, and this is what this Romanian is doing: they can’t understand how an ethnic Indian can possibly be British. It also seems in this particular case they don’t understand how Brits can view white European people as much different from them, i.e. as foreigners.
There is much to admire about the British view of race and nationality, but we shouldn’t think it is universal. More worryingly, if politicians and their cheerleaders continue to shove us down the road of identity politics, we’re going to become a lot more like those places in which one’s ethnicity is more important than one’s nationality. I don’t think that will be good for anyone.