Articles The P.O.C. Working Group

Welsh Nationalism – Cenedlaetholdeb Cymreig

POC Perspective of Welsh Nationalism

What is Welsh Nationalism?

Nationalism is often defined as the belief that one’s nation is superior to others, and promotes the interests of that nation to the detriment of other nations. This is seen contemporarily and historically through colonialism. Counter to this, socialists consider nationalism to be the liberation of a people from a greater, oppressive power. 

We, as an organisation, hold to the second definition. We strive for the independence of Cymru from oppressive powers such as England and the UK. But independence alone has no power – we must have an independent socialist Wales which supports other suppressed nations around the world and treats all peoples as equal, rather than treating them as lesser.

We love our people, the Cymry; our language, Cymraeg; our country, Cymru; and our culture, Cymreig. There are certain groups, however, who wish to pervert this love of Cymru, promoting hate for other nations, people and cultures; ‘Wales for the Whites’. We utterly reject this notion! Cymru must be a place for all people who wish to live and work to advance Cymru.

‘Wales for the Whites’ is not a new term, nor one used in isolation to the Welsh. If one is born in Wales, they are Welsh. If one is brought up in Wales, they are Welsh. People who may have been born or were raised outside of Cymru STILL can and should be considered Welsh, especially if Cymru is where they feel at home; their adopted homeland. These individuals should never experience discrimination because they may not have white skin, nor should they feel that they are not Welsh. (Disclaimer, the authors of this article are mixed race and are proud Cymry).

Why should Welsh Nationalism be important to POC?

Welsh is a nationality as well as an ethnicity. Welsh is not a racial characteristic. No one has the right to consider an individual “not Welsh” because of their race. 

Some Welsh POC feel more comfortable calling themselves ‘British’ to somewhat acknowledge their Welshness. We disagree with this concept. To call oneself British is to disregard the experience of living in Wales, and box oneself with other POC who are English, Scottish and Irish. While it can be argued that POC have similar experiences no matter which country they live in, we in Wales will inherently have different experiences to someone in London, England for example. We argue that POC who refuse to call themselves Welsh should reconsider, as they are allowing the complete generalisation of POC experiences/existence in Wales and allowing ‘Wales for the Whites’ rhetoric to persist. As POC we need to be loud and proud of who we are, and where we come from as Welsh people, and dispel the racist rhetoric and myths. Normalising Welsh POC identity is a crucial first step. 

Recognising that POC have a place in Wales and the Welsh independence movement is essential. We must highlight that our voices are of equal importance, and our experiences can enrich the movement towards a multicultural acceptance of other peoples. If Wales were to become independent without our input, Wales would have an exclusionary voice, and really would become Wales for the Whites. Those who believe in reactionary ideals would certainly implement other discriminatory policies against LGBTQ+ people, attack women’s rights, etc. 

Without loud and clear POC voices in the independence movement, the dream of an equal society in Wales, whether independent or not, will die.

(if you agree with this article, join or support the WUN, and make your voice heard!)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: