Want to support our work? Donate
Skip to content
Words Matter

“Queue jumping”

The obsession with "queue jumping" once more exemplifies the racism of British society. No one should have to queue for protection.

← Back to Words Matter

The notion of “queue jumping” plays into narratives of deservingness. It is based on the assumption that “undeserving” people with “illegitimate” claims are getting ahead and getting let into the UK.

We all know that society’s determination of who is and is not worthy of protection is largely based on race. We all know that White Ukrainians would never be seen as “queue jumpers” simply because their Whiteness affords legitimacy to their claim for protection. In short, the fact they are White means they will be respected.

Furthermore, the language society uses deeply reflects how much refugees and asylum seekers are disrespected. The language of the “queue” is deeply dismissive and dehumanising, and normalises the obstacles that refugees face as they must sit and wait for their humanity to be respected.

No one should have to wait for permission or approval or have to queue up in order to be deemed worthy of protection.