Tag Archives: black

After his Mosley comments, who wants to watch Danny Dyer’s History Channel?

Danny Dyer: he’s holding a photo of “that melt” Oswald Mosley and his bunch of “fascist slags” the Black Shirts. Can someone in television please commission him to do a whole series like this?

A new career could be opening up for celebrated EastEnders actor Danny Dyer.

He’s just appeared on TV, talking about the Battle of Cable Street, and it was gold:

This is not the first time Dyer has spoken up about social issues. Consider this…

… and especially this:

This Writer thinks Dyer would be an excellent choice to front a new TV series on the social history of the UK, showing how the lives of the working classes have differed from those of the privileged throughout the centuries.

We’re sick of hearing about royals and their squabbles with their relatives in foreign lands. Let’s have the story of what was happening right here – from someone who’s got the good sense to tell it straight!

And Dyer’s own royal heritage – he has links to William the Conqueror and Edward III, according to another TV doco, Who Do You Think You Are? – would provide added credibility.

What about it, BBC? Or would you be afraid to do it if Boris Johnson has his way and puts his puppet Charles Moore in charge?

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This is what Black Lives Matter meant to US police: wait a while, then shoot them in the back

Point blank: (white) Wisconsin police officers were filmed shooting Jacob Blake in the back is he sat in his car. His children, also in the car, saw everything.

So much for all the protesting and solidarity earlier this summer. American police are still shooting to kill black people for no apparent reason.

It seems clear that they will continue to do so until force is used to stop them.

And how can that happen when they have the guns, and the name of the law – if not the letter of it – behind them?

The victim in this instance is Jacob Blake, of, Kenosha, Wisconsin, who was apparently walking back to his car after breaking up a fight between two women when police shot him in the back seven times, at point-blank range.

He may never walk again.

His children were also in the car and saw the police officers shooting their father in the back.

The shooting provoked a mass demonstration in which hundreds of people marched through the streets to gather outside the Kenosha County Public Safety Building, chanting: “No justice, no peace!”

Wisconsin’s Democrat governor, Tony Evers, also condemned the shooting. He said: “Tonight, Jacob Blake was shot in the back multiple times, in broad daylight, in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Kathy and I join his family, friends, and neighbors in hoping earnestly that he will not succumb to his injuries.”

“While we do not have all of the details yet, what we know for certain is that he is not the first Black man or person to have been shot or injured or mercilessly killed at the hands of individuals in law enforcement in our state or our country.

“We stand with all those who have and continue to demand justice, equity, and accountability for Black lives in our country—lives like those of George Floyd, of Breonna Taylor, Tony Robinson, Dontre Hamilton, Ernest Lacy, and Sylville Smith.”

Family members have appealed for “healing”.

It seems clear that systemic racism is alive and well in the US police forces.

They listened and watched while the Black Lives Matter protests against the killing of George Floyd took place around the world – including in the UK – and then they shrugged and carried on shooting black people.

That’s not law enforcement. It’s racism. And if we really want to eradicated it, we need more than honeyed words from old men in expensive suits

Source: ‘I don’t want pity. I want change’: Jacob Blake’s family pleads for justice | US news | The Guardian

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MP stopped by police in London for ‘driving around whilst black’

Dawn Butler: she’s proved many times that she is an MP who actually cares about her constituents’ lives – but that won’t stop her being victimised by Metropolitan police.

Almost exactly a month after two black athletes were stopped and handcuffed by Metropolitan police, Brent MP Dawn Butler has suffered the same humiliation. For the same reason?

Ms Butler, a Labour MP, was stopped while travelling as a passenger with a friend, who is also black.

Police who stopped her said the car was registered in North Yorkshire – but changed their tune after they realised who they had pulled over, and said they had input the licence plate into their system incorrectly.

A likely story!

This was the third time Ms Butler has been stopped and searched by police since she became a member of Parliament. She described it in the video she took of the incident as follows:

 It’s like you cannot drive around and enjoy a Sunday afternoon whilst black.

Her friend, who was driving, has been stopped “regularly”, according to the Guardian‘s report. In that case, Met police officers should have got the hang of tapping his plate number into their system (I would have thought).

On July 8, athletes Ricardo dos Santos and Bianca Williams were stopped and handcuffed while their three-month-old son was left in the car.

No social distancing procedures were followed in that incident and it seems unlikely that any were employed in that involving Ms Butler.

According to the Guardian,

Another officer, a woman, had “inflamed the situation” by saying tinted rear windows on the car could be illegal.

How interesting that Met officers are still using this hoary old chestnut after being called out on it after the July incident – and on previous occasions, when the tints were all found to be entirely legal.

In this case

The law about tinting on windows applies only to the windscreen and front windows.

In fairness, the Met response to Ms Butler’s report of the incident has been much more reasonable than to the athletes.

Is that because, in addition to being black, she is a member of Parlament?

Source: Labour MP Dawn Butler stopped by police in London | UK news | The Guardian

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It seems the UK’s Equalities watchdog is a racist organisation. How can we believe its report on Labour?

Chris Williamson: He was subjected to death threats because of the false accusations against him, but the EHRC appears to have attacked him in its report.

A common tactic among right-wingers, when a document is about to be published  or a claim made that attacks them, is to undermine the validity of the issuer of that document in some way beforehand.

We’ve seen that happen many times over the last few years, haven’t we?

Often the critical claims have been proved untrue later. Consider all the attacks on Jeremy Corbyn.

Now, with the Equality and Human Rights Commission soon to release its report on alleged anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, that organisation is being buried under a flood of bad publicity.

But it seems unlikely that these claims will be quite as easy to dismiss.

Here’s Chris Williamson: he was the victim of a huge vilification campaign by many of his colleagues on the Labour benches after he made perfectly reasonable comments about the party’s attitude to anti-Semitism complaints in a speech.

The EHRC report comments on his case, and this means he has been allowed to see it in advance. From his response, it seems clear that the organisation has drawn a false conclusion:

He is right to start crowdfunding now. By the time the report comes out – hopefully – he will have raised the funds he needs and will be able to launch his proceedings immediately.

Clearly, he’s not making a wild accusation; people don’t take others to court frivolously unless they want to be penalised for vexatious litigation (Rachel Riley take note).

It seems the EHRC has already lost any credibility in claims of racism against other people and organisations, though; it has just been revealed that it removed its only black and Muslim commissioners in what the two people involved consider a clear act of racism:

Baroness Meral Hussein-Ece, who at the time was the only Muslim commissioner and Lord Simon Woolley who was the only black commissioner, both lost their positions in November 2012.

At present, it has no black or Muslim members among its board of ten commissioners, which also includes the chair.

It currently stands accused of not standing up for British Muslims and being too close to the ruling Conservative Party, both claims the EHRC firmly denies.

“We were too loud for what the new coalition government wanted,” Lord Woolley told Newsweek.

“Our job as commissioners was to do exactly what they were supposed to do, to raise the fundamental issues of tackling race inequality in education, in health, in employment, within the criminal justice system and I saw that as my central role, but it was made very quickly aware to me that that strong voice was not wanted.

“They [the government] didn’t want the voices that challenge the big structural inequalities, which of course is the raison d’être of the commission, and then to work out plans to use its powers to demand change.”

Baroness Hussein-Ece said that she too feared that being vocal about issues of race worked against her.

She said: “We were the ones who spoke more about race. Race equality generally was put on the back burner during that period.”

She described the decision not to reappoint herself and Lord Woolley at the time as an “appalling” thing to do.

“We were told to apply for the next term because it’s a four-year term, our performance was deemed good, and that we should reapply,” she said.

“When we did reapply, we were told we weren’t even shortlisted.”

She also said that she was told by the Equalities Office at the time that more commissioners from business backgrounds were desirable.

The revelation – take note that it came out into the open this week, not in 2012 – has sparked a wave of outrage on the social media (and silence in the Tory-supporting, racist mainstream media). Judge for yourself if the comments are valid:

Remember this when the usual screamers start baying about Labour being guilty of anti-Semitism, simply because the EHRC is investigating; when the organisation itself is racist, its pronunciations on discrimination mean nothing.

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Hypocrite Theresa May pretends she’s not a racist – but we must judge her by her actions

Theresa May: the image offers a good sense of where she belongs.

Some of you are going to find this hard to take.

Watch this, if you have the stomach for it:

You’re probably thinking of the Windrush scandal, that demonstrated ample evidence that this two-faced Tory had no interest in the well-being of anybody black.

But I want to take you back further than that, to an incident that shows she cannot claim any moral authority on the well-being of any ethnic minority.

I refer, of course, to the scandal of Theresa May’s so-called “racist vans”. I wrote an article about it entitled Xenophobia, in which I stated:

“Those of us who are lucky enough not to live in London have yet to see the amazing advertising vans that have been conveying instructions to Conservative-leaning voters, to treat with hatred, suspicion and contempt anybody who is not a white, Anglo-Saxon protestant.

“It seems clear that these vehicles are intended to promote racism and heighten racial tension, setting British citizens against each other – because the aim is to encourage the suspicion that another person may be an illegal immigrant – in the same way Coalition policy on social security set citizens against each other by pretending it was commonplace for individuals to receive more in benefits than in paid work.

“According to the Public Order Act 1986, it is an offence for a person to publish threatening, abusive or insulting material if this is intended to stir up hatred against any group in the UK, defined by reference to colour, race, nationality, citizenship or ethnic or national origins, or if it is likely to stir up hatred with regard to all the circumstances.

“The Criminal Justice and Public Order Act of 1994 added an offence of intentional harassment – that it is an offence to use threatening, abusive or insulting behaviour, intending to cause a person harassment, alarm or distress. There is a defence that the conduct of the accused was reasonable. This Act was introduced by Michael Howard, who spoke in favour of the advertising vans on the BBC’s Any Questions on Friday.

“The Unite union has been seeking legal advice about whether the Home Office-sponsored vans – running a week-long ‘pilot’ scheme that could be expanded to the entire country – incited racial hatred, which implies that their message was intended for domestic consumption, rather than for the benefit (sorry) of illegal aliens.

“The message on the vans reads as follows: “In the UK illegally? GO HOME OR FACE ARREST. Text HOME to [a number] for free advice and help with travel documents.”

“A stamp in the top-right corner reads: “106 arrests last week in your area.”

“The Home Office Twitter account spent the week-long pilot period tweeting messages about the number of illegal immigrants it wished to claim had been detected or turned themselves in – and even transmitted photographs of suspects in a move that is certain to undermine claims that it was not trying to incite hatred.

“And spot-checks have been taking place at railway stations, where people who were notably not white were stopped, apparently at random, by immigration officers wearing stab vests who demanded to see identification proving they were in the UK legally. It seems they became unreasonably aggressive when asked what right they had to behave like this without direct cause for suspicion.

“Immigration minister Mark Harper has rejected claims that people were targeted because of their race, confirming that the law demands that officers need reason to believe an offence had been committed before stopping anybody.

“He said the street operations “involved immigration officers talking to people in the local area and, where there was a reason to do so, asking questions in relation to immigration status”. Are we to take it, then, that his underlings were inviting local people to act as informants, ‘dobbing in’ people they suspected (or possibly, simply didn’t like and wanted to put into trouble)?

“Harper’s argument was severely undermined when he admitted he could not reveal the different ethnicities of the people who were stopped, and their numbers, because it is not recorded – officials were told to take down only the names, dates of birth and nationalities of people they stopped.”

“I fundamentally believe that you should not be stopped on the streets of our country simply because of the colour of your skin,” said May, on July 9.

But seven years ago, officials were stopping people on the streets of our country precisely because of the colour of their skin – on her orders.

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After betraying black party members, Starmer begs them not to quit Labour – but he won’t change his ways

Photo opportunity: when Keir Starmer ‘took the knee’ for Black Lives Matter, it seems he thought it was only a gimmick to jolly BAME voters along.

[This is one of three connected articles. This Site is also examining the responses of Boris Johnson and Dr David Starkey to Black Lives Matter; none of them come out smelling of roses.]

Keir Starmer is running scared after people from black and minority ethnic groups gave his credibility a double-hit.

He exposed his own staggering ignorance – as a former Director of Public Prosecutions – in rejecting the Black Lives Matter call for the police to be de-funded.

There is a serious point to it, which is that expansion of police and prison budgets have not improved public safety. Britain has the second largest policing budget per capita in Europe and has some of the most wide-reaching and intrusive public surveillance measures in the world. This includes a police programme that has spied on more than 1,000 organisations. The government announced it was spending £2.5 billion on four new prisons to incarcerate 10,000 people. The total bill for the UK criminal justice system, comprising policing, law courts and prisons in 2018-19 was £28.8 billion – more than we spend on primary education, more than we spend on social care and far more than we spend on social housing or the environment.

Black Lives Matter was saying that this approach has failed – and suggesting that social problems are better addressed through social responses.

But when Starmer spoke to BBC Breakfast News on Tuesday, he said: “Nobody should be saying anything about defunding the police. I was director of public prosecutions for five years. I’ve worked with police forces across England and Wales bringing thousands of people to court, so my support for the police is very strong.”

Worse still, in the same interview, he described Black Lives Matter as a “moment”. He said: “The Black Lives Matter movement, or moment if you like… is about reflecting on what happened dreadfully in America just a few weeks ago [the killing of George Floyd] and showing or acknowledging that as a moment across the world.”

Staggering ignorance.

Black Lives Matter was founded in the US in 2013 after the acquittal of George Zimmerman for the murder of black teenager Trayvon Martin and has campaigned on a number of issues including the de-funding of police to provide cash for social programmes to avoid unnecessary confrontation and heal the racial divide – as Starmer would have known if only he had done a little homework.

It rose to global prominence after the killing of George Floyd, with multiple protests against racism in the UK under its banner – but campaigning about that death is just one aspect of its work – not its reason for existing.

His words show that Starmer considers the moment he “took the knee” in solidarity with Black Lives Matter was nothing more than a photo opportunity – a chance to pretend to show support without actually having to do anything. And when he was asked to back it up, he backed away.

Combine this with the very apparent racism shown by right-wing party factionalists against black female MPs in the leaked Labour report on the party’s response to anti-Semitism complaints and it has become clear to BAME party members that Labour is no longer the place for them.

This has created a huge image problem for Starmer.

From the moment he became Labour leader, he has tried to create the impression that he is strong in opposing racism – particularly with his actions on anti-Semitism*.

Now, with BAME part members leaving, he can see that the facts may soon show that Labour is haemorrhaging members under his leadership. That would create entirely the wrong impression for this image-conscious pretender.

He won’t lose his job because of this – at least, not straight away. But he isn’t as secure in his role as he wants us to think either; it is entirely possible that he may face a leadership challenge if he makes too many more mistakes, so he can’t just ignore the issue.

So he gives us this:

Labour leader Keir Starmer has appealed to Black voters not to leave the party, following backlash over an interview in which he dismissed the Black Lives Matter goal of defunding the police as “nonsense”.

The Labour leader … came under fire on Monday for describing the Black Lives Matter movement as “a moment, if you like”, with many people taking umbrage with the possible implication that the anti-racism moving is fleeting and lacking in significance.

But Starmer told HuffPost UK he meant the opposite.

“I meant ‘moment’ as in ‘a defining moment’, a turning point, and I genuinely think that reflects the sentiment that many, many Black community leaders have expressed to me in recent weeks.

“If there’s one thing that’s come through loud and clear it’s this has got to be a moment, a turning point, a defining point, moment, call it what you like. Because there’s a deep frustration […] that we’ve kind of been here before where people have said there needs to be change and there hasn’t been change.

“In that sense, I was absolutely not pandering to a racist vote. I was trying to recognise the significance of what was happening and express a determination that it should be a turning [point], and to join with those across the Black Lives Matter movement who desperately do want it to be a turning point. And I’m very, very happy to say that over and over again because I think it’s very important.”

He must think BAME people are stupid. No – he must think we’re all stupid if he thinks we’re going to swallow that.

There’s probably a word to describe what he’s trying to do, but if not I’d like to nominate “Johnsoning” – retroactively redefining earlier comments, made in ignorance of the issues involved, with an explanation that doesn’t fit.

It hasn’t worked.

So in a blatant piece of propaganda, we’re being reminded that Labour has 580,000 members – or does it?

That was the number recorded in January and we haven’t had an update since.

And it seems some of us aren’t willing to believe the claim:

All in all – do what he will, Starmer has created his own disaster:

He appears to have made it worse by cooking up this explanation for public consumption, while in private Starmer has been saying something entirely different:

There is enough ambiguity to question whether Starmer had been trying to blow a dog whistle for a certain kind of voter that those of us who support traditional Labour values would find unacceptable:

Some have pointed out the contrast between what Starmer said in April and what he’s having to say now:

Others have pointed out the contrast between the way the media would have handled this if Jeremy Corbyn had said anything as stupid as Starmer:

And some have simply come to the obvious conclusion:

By the way, it isn’t only black people and those from minority ethnic groups who are leaving Labour. Young people are quitting the party too:

How humiliating for the man who presented himself to us as Labour’s Great White Hope, only to be brought low by his failure to understand that Black Lives Matter.

*Anyone with any understanding of the anti-Semitism controversy in the Labour Party knows perfectly well that his actions in that regard have been utterly wrong-headed, but that’s another story.

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Appalling police brutality in the UK, but was it racism – or disablism?

Police brutality: the man under the two police officers had a blue ‘disabled’ badge for his car. He was parked legally on a single yellow line when these two officers demanded he move the car. He refused so they beat him senseless, breaking a finger in the process.

This is not an incident from the demonstrations against police violence against black and minority ethnic people over the last week or so.

It happened last year – in London.

James McAsh explains it perfectly well in his Twitter thread so I’ll hand over to him:

Youness Bentahar, I’m guessing, is not ethnically “White British”. He also had a blue badge for disabled drivers (or those who drive for disabled people). As such, he was entitled to park where he was and the police had no right or reason to ask him to move his vehicle.

But they still beat him senseless, breaking a finger at one point and using handcuffs as knuckledusters to punch him (in the kidneys?) at another.

Should Mr Bentahar have meekly allowed police to arrest him? Mr McAsh argues that it would mean black people who have committed no crimes should allow the police to harass them or commit violence.

But as a disabled man – or somebody driving for a disabled person – he would also have had a responsibility, either to the disabled person for whom he was driving – to carry out the job he’d been asked to do, or to himself – to avoid being taken to a police station where the extra needs of his disability may be ignored (and let’s face it, that’s what the video evidence here suggests).

Who told these police officers they could behave in this manner towards a person from an ethnic minority?

Who said it was all right for them to victimise a person who was disabled – or was acting for a disabled person?

As this happened in London, we may conclude that these were Metropolitan Police officers.

Their commissioner would be Cressida Dick. Perhaps she would like to answer these questions?

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If Black Lives Matter to Keir Starmer, why hasn’t he acted against Labour’s racists?

New direction: Labour leader Keir Starmer (right) and deputy Angela Rayner (left) spot Diane Abbott and Clive Lewis at a PLP meeting.

Labour seems slow to comment on anything lately, but these words seem to have struck a raw nerve:

It’s a good point, well-made. The Labour report that claimed party staff members had deliberately obstructed anti-Semitism investigations in order to make then-leader Jeremy Corbyn seem anti-Semitic himself, and that suggested the same staffers had conspired to prevent Labour from winning the 2017 general election (the 2019 election was not part of its subject matter), includes evidence of anti-black and minority ethnic racism too.

But new party leader Keir Starmer has not lifted a finger to investigate these claims.

Alleged anti-Semites are suspended the instant claims are made against them – true or false – and the allegations are now pursued with a fervour not seen since the Salem witch trials of the 17th century.

But Starmer’s – and Rayner’s – Labour seems to think it fine for staff members to persecute the UK’s first and longest-serving black female MP, who already suffers more than half of all the racist abuse directed at any MPs.

Perhaps this is the reason Labour is allegedly haemorrhaging BAME support, as reported by the Huffington Post:

Labour Party voters are still reeling from the aftermath of a leaked Labour report that has fuelled allegations of anti-Black racism at the heart of the party – and many have told HuffPost UK that they now feel “politically homeless”.

It also did something else that was not on the tin: raised grave concerns of anti-Black racism, otherwise referred to as Afriphobia, which campaigners argue have not been adequately addressed by the party’s leadership.

Labour officials used a string of insults in private WhatsApp groups to describe senior Black MPs and officials including Diane Abbott, Dawn Butler and Clive Lewis, the lengthy document revealed.

For a number of Black voters it meant it was time to part ways with the party.

For many, this scandal is the latest let-down in a long list of concerns around Blackness and the Labour Party such as lack of representation.

Now we see Starmer and Rayner making a token display of support for the Black Lives Matter movement in the wake of the killing of George Floyd.

This Writer has contributed more with the articles published on This Site about that subject.

Could it be that Labour really has become as racist – under Starmer – as some complained it was under Corbyn?

And do we really have to wait until July, when an inquiry into the Labour report is due to release its findings, for that to become clear?

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Review of harmful impact of Covid-19 crisis on BAME people delayed twice – because it shows RACISM?

Racism is hard-wired into Conservatives. This poster was from 1964 and attitudes haven’t changed since then.

When the Tories delay a review of the impact of Covid-19 on black and minority ethnic communities because of “worries” around “current global events”, you know the result can’t be good.

Considering “current global events” include escalating riots in the United States over the way the authorities treat black people, you can expect it to be scandalous.

Demonstrations against the attitudes that caused George Floyd’s death have taken place in the UK and it seems logical that the Tory government – already well-known for its racist policies and racist prime minister – would not want to enflame feelings to boiling-point.

But it makes perfect sense for the review to show that BAME people have been disproportionately harmed by Covid-19 – because the Conservative government has prioritised help away from them.

We already know that Tory Covid-19 policies have been disablist and ageist – look at the massacre in our care homes. Harm to BAME people completes their hat-trick.

Look at the language in the Sky News report:

They now say it has been delayed further because it is in “close proximity to the current situation in America” and it would be a “bad combination” if it was released amid global outrage over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

One Whitehall source told Sky News: “The government won’t be able to put this out without concrete and solid next steps.”

To make matters worse, the Department of Health has tried to deny that the killing of George Floyd had anything to do with the delay.

This comes from the organisation that claimed the UK had enough personal protective equipment and ventilators for everyone, and that 100,000 tests were carried out on a day when only 70,000 took place.

We’re left with the obvious question:

Is it better to withhold the review and let us all think government policy has been racist – or to release it and have our suspicions confirmed?

Source: Coronavirus: Review into impact of COVID-19 on BAME community delayed again | UK News | Sky News

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Both Labour and the Tories have offended ethnic minorities. What will this mean for the local elections?

Labour will beat the Conservatives in the local elections on Thursday, retaining most of their seats and taking even more.

Sure, the party offended black and ethnic minority citizens when an all-white panel, on the demands of a white MP, found a black anti-racist campaigner guilty of racism and expelled him.

But the Conservatives have presided over a policy of persecution against black and ethnic minority citizens that has lasted eight years and deported possibly thousands of legitimate British citizens.

Weigh them up and you can see who has done the most harm.

If BAME voters turn on the Tories in large numbers, it will send a deafeningly loud message to the government.

And, providing she is still prime minister by Friday morning, that message can say only one thing to Theresa May:

RESIGN.


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