Two young people were killed in a terrorist attack in London Bridge. Jack Merritt, 25, and Saskia Jones, 23, both of whom fought for prisoner rehabilitation, were fatally stabbed on Friday. Members of the public, including former inmates, risked their lives, armed with a narwhal tusk and fire extinguisher to tackle the terrorist who was wearing a suicide vest they didn’t know was fake at the time.
Sadly, just a day after Jack Merritt’s Dad said he would not “wish his death to be used as the pretext for more draconian sentences”, Boris Johnson and Priti Patel began their political posturing. They both began spitting acid at Labour, blaming them for the attack, using the tragedy for their political gain. Our thoughts are with the families of Jack and Saskia.
Here’s what else went down this week.
Queer Black Christmas being held for people to celebrate with their ‘chosen family’
With all of this politics, Boris Johnson truly is the Grinch that stole Christmas, however, the season is upon us. Tanya Compas, an incredible youth worker and writer, is spending her first Christmas away from her family due to strained relationships, and has launched a wonderful event for queer black young people to come together on December 25.
On the crowdfunding page, she wrote that: “For many, Christmas and the holiday period is a special time to spend and bond with family, however for others, this period can bring up feelings of dread, isolation and sadness, both IRL and on social media too.”
Tanya is passionate about making her project “queer and Black AF”, creating an intimate and safe space for queer and black people of any faith.
The crowdfunder reached over £5,000 at the time of writing.
This election’s dirty tactics have undermined any democracy
I’m not sure what’s worse, Michael Gove tweeting “I set trends dem man copy”, or Boris Johnson defending his Islamophobia with, “My great-grandfather knew the Koran off by heart”. The facade of a democracy in this country continues to crumble during this crucial election.
Last week I looked at how the BBC and Tories were eroding the democratic process. Then we have watched as the BBC allowed Boris to swerve an Andrew Neil interview yet still appear on The Andrew Marr Show.
He regurgitated the same three election slogans, spouted lies, and shirked any responsibility for the last decade of Tory rule, before reeling off the loathsome great-grandfather line. Sadly Boris has looked to his American counterpart for inspiration and seen how to aggressively say nothing in a way that makes you look assured. Much of what he said was incorrect, as the Guardian pointed out, but that doesn’t matter anymore because people don’t necessarily see or care about the fact-checkers.
The media bias is clear and the inventor of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee is horrified with the dirty Tory tricks. Labour are proudly exhibiting their manifesto – which has been backed by economists – with Jeremy Corbyn tackling public appearances head-on, while the Conservatives cower in the eaves, avoiding saying anything meaningful and dodging questions about their hollow manifesto.
While canvassing, I’ve heard people express fear over ideas that sound as if they’re lifted from the Daily Mail front page, and it’s not their fault. Devious media campaigns have made Jeremy Corbyn the most smeared politician in history. The fact that the media and super-rich are going out of their way to ensure Corbyn’s demise from parliament is a testament to the real change he could potentially bring.
On top of the constant barrage of unscrupulous misinformation, Boris is refusing to release the report that details Russian meddling in Britain. It is vital to the validity of the democratic election that will take place on December 12. On LBC, when confronted with this very important question, Boris reassured that there was nothing of note about Russia…naturally the caller took that with a bucket of salt, and said, if there is nothing to report, then release it, to which he was met with the ever-suspicious blather.
• Tik Tok silenced 17-year-old Feroza Aziz after she posted a video urging viewers to educate themselves on China’s abuse of Uighur Muslims that she described as “another holocaust”. It raises questions about the app’s links with China’s political regime. Read more about China’s war on the Uighur Muslims here.
• In an attempt to broaden his male, pale, and stale horizons, Mark Zuckerberg gave himself a challenge to talk to leaders, experts, and people to understand the future of tech. You guessed it… the eight people he spoke to were white.
• Patrick Starrr, a Filipino American make-up artist, has come under fire for appropriating a Nigerian gele head wrap in his most recent Instagram post, calling it a “turban”.
• A doctor in Croydon, Dr Noman Mohamed, has started rapping about knife crime, obesity, and violence towards NHS staff.
• Can you feel the Stormzy Effect? Voter registration increased by 236% after the rapper pledged his support for Jeremy Corbyn and Labour.
• Why is Drake, 33, texting 14-year-old Millie Bobby Brown and 17-year-old Billie Eilish? I need answers.
• Hackney Council is finalising its choice for a permanent artwork honouring and celebrating the Windrush generation that will be placed in Hackney Town Hall Square.
• Author Latoya Nicole has released a Christmas edition of her colouring book line which focuses on the black woman’s experience. It’s called Holiday Slay.
• White people are calling the police on black people for no reason again. This time a woman reported her black UPS delivery man because he made her feel “nervous”.
• Noname is done with her white crowds. She said she will not keep performing for a predominantly white audience and is considering “a new career path”.
Moment of the week
Dawn Butler, the shadow women and equalities secretary, gave a powerful speech at the Pink News Awards on the urgency of the Gender Recognition Act reform, and how she wants to build a world where transphobia is a thing of the past.
This article is a part of gal-dem’s Race Review column, a weekly news roundup centring the issues faced by people of colour.