Photo courtesy of Disney
Tomorrow is the deadline for registering to vote. A quarter of black and Asian voters are not registered. You know what I’m saying. Okay, back to it…
Here’s all the race-related news you might have missed this week.
Kids storm Frozen 2 screening with machetes. Vue and Showcase ban film about black youths
Institutional racism towards black people strikes again. When a bunch of 13 and 14 year old teenagers stormed Vue cinema in Birmingham while families queued for Frozen 2. Vue and Showcase Cinemas subsequently banned the screening of Blue Story, a film made by British rapper Andrew Onwubolu, aka Rapman about the futility of gang violence. Yep, I’m still searching for the relevance of Blue Story to the incident as well.
Instead of taking responsibility for the fact that their security measures failed to protect visitors, Vue is scapegoating black people and, in the process, barring a black film from the exposure it deserves. Sadly, this is not surprising, but still unacceptable. People are calling for a boycott of Vue and Showcase. In response, Vue said: “The safety and welfare of our customers and staff is always our first priority.” Translation: we think black films are a danger.
The incident shows why it’s more vital than ever to support and champion independent black artists, who are forever silenced and erased by the mainstream creative industry.
Blue Story is showing at Odeon, Cineworld and Picturehouse. Go go go.
The BBC and the Tories are undermining democracy
The BBC is betraying us this election. The state broadcaster has edited a clip of Boris Johnson’s Question Time car crash interview to depict him in far more favourite light. During Question Time: Leaders Special which aired on Friday November 22, a live studio audience laughed loudly and derisively when the PM was questioned on the importance of telling the truth. Yet the BBC News at 1 recap omitted the laughing and Boris’ bumbling answer altogether, replacing it with applause.
Earlier this year the broadcaster apologised after using a 2016 clip Boris laying a wreath on the Cenotaph to mark Remembrance Sunday. Critics said the real footage from this year was far more unflattering, showing Boris looking unkempt while laying the wreath upside down.
As if that wasn’t enough to undermine public trust, a whistleblower accused BBC bosses of pulling the plug on reports about close links between politicians and Russia. The BBC has dismissed Tory-favouring edits as a mistake or simply a time-saving exercise. We cannot stand for our democracy being undermined and I hope for a more sincere explanation. We have reached out to the BBC for comment.
Meanwhile, the Tories have forgone all ethical campaigning. They produced a fake video of shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer. In what can only be described as a malicious attempt to mislead the public, they rebranded an official party Twitter account as a fake ‘fact-checker’ during the ITV leaders’ debate – something Boris was unable to explain at all. Their final stunt was to set up a fake Labour manifesto website to attack Corbyn’s plans.
We have the option between a value-driven leader who has campaigned and protested his entire life for what is right, or an incompetent Etonian career politician whose own family can’t vouch for him. It’s rare that we have a candidate like Jeremy Corbyn, who was on the streets, protesting inequalities when the cameras were off, long before BoJo began his online clout-chase by visiting public sector workers.
• Boris Johnson who wrote in an article that seeing a “bunch of black kids” set off alarm bells in his head – has pledged to increase police stop and search powers, which the Tories already ramped up this year. Those “black kids” BoJo is talking about are 40 times more likely to be stopped and searched in the UK.
• The Universities and Colleges Union has claimed anyone should be allowed to identify as black regardless of their skin colour or background.
• Windrush victim Roy Harrison, who came to Britain from Jamaica aged 6, has been forced to sleep in a bin shed because the Home Office has not regularised his status and is trying to deport him.
•K-pop star Goo Hara was found dead at her home at the age of 28, prompting an outpouring of grief from fans online, and concerns over the mental health of the popular bands.
• For the first time, British and Mexican Vogue will be graced with the image of indigenous transgender woman Estrella Vasquez, from the muxe community who identify as a ‘third gender’.
• Increasing strain on the NHS’ means that transgender people face waits of up to three or more years for gender identity treatment.
•Rastamouse creator Michael De Souza, 65, has criticised the Universal Credit system for leaving him relying on food banks as he was left waiting for five weeks to receive his first monthly payment.
• Around 170 transgender women inmates are suing Colorado for the violence and harassment they routinely suffer due to being housed with men.
•Air Canada is dropping “ladies and gentlemen” from their cabin announcements in favour of a more inclusive “everybody”.
• Transgender and non-binary people exchanged their thoughts in a Twitter thread about what they want to say to cis people. It’s an important read.
• It was revealed that Julia Roberts was once floated to play African American icon Harriet Tubman in the initial development of biopic Harriet. Scarlett Johansson wishes.
• K-pop Twitter fans have expressed their concerns that Rebel Wilson’s K-pop film Seoul Girls will be littered with “stereotypes, generalisations, and xenophobia”.
•Lil Nas X became the first openly gay rapper nominated in the top categories at the Grammys.
• Blue Ivy is following in Queen Bey’s footsteps, winning her first award for songwriting at the age of seven.
• The University of Oxford has launched The Raj Tulsiani scholarship for BAME postgraduate students to study history.
Moment of the week
The stunning cover has been released for Bolu Babalola’s new anthology, Love In Colour: Mythical Tales from Around the World, Retold. The book aims to decolonise tropes of love and is inspired by romantic tales from all over the world. I’ve already pre-ordered mine.
This article is a part of gal-dem’s Race Review column, a weekly news roundup centering the issues faced by people of colour.