Illustration by Michelle W
There’s been a lot of chat about racism post-Brexit, as if racism was only born when Euroscepticism became mainstream. However, the EU is not a bastion of liberal views that was holding us back from prejudice – and it certainly isn’t a utopia. There are lots of trash fascists as bright and bold as those little yellow stars on that blue flag.
Italy’s first black minister Cécile Kyenge has regularly been compared to an “orangutan,” “Zulu,” and “Congolese monkey” on her path into politics, saying the vile racist abuse is a “poison that damages us all.” The EU’s Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) reveals that people of African descent are facing “widespread and entrenched prejudice and exclusion across the EU, with Finland holding the highest rates of race-related harassment”. However, our little island can pat itself gingerly on the back this week, as it was revealed we had the lowest number of reported incidents. Before the Britain-is-not-racist brigade chime in, it obviously isn’t all rosy. Hate crime has still risen in the UK, and The Guardian revealed that a record number of UK children are excluded for racist bullying. Many were left shocked when footage of a disgusting racist attack on young Syrian student Jamal, in Huddersfield, surfaced, raising the conversation about the “toxic rhetoric around immigration”.
Here’s all the race-related news you should know about.
Syrian refugee pinned to the ground and waterboarded by school bully
Society’s racist rhetoric is filtering down to the innocent minds of our children and so of course it’s become an issue in Britain’s schools. A Syrian child refugee was pinned to the ground and waterboarded by a white bully at a school in Huddersfield. 15-year-old Jamal was the innocent victim of a racially aggravated assault that went viral on Tuesday night, prompting concerns that Britain’s anti-immigration discourse is seriously affecting children.
The apple really doesn’t fall far from the tree. It turns out that the mother of the bully in the video was convicted of racially aggravated threatening behaviour last year when she called a takeaway worker a ‘“P**i” and a “terrorist”.
The incident sparked a Guardian analysis of racial abuse in school students. Last year, 4,590 cases were deemed serious enough to warrant fixed or permanent exclusion, up from 4,085 in the previous year. A jump of over 500 serious racist incidents is the highest leap in a decade and echoes the “toxic rhetoric surrounding immigration and migrants,” an English teacher explained.
In response to the public threatening the bully with further violence, Jamal said: “I am very concerned about the violent comments going out on social media about the bully. I don’t want anything terrible to happen to him at all. I just don’t want anything bad to happen to anyone”. Perhaps it’s up to the school system to undo these untruths.
A Greek court freed men who killed a 22-year-old black graduate
It’s truly harrowing to know that a black man’s brutal killing can be filmed on CCTV and still the perpetrators can evade justice. Not one of the six men charged with the brutal beating to death of black graduate Bakari Henderson have been convicted of murder. The 22-year-old American was beaten to death on the Greek Island of Zakynthos while on a working holiday with friends, and nine defendants, mostly of Serbian descent, stood on trial.
On the night in July 2017, Henderson ran into the defendants at a bar. A Serbian woman told investigators that when she posed for a selfie with the American, a man nearby said, “There are a lot of Serbs in the bar. Why are you talking to a black guy?” Soon after, she reported the man hit Henderson in the face and then Henderson retaliated and hit him back.
The sickening attack was captured on CCTV yet three of the men were exonerated, and they all claimed they had not intended to kill Henderson. The British national of Serbian descent was given the most severe sentence of up to 15 years in prison for causing grievous bodily harm. Another was sentenced to 10 years, three got seven years, another got five, all for lesser assault charges.
His mother, Jill Henderson broke down in tears, saying “You should not be able to chase a man down and beat him to death and not go to jail”.
- Writers for Ebony magazine reveal they have not been paid. Over 40, mainly black, writers claim to be owed a total of $74,768. Meanwhile, the publication held an extravagant gala hosted by Chris Tucker
Ebony magazine owes its freelancers dating back 4 years
We had to sue to get our money AND THEY WERE STILL LATE
One of the freelancers in the lawsuit was raising money for cancer treatment and passed away 3 weeks before getting his check
So I will never support them again
— George M Johnson (@IamGMJohnson) November 27, 2018
- A Maryland college lacrosse player has been arrested after targeting himself and other minority students with racist graffiti
- The UN have called reggae “cerebral, socio-political, sensual and spiritual”. The genre has been added to a list of international cultural treasures which deserves promotion and protection.
- Three Missouri police officers have been charged with brutally beating a black officer working undercover during protests in St Louis in 2017
- A former Facebook manager, Mark S Luckie, has accused the social media giant of “failing” its black employees, speaking of widespread discrimination and biased against black Facebook users
- A South Korean student, Yeon Jeong Lee said she was attacked in an alleged hate crime on London’s Oxford Street while onlookers filmed the incident on their phones
- Egyptian actress Rania Youssef is facing trial next month charged with public obscenity after wearing a see-through dress that revealed her legs to the closing ceremony of a film festival.
Moment Of The Week
Disney will release its first animated Indian-inspired TV show:
#MiraRoyalDetective is a new series coming to #DisneyJunior in 2020! It’s the story of a young girl who’s smart, resourceful & has a knack for solving mysteries! ? Some of the cast include #LeelaLadnier, @BecauseImFreida, @HannahSimone, @jameelajamil & @kalpenn to name a few. pic.twitter.com/ytGv4hmDmA
— Disney Junior (@DisneyJunior) November 29, 2018