This week bigots went to war with babies and Birmingham erupts over LGBTQ+ education
11 Mar 2019
Sajid Javid opted to pander to the rabid right wing instead of doing what was right, and it cost us the life of an innocent child. The British baby boy of Shamima Begum didn’t even get the chance to set foot in this country as the Home Office’s decision allowed him to die.
Showing disdain for brown children isn’t out of the remit of homegrown racists, as the unborn child of Meghan Markle is already the victim of a wave of racial abuse. An investigation by Hope Not Hate showed that racist online abuse against the Duchess of Sussex increased with pregnancy. In response, the royal family to release a set of social media guidelines to create a “safe environment” against commentary considered to be discriminatory, threatening, abusive, hateful, and violent.
School should teach kids about the world, and in a way this week has proved that they do. They just teach us that society is still so behind. In New York, fifth-graders were left traumatised after their history teacher held a mock slave auction where white students were asked to ‘buy’ their black classmates. While one school’s efforts, in Birmingham (UK), to teach LGBTQ+ rights in school lessons has been the centre of a ferocious protest. Those rallying against the school branded the lessons as “toxic”, disgusting”, and an “aggressive indoctrination”.
Oh, and more racism has accidentally fallen from the mouth of an MP.
ITV weatherman who interrupted debate on knife crime highlights lack of diversity in debates
Alex Beresford couldn’t hold his tongue when he saw the all-white panel on Good Morning Britain engaging in such an out-of-touch debate surrounding knife crime in the UK.
A moral panic about knife crime in the UK has ensued in the media despite this not being a new problem, as Akala pointed out earlier this week. As the Police Federation chair, John Apter, was arguing for a need for more prisons, mixed-race weatherman Beresford interrupted from off-screen, making the astute point that losing more young black boys into the prison system does nothing to solve the issue of crime. Explaining the toxic cycle of prison, he explained: “You know, they go into prison, often for doing something quite petty, and then they join up with other, like-minded people, that give them other ways in which they can commit crime.”
It’s so boring that people of colour have to constantly bear the burden of educating white people about their white privilege, but Beresford pointed out the privileged environment everyone in that studio benefitted from, in stark contrast to under-privileged environments many working class black communities are being let down by. Explaining why he interrupted the debate, Beresford said: Whenever we have these debates on television, you often find that the people being debated aren’t always represented on the programme.”
Beresford’s interjection highlights the need for diversity in the media. Without his voice, the narrative on that programme was hideously out of touch and disconnected from the very communities being discussed.
Will Smith casting as Williams sisters’ dad causes colourism controversy
Is Will Smith black enough to play Serena and Venus Williams’ dad in the upcoming biopic? Well, it’s not that simple. Hollywood has yet again cast a light-skinned black man to play a dark-skinned black man, prompting a lot of backlash. Which is reminiscent of when Afro-Latina actress Zoe Saldana played the much darker skinned Nina Simone, or when mixed-race Thandie Newton was cast as Olanna, the voluptuous, melanin-rich Igbo heroine of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s novel Half of a Yellow Sun.
Richard Williams is a dark-skinned black American man who coached his daughters to be some of the best tennis players the world has seen despite having no tennis background. He is an incredibly impressive man, whose story deserves to be told, but he does not deserve to be light-washed, but to be celebrated in his entirety, including for his skin colour. Hollywood has repeatedly failed to celebrate the diversity within the BAME community, tending to group people from many backgrounds as ‘black’. This serves to uphold racial stereotypes and generalisations, while also silencing the broad array of diversity and nuances within different ethnic minority groups.
Light-skin privilege is a concept being spoken about more and more, with actresses like Zendaya calling out Hollywood for its favouring of light-skinned black people. There are plenty of dark-skinned actors who would represent Richard Williams more accurately, whilst also combatting the massive under-representation of dark-skinned people on screen.
- Don’t celebrate self-driving cars just yet, they’re more likely to drive into black people because the technology is better at detecting people with lighter skin tones, a study has claimed.
- A man in London has become the second man ever to be cured of HIV. The first man, Timothy Ray Brown, has called for researchers to ensure more women and people of colour are included in future trials in tackling the disease.
- UK schools will finally provide sanitary products for free to end period poverty. Read Amika’s thoughts here.
- The many plot twists of the Jussie Smollett case have been well-documented, however The Chicago Police department
havegrown concern at the amount of information leaked and the startling “inaccuracies” that have made their way into the press. There will now be a formal internal investigation.
- Pauline Ngarmpring has become the first transgender woman to run for Prime Minister in Thailand, where a general election will be held on March 24 for the first time since a military coup in 2014.
- The Home Office has been forced to pay nearly 50 civil servants more than £1m in compensation for discrimination based on ethnicity and age through the use of a Core Skills Assessment (CSA) as a condition for promotion – a test that has been long criticised for disproportionately affecting BAME workers and those over 35 years old.
- Shocking footage of a white man climbing on seats and making monkey noises on a London Underground train in an alleged racist attack has been published online.
- David Lloyd is one of the only leading UK gyms that requires transgender members to show documentation to enable them to use changing rooms in line with the gender they identify with.
- Following Tinder’s #representlove campaign, Unicode is releasing interracial couple emojis on its keyboard.
- Amber Rudd described Diane Abbott as a “coloured woman”, harking back to historical segregation, to which Abbott responded saying the term was “outdated”, “offensive”, and a “revealing choice of words”.
Moment of the Week
Senator Stephanie Flowers refused to be silenced by her white male colleague after he tried to cut off a debate on a bill that would allow Arkansas residents to use lethal force as the first line of defense if they feel threatened – a law that has a substantially greater effect on black citizens.