Tuesday 11 August 2015

Show racism the red card

A black supply teacher was stabbed by a 14 year old pupil.
It was a racially-motivated attack. The boy boasted of this on social media.

Vincent Uzomah

The BBC reported the incident, politely describing the perpetrator merely as a 14 year old boy; they described the victim as black.
Sky was more forthcoming. We now knew that this was not just a story about any old racist pupil, but a ‘Bangladeshi background’ pupil of Pakistani heritage.

The BBC decided to tackle the story on the Today programme. ( 0:2:10) They addressed it as a ‘racism in the classroom’ story, not as a ‘racism within the Pakistani community story’ and interviewed a supply teacher who had suffered racist abuse in the classroom,  Sagheer Afzal, author-come-supply teacher,  described by The Asian Writer as “The reluctant author”
“After a difficult day at work, where he says, he was routinely called names and found himself struggling to regain control of school children, Afzal found the writing process intense and addictive. “I would come home totally exhausted, unwind and then start writing.”
Well, supply teachers do have a notoriously tough time, and the toughness is not  necessarily racially motivated. 
However the BBC decided to ignore the sensitive issue (racism specifically within ‘Bangladeshi background’ society) and focus on racism in general. They brought in Laura Pidcock, education manager at Show Racism the Red Card to explain why racism needs to be explored and discussed rather than banned. (She appeared to be talking about bigotry rather than racism, unless immigrants are now officially a race)
By choosing Sagheer Afzal, who sounded extremely excitable and resentful, (and suffering from a massive chip on the shoulder) the BBC could emote that the issue was racism against  the Muslims rather than racism emanating from the Muslim community. 
The contrast between the reluctant author and the generous, philosophical, dare I say ‘Christian’ attitude from the victim, Vincent Uzomah, was striking

For some reason the Today Programme’s angle reminded me of that well-known enigmatic  composition:

Algy met a bear. The bear was bulgy. The bulge was Algy.


  1. 'explain why racism needs to be explored and discussed rather than banned

    Was this done successfully?

    I can kind of see how the first two can happen, but for the life of me not the last in practical terms, especially as there is no actual coherent definition applicable.

  2. The headline the BBC should have used is simple " Pakistani muslim tries to kill black African Christian in racist attack ".

  3. Always worth a look at when the BBC decide that "being a Christian" is a good thing after all.
    When they "turn the other cheek" being one obvious one.
    In secular worlds that would be "repression" or "denial"-an inability to move on, because you`re not expressing your rage" etc...
    But if Islamic sensibilities might get turned up under the rug...as in this case...well, well done Jesus creeper...can`t we ALL forgive ALL Muslims, even when they stab us?
    In his case-being BLACK comes a poor second to being a Christian.
    Unlike the shootings in North Carolina a few months back-where the Christian stuff was as nothing compared to being BLACK victims of a white gun-toting kid.
    But at least we all got to hear Obama channel his Whoopi Goldberg impression-which surely would have been a siren call enticing enough to get Christ down from that horrid,horrid cross.
    Great to be a liberal arse-simply don`t need to think, only emote.

  4. She appeared to be talking about bigotry rather than racism, unless immigrants are now officially a race

    It's like Mark Thompson's reason for treating Islam far more gently: the BBC lumps all non-whites into a single category. In Thompson's case, he said the BBC treated Islam differently because most Muslims have brown skin and are (he claimed) already oppressed for being an ethnic minority. Same here for this woman conveniently lumping all immigrants into one brown-skinned body. Forget the Poles and Bulgarians, I guess. Pure racialist thinking, assigning value based on skin color.

  5. Anyone who knows anything knows that generalised racism is endemic in South Asian community both with respect to communities from outside the region - especially Black African - but also within the communities (specifically how white or "wheaten" your skin colour is). The fact that the BBC fails pretty much all the time to recognise this, is a demonstration of its PC-inspired bias.


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