Weekly Race Review: Monday 19 March
19 Mar 2018
We’re committed to shining a light on the stories that often go unreported whether these are issues faced by people of colour, or their successes. Each Monday morning we’re going to bring you the good and bad from around the world to keep you informed for the week ahead.
UK terror police investigate worrying “Punish a Muslim Day” letters
Residents in London, Bradford, Leicester, Cardiff and Sheffield have reportedly received letters advocating a day of anti-muslim violence on 3 April. Images of the A4 invites have been widely shared online.
According to concerned recipients on social media, it details a list of attacks ranging from verbal abuse to nuking mecca, each of which earn the perpetrator a different score. “You’re not hearing this anywhere but “Punish a Muslim Day” letters are being sent out East London,” one user wrote on Twitter. “Pulling a hijab is 25 points, throwing acid is 50 and bombing a whole mosque is 1K.”
Counter-terrorism police are treating the letters as a possible hate crime as the images also show that each letter includes an inflammatory call to arms from the sender. “They have hurt you, they have made your loved ones suffer. They have caused you pain and heartache. What are you going to do about it? Are you a “sheep” like the vast majority of the population?”
You’re not hearing this anywhere but “Punish a Muslim Day” letters are being sent out East London. The letter details each action & reward. In which pulling a hijab is 25 points, throwing acid is 50 and bombing a whole mosque is 1K. PLEASE, share this and stay safe. pic.twitter.com/t1T0Ig4fAY
— Saeda (: (@saeda_shalhout) March 10, 2018
It continues: “Sheep follow orders and are easily led, they are allowing the white majority nations of Europe and North America to become overrun by those who would like nothing more than to do us harm and turn our democracies into Sharia led police states. Only you can help turn this thing around, only you have the power. Do not be a sheep!”
Labour MP Naz Shah said the hate mail has prompted a community spirit among disgusted constituents. “We stand shoulder by shoulder, and stand side by side, because nothing will divide us,” she said.
Meanwhile anti-islamophobia charity Tell Mama UK said it was essential that all letters and envelopes were “kept and handled minimally” to preserve evidence for the police to investigate. “Incidents like this are rare, but we urge vigilance and calm as we remind Muslim communities that our confidential support service is available to assist in this matter,” it said in a statement.
If you’ve received a letter please get in touch.
Another UK university fails to tackle racism on campus
A couple of weeks ago Nottingham Trent student Rufaro Chisango was subjected to racist abuse inside her halls of residence. Although two males have since been arrested for the incident in which they were filmed shouting “we hate blacks” outside her bedroom door, the university had been particularly slow to act. No action was taken until Chisango posted the disturbing video online.
Similarly Elizabeth Sawyer, a second year Performing Arts student at De Montfort University made a complaint in February after two girls allegedly called her a nigger that remains unresolved.
“The situation is complex because they used to be friends…”
In my 31 years on this planet, I have had numerous instances where I’ve had to cuss white “friends” out once their racism started showing.
ITS NOT NEW.
— Kelechi Okafor (@kelechnekoff) March 16, 2018
The university has faced backlash as while the case is being investigated, the victim has been suspended. She told student magazine The Demon: “The university has suspended me because the two racist white girls feel ‘scared and intimidated’ by seeing me so now they are making sure the black students are not going to retaliate so I have been suspended until further notice.”
“I am so angry because if I wanted to threaten them or fight I would have fought since February. They are making the black students look aggressive when that is not the case at all.”
Supporters on social media have criticised the university response which they say feeds into the “angry black woman” stereotype. A petition has been started by Leeds University Black Feminist society to have Elizabeth reinstated.
1. A black female student is racially abused at De Montfort university
2. She informs the university
3. The university suspend the black girl in the middle of the investigation because the perpetrators feel threatened.
I kid you not https://t.co/7PJOGssqNI
— ㅤبطل الرواية — AY (@Mahalildn1) March 15, 2018
Crowds gather in the streets of Rio to protest the murder of black politician
38-year-old Marielle Franco, a Brazilian councillor known to be an outspoken critic of police violence and campaigner for LGBT rights, was killed last week.
The Associated Press reports that two men in a car fired nine shots into the car carrying Franco. Officials they spoke to said they believed that Franco was targeted.
Franco was killed hours after holding an empowerment event for “Young Black Women Who Are Changing Power Structures”. In a speech at the event, she spoke out about police brutality and the lack of black council women elected in Rio.
Thousands took to the streets to mourn her death.
— TIME (@TIME) March 16, 2018
- Snapchat’s value took a nosedive of near $1billion dollars after Rihanna criticised them on Instagram. The singer and domestic abuse survivor was responding to an offensive advert that featured a poll invited Snapchat users to vote to either “Slap Rihanna” or “Punch Chris Brown”. Brown pleaded guilty in 2009 to beating Rihanna during an argument while they were dating.
- A woman has been found guilty of fraud after pretending to be a resident of Grenfell Tower. Joyce Msokeri claimed to have lost relatives in the fire and took money, housing and clothing from the supportive charities that should have gone to genuine victims.
- Ghanaian women have been warned against taking pills to bleach the skin of their unborn babies. The Food and Drugs Authority has warned against taking illegal substances like Glutathione saying that mothers run the risk of causing birth defects, including damage to limbs and internal organs. The FDA’s head of cosmetics and household chemicals, Emmanuel Nkrumah, said: “The use of these drugs has gone to an alarming stage”.
Please get in touch with your own stories by emailing [email protected]