Consistency, the quality of achieving a level of performance which does not vary greatly in quality over time. We all want consistency in the way we are treated, to be treated inconsistently is an injustice. Inconsistency is the fruit of more deep-rooted, insidious issues.
As I have been educating myself more and training myself to be more anti-racist rather than just ‘not racist’ I am finding that inconsistencies show themselves to me. In this blog I don’t aim to shock. All I want to do is pull together inconsistencies in three separate cases, all of which have occurred in the last few weeks, and leave you to decide if this is acceptable in society.
A few weeks ago, we heard the news that Katy Hopkins had been banned from twitter. I find her rather unsavoury and make a point of not engaging in anything she shares, however this was welcome news. Since then she has posted a number of videos on Facebook, a number of these have been very racist. Katy Hopkins has been spouting hateful speech for as long as I can remember, we have given her a platform to do this. Before her departure she had a large following on Twitter, I’ve seen her invited onto TV shows to continue her hateful rants. She is by no means a pleasant person and has been doing this for years. Let’s contrast that with the case of Wiley. A music artist from the grime genre, he recently began a lengthy, anti-Semitic rant on Twitter. Twitter did not take immediate action, however within 6 days he has been banned from Twitter. I want to make it explicitly clear that I am in no way, shape or form defending Wiley, his rant was appalling and he is right to have been banned from Twitter. I just find it interesting that it took 6 days, a stark contrast from the speed at which Katy Hopkins was banned.
Recently we heard of the news of a black gentleman being racially abused before being attacked in a hit and run incident. The reporting on this is what I wish to put under scrutiny now. In the BBC report, the reporter openly used the n-word, a vile racial slur, to explain the abuse that this man suffered. I am in no way, shape or form claiming that this reporter was racist I know she was just reporting the word that was used. However, lets contrast that with the BBC’s reporting of Wiley’s anti-Semitic twitter rant. The reporter stated that they could not show the tweets because they were too offensive. I wonder where the BBC draws its line of ‘too offensive’. Return to the case of the gentleman who had been attacked. If the attackers had told him to f**k off, would that have been repeated in all its glory?
Finally, in late June, a gentleman decided it would be wholly appropriate to fly a “White Lives Matter” banner over the Etihad Stadium in Manchester during a football match. Of course, he is well within his rights to do this, as we are a nation that upholds the right to free speech, however in the context of the current climate the stunt was completely inappropriate and, in many ways, very racist. The police investigated this and found that no criminal offence had been committed. Contrast this with the case of three students in North London were ordered to remove a banner saying “White Violence is Silence” from the window of their own flat. They were told that if they did not comply they would have to “come down to the station”. The implication here is that they were committing a criminal offence.
As I mentioned at the beginning, I am not aiming to shock with stories of police brutality or white supremacy, I merely want us to look at the inconsistencies that may pass us by, every single day.
I know the common response to this is “it’s a coincidence”, my question is, How many coincidences make an inequality?