Scratch the surface and you’ll find British racism

Martin Rowson on Boris Johnson and the Black Lives Matter protests.

Martin Rowson on Boris Johnson and the Black Lives Matter protests. - Credit: Archant

Readers have their say on the Black Lives Matter movement in the UK, with the latest unrest triggered by the death of George Floyd in the US.

As British media outlets scramble to find black/brown voices to comment on the horrors unfolding in America, the 'thank-goodness-we're-not-that-bad' tone seems false to me.

In the UK we don't allow citizens to keep weapons that could wipe out a small village, but on any measure – from poverty to violent deaths to educational and job promotion opportunities – we aren't better, we're just more British.

A lot of the transatlantic tut-tutting has rightly focused on the appalling but all too familiar murder of an unresisting black man by the police and Trump's abysmal response. But the less publicised case of Amy Cooper – the white, middle class, 'liberal' woman who was filmed in New York's Central Park weaponising racism in a way that could have led to death-by-police for the black man who had asked her to leash her dog – also counts.

Quite simply she seemed to resent being asked to comply with public regulations and didn't want that request from a black person. Her response was to invoke 400 years of racism and brutality to get her entitled white way.

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I am a black British grandmother. Thank goodness I've never personally witnessed a black person being murdered by a white policeman but I have grown up with Amys: the middle class white people who know how to act… but the second they think a black person doesn't 'know their place', God help you.

Amanda Baker

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Following the unceremonious dispatching of the statue of Edward Colston into Bristol harbour, we appear to have an empty plinth where the statue once rested.

I must take this opportunity to suggest reserving that spot for the figure of the man or woman who eventually gets us back to our rightful place at the heart of Europe with EU membership?

Robert Boston


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