Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Racism in Croydon

Croydon is trending globally again. Just 3 months ago it was news and imagery relating to the riots, and now its racism.

I have received a number of texts and emails regarding the now infamous racist outburst by the lady on the Croydon to Wimbledon tram.

I first noticed that there was a vid attracting interest when I checked out the Croydon Advertiser web site for their latest news, this was day before yesterday. At that point the video had only around 3000 hits - now its just shy of 6 million. What can I say, I feel sorry for Emma West, she needs many ways.

By coincidence I was going to blog about a piece of racist graffiti (above) I noticed in Thornton Heath just last week. Its all the more thought provoking given the high proportion of Black and Asian folks in the area. In addition, I can distinctly remember a similar piece of racist commentary, a few years back, that targeted people of colour in the same location.

Just earlier this month, I posted about a film which asks the question, Is Croydon Racist? What a coincidence that 'My tram experience' hits the news the same month Runnymede Trust drop in on Croydon to find out if the borough is racist?

Poorer areas tend to be populated by immigrant communities; new entrants into this country will congregate where housing is cheaper, and where there is already a community of similar origin already present. Croydon is no different. What is different is the level of income inequality within the borough. Furthermore, given that social mobility is almost nil, it becomes increasingly difficult for those living in poorer areas to climb up the ladder and move away, all the while new migrants are entering an already populated area. Not a good mix.

Periods of austerity arguably correlate with periods of increased racial tension and economic rioting, so when we look back at 2011, should we be surprised that the two occasions Croydon went viral are actually symptoms of a recession? [Written on the same day nearly 2 million public sector workers went on strike]

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Anonymous said...

Could someone explain how her comments were racist .... abusive yes, ignorant - she seems unaware that Black people can be British ... xenophobic, yes ... but how was she racist?

Shasha Khan said...

Maybe you should ask the police why they have charged her with a racially aggravated public order offence.

Standing up for what matters