by LAUREN CODLING
A LONDON bus driver violently attacked by a passenger while doing his job and a British author told he “did not belong in the country” illustrate the pervasive racial hostility that ethnic minorities across the UK experience and endure every day.
On Monday (17), a video emerged of a bus driver in Ealing, west London, being told by a man to “get back to your f***ing country – this is our country”.
After being asked to present his Oyster fare card, the angry passenger shouted expletives at the driver before trying to smash into the cab with his bare hands.
While attempting to spit in the driver’s face, he could be heard shouting: “I hope you get f***ing deported.”
As Eastern Eye went to press on Tuesday (18), it was not clear if the man has been arrested although the incident had been flagged to Scotland Yard.
Acclaimed author and columnist Nikesh Shukla was also a victim of racist abuse. Speaking to Eastern Eye on Monday, Shukla revealed that he was approached in a train station last week by an individual who said the author did not “deserve to earn money” in the country.
Shukla recalled the perpetrator made the comments in a “very matter-of-fact manner”.
Admitting he was shaken by the experience, Shukla has since reported the incident to the police. Praising authorities for taking the matter seriously, the author said many similar occurrences go unreported as people tend to disregard them.
“Sometimes people dismiss it as, ‘Oh, he’s an idiot’ or ‘Don’t worry about it’,” he said. “But the more you diminish the effects on people, (the more) it takes the right away from them to feel like a human.
“Yes, some are just idiots, but some smart people hold racist views and we should never dismiss them because these people hold power.”
Sky News journalist Faisal Islam also revealed he faced racist abuse while reporting on Brexit.
The channel’s political editor posted a message on Twitter on Monday saying people said he
was “not British” and also called him “a rapist” while working.
Whilst reporting that some pro Brexit campaigners in yellow jackets were shouting misogynist stuff at Kay and that I was “not British” and “a rapist” … well done all who helped create this situation. Good job.
— Faisal Islam (@faisalislam) December 17, 2018
Islam claimed: “Whilst reporting, some pro-Brexit campaigners in yellow jackets were shouting misogynist stuff at Kay [Burley, his co-presenter] and that I was ‘not British’ and ‘a rapist’.”
The most recent Home Office statistics revealed that 94,098 hate crime offences were recorded by the police in England and Wales in 2017-18, 76 per cent of which were racially aggravated.
It is not only ordinary citizens who experience racist abuse.
Earlier this month, Manchester City player Raheem Sterling suffered alleged racial abuse during his side’s defeat against Chelsea.
Sterling, 24, posted on social media on December 9, referencing a story from January about City teammate Tosin Adarabioyo reportedly buying an expensive house despite never having started a Premier League match.
View this post on Instagram
Good morning I just want to say , I am not normally the person to talk a lot but when I think I need my point to heard I will speak up. Regarding what was said at the Chelsea game as you can see by my reaction I just had to laugh because I don’t expect no better. For example you have two young players starting out there careers both play for the same team, both have done the right thing. Which is buy a new house for there mothers who have put in a lot of time and love into helping them get where they are, but look how the news papers get there message across for the young black player and then for the young white payer. I think this in unacceptable both innocent have not done a thing wrong but just by the way it has been worded. This young black kid is looked at in a bad light. Which helps fuel racism an aggressive behaviour, so for all the news papers that don’t understand why people are racist in this day and age all i have to say is have a second thought about fair publicity an give all players an equal chance.
“The young black kid is looked at in a bad light. Which helps fuel racism and aggressive behaviour,” Jamaica-born Sterling wrote.
“So for all the newspapers that don’t understand why people are racist in this day and age.
“All that I have to say is have a second thought about fair publicity and give all players an
Both players and fans face racism; 520 different racial incidents were reported last season across Kick It Out’s various social media platform and website.
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola claimed “[racism is] not just in football.”
“We have to fight to make a better future for everyone, not just in England but everywhere,” he said.
Chelsea banned four supporters this month pending a police investigation into the alleged racial abuse of Sterling.
The Metropolitan Police also charged four men following incidents in the north London derby between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur earlier this month.
A banana skin was thrown on to the Emirates Stadium pitch by one supporter after Arsenal’s Gabonese striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had scored.
The Premier League published a message to fans last Friday (14) calling on them to support their teams in the right way following recent incidents of abuse.
Sunder Katwala, the founder of thinktank British Future, said although there has been a significant reduction in racism, it is not much consolation to an individual still facing it today.
Katwala noted that 30 years previously, racial incidents in football were a regular occurrence, with no expectation of them being reported or taken seriously.
However, despite the changing attitudes, we are “right not to be satisfied with the incomplete progress that we have made, because our expectations have risen faster
too”, Katwala told Eastern Eye.
He added: “The mainly British born generation of British Asians and Black Britons are not interested in being fobbed off with stories about how their parents and grandparents put up with much worse.
“There is today a much stronger expectation that it is time for promises of equal treatment and non-discrimination to be kept in practice,” he said.
“That is also a deeper demand – going beyond not receiving racist abuse in the street, to expecting an equal shot when applying for jobs – just as Sterling is as interested in challenging tabloid stereotypes as he is of abuse from the crowd.”
Recent statistics highlighted the scale of racism across society, including schools and workplaces.
An analysis by The Independent earlier this year found racially aggravated incidents at universities had risen by 61 per cent, while a Sky-commissioned survey revealed more than a quarter of British workers claimed to have experienced racial or gender discrimination
in the workplace.
Monitoring group Tell Mama also released figures this year which claimed a surge in Islamophobic attacks, with 1,201 verified reports submitted in 2017. This was an increase of 26 per cent from the previous year and the highest number since it began recording incidents.
Although Shukla admitted that he had encountered racial abuse before, this latest incident
is the first time he has reported it to the police.
“I reported this incident because I felt like I’ve had enough,” the Meatspace author said.
“I’ve had enough of what is going on in the world now. If it is so normalised, this person saying it to me in such a matter of fact way, I need them to know that it just isn’t acceptable.”
Eastern Eye will record incidents of everyday racism. Share your stories by emailing: [email protected]