Show Racism the Red Card issues a statement against today's Daily Express lead story
The headline of today’s Daily Express is Britain’s 40% Surge in Ethnic Numbers [links to original article]. To paraphrase the article, the story talks about the face of Britain being “changed forever” due to “mass immigration”. The consequence of this, according to the Express, is “terrific pressure” on services due to immigrants’ inability to speak English and even includes the statement that “ethnic minorities often live in poverty and rely on benefits”. The message of the inflammatory headline is quite clearly racist and the story content is deliberately misleading.
Within the body of the text, the story states that “the biggest increase over the period – a total of 553,000 people - is among the “other white” group which includes people from Eastern Europe as well as citizens of New Zealand, Australia and South Africa”. This presumably includes Dannii Minogue who is promoted on the front cover; this group is surprisingly missing from the box detailing Population Growth by Ethnic Group in England and Wales.
Sarah Soyei, Regional Manager for East and South East England at Show Racism the Red Card said: “The use of the term “ethnic” to describe people from black, Asian and other minority ethnic groups - though not, it would seem, people who are white but not British - implies that we don’t all have an ethnicity and that somehow people who are not white can all be clustered together in a category marked “different” or “strange”.
"The conflation between people who are not white and “foreign” and without the ability to speak English is incredibly misleading. A vast number of black, Asian and mixed heritage young people have been born in this country in the last 8 years, speak perfectly good English and have the right to identify themselves as British as anyone else.
"Many immigrants have key skills, excellent English and contribute vastly to society. The UK is an island and has experienced swathes of immigration over the centuries. I defy anyone to trace their family tree and find that their entire ancestry originates in this country.
"This is another scare story by the Express implying that the country is somehow being taken over. The headline could have been “5 out of 6 people in the UK are white British” but I guess that wouldn’t have sounded so threatening to their readership. As a nation, we should rejoice in our rich heritage, our exciting diversity and the benefits that brings. The colour of our skin should not be an issue."
Show Racism the Red Card works with young people in schools across the UK delivering anti-racism workshops in schools and at football clubs. Stories such as these fuel fear, hatred and anger. Our young people may not read the stories but are regularly faced with headlines of this nature. Sensationalist journalism contributes to the false ideas and misconceptions they hold. It is vital that we can counter this, present the full story and guide young people to think critically about the information they receive.
The Daily Express is no longer covered by the Press Complaints Commission, so please address your objections to this story directly to the editor of the paper: firstname.lastname@example.org