The group behind York’s pioneering anti-racism strategy was targeted by racist and threatening abuse, it emerged today.
Inclusive Equal Rights UK (IERUK) received the abuse after launching the five-year strategy last week.
YorkMix has seen some of the horrendous responses posted on IERUK’s Twitter feed, which included threats of violence and abuse peppered with swear words.
Moreover, two local media outlets reported abusive responses to their coverage of the report. One content editor said they had to remove comments posted below their story, and another said they had ‘horrendous’ replies on the Twitter link to their article.
YorkMix chose not to post the story on Twitter.
A report in a national newspaper about the strategy also printed ‘numerous inaccuracies’ which fuelled anger.
Chair of IERUK, Haddy Njie, put forward the motion for York to be the North’s first anti-racist city after experiencing a ‘life-altering’ racist attack in the city.
“We are disappointed and dismayed about some of the abusive responses we have had to the publication of the report,” she said.
“This includes one national tabloid which has printed numerous inaccuracies in a bid to undermine the work we are doing collectively in the city.
“We would like to make it very clear; we are not saying that all of the people of York are racist or that York is a racist city. But our evidence-based research has demonstrated that the city has some serious issues of casual and systemic racism.
“It is also important to say that we have received a great deal of support from many people and organisations in York, as well as the acknowledgement that these issues exist and need to be addressed.
“This gives us real optimism that we can work together to bring people together in the city to find answers.”
‘York stands united against racism’
The national newspaper report questioned the figures quoted in the report.
The IERUK report states York has an approximate 14% minority ethnic population but the tabloid said the 2021 census puts the figure at just 7.2%.
In a statement this morning, IERUK said their figures were correct as the statistics in their research were divided into White British and White (other).
It states: “These stats include, for example, Eastern European, Irish, Traveller/Gypsy, and individuals who may have one white parent. According to the 2021 census, there is a population of White Irish (0.6%), White Gypsy, Roma, and Traveller (0.5%) and White other (4.3%) and other ethnic groups (1%). These added with 7.2% agrees with IERUK’s approximation of 14% of a minority population.
“We made this definition of White British and White minority clear, both in our preliminary report in February 2023, and in the strategy published last week.”
IEURK states that all the data was drawn from a combination of sources including the council, ward data, the 2021 census and Freedom of Information requests. Reference data is clearly found in the five-year strategy report, which is available on its website.
IERUK has called for all stakeholders in the city to continue a positive dialogue.
Haddy added: “We encourage individuals to stand against racism, promote inclusivity, and engage in constructive dialogue to foster understanding and unity.
“We are working with public and private sector organisations and agencies from across the city. I believe that York stands united in standing up against hate and racism.”
[tptn_list limit=3 daily=1 hour_range=1]