In getting rid of Corbyn, a lifelong anti-racist, the Labour Party has once again shown that it is not the party of anti-racists.
Starmer’s decision to suspend Corbyn and remove the whip has caused fury and disappointment on social media.
One of the most prominent questions involves Starmer’s behaviour towards Diane Abbott. Or rather, his total lack of action on the fierce abuse the Labour MP has received.
— Francisca (@franciscarockey) October 29, 2020
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Others pointed out the deplorable behaviour of Rosie Duffield:
— ni-ghoul (@hamniallton) October 29, 2020
Just a reminder that it's only been 5 days since it was revealed that Boris Johnson's Tories are hanging out with literal Nazis.
— Evolve Politics (@evolvepolitics) October 29, 2020
What’s next for anti-racists?
Corbyn’s suspension of course carries huge implications for the future of anti-racist activism in Britain.
But some social media users took heart and called for a reminder of principles in the face of injustice:
One thing was true yesterday, is true today, and will always be true: I will never take lessons on fighting oppression and extending solidarity from the institutions which have been and continue to be purveyors of injustice. Principles come before anything.
— Black as in Revolution. (@annie_etc_) October 29, 2020
While others called for reminders of injustices against Palestinian people:
What happened to Jeremy Corbyn is another warning to all of us about legitimizing smear campaigns against the left for having the gall to see Palestinians as people deserving of rights and dignity. Don’t give them an inch
— Olivia Katbi Smith 🌹 (@livkittykat) October 29, 2020
Several people criticised the cynical tactic of weaponising antisemitism under the guise of anti-racism:
this. concern about antisemitism deployed only when convenient is not the mark of anti-racism, but the mark of cynical political agendas. anti-racism is action not words. https://t.co/TFsyux74v2
— Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan (@thebrownhijabi) October 29, 2020
Corbyn’s response to the report carefully laid out his abhorrence of antisemitism. He stated:
My sincere hope is that relations with Jewish communities can be rebuilt and those fears overcome. While I do not accept all of its findings, I trust its recommendations will be swiftly implemented to help move on from this period.
Corbyn has demonstrated time and again his commitment to serious anti-racist work. His response to the EHRC’s findings is measured and astute.
It is a travesty that antisemitism is being weaponised under the guise of anti-racism. This takes away from the work of many who seek to build better support for Jewish people.
The outpouring of rage and grief on social media is testament to Corbyn’s principles. The fact that, under Keir Starmer’s reign, many have already spoken of leaving the Labour Party is testament to Starmer’s.
Corbyn will contest his suspension, as he should:
We stand together
It is difficult not to despair at the cowardly lack of opposition to this craven government. But this is exactly when we must take stock of our morals and principles.
It is important to acknowledge grief, despair and rage. Those emotions guide a moral response and we should respect them. But that doesn’t mean pausing or abandoning the work of anti-racism.
We must turn to each other. We must turn to our fellow anti-racists. We must stand in solidarity with Jewish communities. We must stand for the values Corbyn has fought for all his career.
We must stand together.
Featured image via Wikimedia/Rwendland
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