This vile article in the Times shows us why we must unite to stamp out anti-GRT racism

Rupert Murdoch's The Times
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On 15 May, the Times published an openly racist article by former Tory MP Matthew Parris. In the shocking article, Parris calls for the systematic eradication of the Traveller way of life, and the removal of the community’s rights as an ethnic minority group. Gypsy, Roma and Traveller (GRT) community members, campaigners, and allies took to Twitter to call out the abhorrent article – and the mainstream media at large – for its consistent promotion and normalisation of anti-GRT racism.

The article

According to the Equality and Human Rights Commission, GRT communities are some of the most marginalised and disadvantaged communities in the UK. In spite of this, the Times thought it appropriate to publish an article with the headline It’s time we stopped pandering to Travellers.

In the disgraceful piece, Parris sets out that “we should stop forcing local authorities to create Traveller sites” and “phase out the “ethnic minority” rights of people who are not a race but a doomed mindset”. In a eugenicist tone, he adds that authorities should “begin a gradual but relentless squeeze on anyone who tries without permission to park their home on public property or the property of others”.

This comes in the wake of government plans to push through its draconian Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill which proposes to criminalise GRT communities’ nomadic way of life.

Speaking out against the ‘shameful’ article, HOPE not hate tweeted:

Good Law Project legal director Gemma Abbott tweeted:

Assistant professor Donal Coffey added:

Not racist?

Hitting out against defensive claims made by commentators such as former MP Anna Soubry that anti-GRT racism is not racist, campaigners from The Traveller Movement tweeted:

Campaigners from Black and Asian Lawyers for Justice added:

Academic and writer Priyamvada Gopal shared:

Speaking out about the real and harmful consequences of anti-GRT racism, writer Mikey Walsh shared:

Mainstream media’s normalisation of anti-GRT racism

As The Canary‘s Fréa Lockley highlighted in July 2020, the Times has a track record of promoting anti-GRT racism in the UK. Racist misrepresentations in the media have real and lasting consequences. According to The Traveller Movement, abuse and harassment against GRT families – which was sparked by Channel 4‘s harmful programme called The Truth about Traveller Crime – continues unabated.

Speaking out about the harmful consequences of anti-GRT racism peddled by the mainstream media, campaigners from charity Friends, Families and Travellers tweeted:

The Canary’s editor-at-large Kerry-Anne Mendoza shared:

Garden Court Chambers barrister Marc Willers added:

Opposing the media’s anti-GRT agenda

Sending a message of solidarity, one Twitter user shared:

Calling for action and accountability, campaigners from GRT Socialists tweeted:

Calling on people to take action, Stop Funding Hate shared:

Suggesting that people complain about Parris’s racist article to the Independent Press Standards Organisation, campaigners from The Traveller Movement tweeted:

The Times‘ latest racist attack shows just how normalised anti-GRT racism is in the UK. It demonstrates why we must unite to combat racism in all its forms, and fight against government plans to stamp out GRT communities’ nomadic way of life.

Featured image via The Times (modified)

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  • Show Comments
    1. Capitalists are without doubt the faces that wear the smirks and sneers,

      But even they aren’t so stupid as to think that smirk wouldn’t be pulped is a heart beat if the peoples’ will ever gathers direction….

      Murky’ sure is helping to enlighten the masses to corporate stench and corruption ……

    2. This is the fella the BBC at least used to put forward as the reasonable, gentle face of Conservatism by having him present a radio program about his guests favorite novels? It wasn’t white 19th century shit all the way either, so what happened there?

      Enduring unnecessary self-loathing about sexual matters finding an outlet for dissembling? Tories from one oppressed group or another, rather than acknowledge a fissure in the Tory text that has historically damaged their kin, seem to have these blind spots.

    3. Parris says, in the Times article, ‘The idea of Travellers’ human rights is rooted in the private “enclosures” … Whole swathes of people were dispossessed … There is simply no place for the true nomad in modern Britain.’
      Which seems to boil down to saying we should all just accept the theft of the commons and the rights of landowners – about what I’d expect from a Conservative MP.

    4. Why this, why now?
      Would Murdoch be wanting to distract the people in society who are horrified at what the Israeli’s are doing to the Palestinians? I think he might. This is run alongside the BBC which uses words like “clashes” to describe the Israelis demolition job on the Palestinians homes. The BBC barely mentions the Israeli’s provoked the Palestinians numerous times in numerous ways in order to force a reaction. When the Palestinians protested peacefully in 2018 and 2019 with their Great March of Return, Israeli snipers shot them. When the Palestinians do react, the Israeli’s claim they are defending themselves. An Occupier does not defend itself, it forces the people living on land it Occupies to do exactly as they demand. Murdoch’s papers will run more emotive stories similar to this one to draw attention elsewhere. Anywhere but on Israel’s actions. Do not be fooled. Murdoch does not live in Britain and he could not care less what the travelers do.

    5. Still waiting for condemnation from The Canary of the vile anti semitism seen in London at the weekend.
      Should law breaking be a protected characteristic? I have traveller ancestry in the not so distant past. I also have experience of dealing with the travelling community in a professional capacity. The vast majority I have dealt with have no respect for the law, other people’s property, the environment and happily take advantage of the gullible left. One well known member of the travelling community happily told me how the thick gawjas were pushing for their protection and they just had to pretend any legal entit dealing with them was racist and they’d get away with it.
      Open debate and discussion is only racist to the left. You guys cannot deal with any views opposing yours, you have no coherent arguments so resort to calling everyone you disagree with a racist. It’s why you can’t win elections and why the British public despises you more and more every day. Labour is the new nasty party.

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