On Friday 31 March, a 17-year-old boy was beaten to within an inch of his life in Croydon, South London. The attack epitomised the mess the UK is currently in. And The Daily Mail managed to embody it, with one of its most insidious front pages to date. But LBC presenter James O’Brien has completely summed the situation up.
A hate crime?
At around 11.40pm on 31 March, a Kurdish-Iranian asylum seeker was set upon by a group of eight people near The Goat pub in Croydon. DS Kris Blamires of Croydon CID said:
It is understood that the suspects asked the victim where he was from, and when they established that he was an asylum seeker they chased him and launched a brutal attack. He has sustained serious head and facial injuries as a result of this attack, which included repeated blows to the head by a large group of attackers.
The boy was left with a fractured skull and a blood clot on his brain. He is now in a serious but stable condition in hospital.
Eyewitnesses claim that up to 30 people may have been involved in the attack. Police arrested three 20-year-old men, a 20-year-old woman, a 24-year-old man, and a 24-year-old woman. They are treating the attack as a hate crime. They also want to speak to these three people in relation to the attack:
Promoting hate crime?
On Monday 3 April, The Daily Mail ran a front page detailing the attack:
“Savages” is a racist trope. That is, the word was used by colonial conquerors to describe African people as somehow less than human. Something The Daily Mail should have been well aware of.
And it’s interesting that The Daily Mail chose to run with the attack as its front page, with the angle being that it was a hate crime against an asylum seeker, as the paper is not known for its liberal or tolerant views of ‘foreigners’ or ‘migrants’:
As James O’Brien said on his LBC show on Monday 3 April, do we need to “wonder why… young people in Britain are persuaded that migrants or asylum seekers or refugees… are somehow deserving of contempt and abuse?” He then read out the following selection of Mail and Sun headlines:
Police have charged five people, aged between 17 and 24, for the attack; four have been charged with violent disorder and one with violent disorder and causing grievous bodily harm.
But the attack, and The Daily Mail‘s response, sums up the mess the UK is in. Rashid Nix, a prominent London Green Party campaigner, told The Canary:
Our first thoughts are for the victim of this horrific attack; it’s appalling. But, anti-immigrant and refugee hysteria has now reached levels where the children of immigrants are the accused is a disturbing development. In these critical times, it’s crucial that society peacefully pulls together. Because there is a real danger of us violently falling apart.
The divide and rule tactics of both the right wing and the press in the UK appear to be paying off. We are encouraged, as a country, to blame anyone but the corporatist system (and the governments which deliver and defend it) for our problems. It’s time we ignored both, and remembered the one thing that unites all of us: humanity.
– Anyone with information should call Croydon CID on 020 3276 2234 or 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
– Read more from The Canary on The Daily Mail.
Featured image via screengrab and additional images via screengrab/The Canary
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