Lib Dem Councillor Julia Ogiehor speaks out after being racially abused on the Tube

Haringey Lib Dem Councillor Julia Ogiehor has described, in a very disturbing Twitter thread, how she suffered disgusting racial abuse on the tube earlier this week:

She also spoke to the Guardian about her ordeal:

According to Ogiehor, the two white men said they were from Liverpool after a fellow commuter intervened and sat next to her, before the men accused her of being “ashamed” of where she was from.

“One of them called me uneducated, and looked like I didn’t go to university,” Ogiehor said. “I had my hands up saying I do not want to speak to you any more, then one of the guys tried to pull my hands down and demanded I get out of his sight.

“I recoiled and said please do not touch me, as he kept saying I had no common sense and that I was uneducated at the top of his voice. I was the only black person in the carriage and he seemed to expect everyone would be on their side. They seemed to be a little taken aback when that was not the case.”

She added: “They had such a sense of entitlement and sounded offended that I refused to go into my heritage and did indeed come from London.”

And Julie talked about the importance of showing solidarity when you see others under attack:

The fact I was helped is what gave me the courage to defend myself,” she said. “Hate crime is under-reported, so please speak up. They are the minority, and we need to stand up to bigotry.

Nobody should have to put up with this sort of intimidation and harassment. It’s really important to challenge it whenever we see it. Never be a bystander.

It’s not easy to speak out when you have been the victim of such racism. But every single person of colour I know has to put up with this crap on a regular basis. And it’s getting worse.

If Boris Johnson wins the Conservative leadership, every single racist in the country will feel that they have an ally in Downing Street because of the many disgraceful comments he has made over the years. Chuka Umunna talked on Politics Live the other day about how Boris is normalising racist abuse.

Let’s hope that the men who subjected Julia to this racist abuse are brought to justice for their actions.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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  • The two gentlemen ( and I use that word lightly) would actually have been shocked the rest of the carriage didn’t believe in the same xenophobic mind set they hold. If views like theirs are left unchallenged, they will grow and by challenging them I don’t mean muttering something about “We need to listen to their views and fears”.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 23rd Jun '19 - 2:10pm

    Excellent and eloquent response from Julia, solidarity with her and support everywhere.

    There was also a nasty homophobic and violent attack on a gay couple in Liverpool, over the weekend.

    A non tribalistic humanitarianism, at the heart of Liberalism, must counter this or could.

    Julia is not on her own but amongst friends…

  • Peter Hayes 23rd Jun '19 - 5:24pm

    Liverpool was always tribal, you could tell by which football team they supported, Manchester was the same. In both cities there was a Catholic supported team and a Protestant. When I was a student in Manchester in the 1960s United was the team for the Catholics with George Best and City for the Protestant hall I was in, but as not a believer I watched both! I guess the racial/religious divide has changed since then.

  • Neil Sandison 23rd Jun '19 - 7:22pm

    Julia is right to call this out and well done her fellow passengers for not tolerating it .This
    bullying and intimidation across a wide range of diverse groups is closer to 1930s Germany than what we should demand of our fellow citizens in a modern democratic state.

  • One wonders what it is that makes these people so hostile to anyone who is in any way different to themselves and how they are so lacking in basic empathy with fellow human beings. Perhaps the rantings of Johnson and his like do create the context in which these sad people feel entitled to vent their obnoxious opinions, but these two look like the school bullies who just like the feeling of power that accompany their tirades.
    We must always challenge such people and show unqualified solidarity with those they seek to humiliate.

  • @ Chris Cory “One wonders what it is that makes these people so hostile”.

    Alcohol ?

    Has the photograph been passed on to the police ?

  • Jayne Mansfield 24th Jun '19 - 8:49am

    @ Julia,
    I am so sorry that you had such a dreadful experience.

    I do worry, that because , as you say, it is an experience common to many people of colour, it is simply shrugged off. Has this incident, as David Raw asks, been reported to the police?

    The photograph should be distributed more widely, and at the very least, the pair should be named and shamed for their despicable behaviour.

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