Tag Archives: #dangerousextremist

“Taliban” is a racist epithet: Thornberry’s words were potentially harmful not just hyperbolic

On September 19th, the Shadow Foreign Secretary claimed, “The Lib Dems have gotten kind of like the Taliban, haven’t they?”. She was referring to a motion Autumn conference passed – and which Jo Swinson emphasised in her speech – stating that the Liberal Democrats would revoke article 50 if they won a majority at the next general election.

As I tweeted at the time, the only people to refer to me (a person of colour) as “Taliban” are racists and now, Emily Thornberry. It is likely that Thornberry’s comments will get lost in the everyday to-ing and fro-ing of political discourse such as it is in the UK.

However, what it normalises is that it is OK to shout “Taliban” at a Liberal Democrat. Indeed, it will probably normalise it being shouted at any and all Remainers because if you are the sort of person to shout a racist epithet in the street, that justification will more than suffice. And I would be interested to know how she intends that I differentiate between racist hate crime and people simply shouting at me for my political beliefs if I do suffer that sort of abuse.

It is also why I am concerned by the #DangerousExtremist Lib Dem activists are currently using, satirising the BBC Question Time audience question on whether we were a “dangerous and extreme party”. I am unsure how comfortable people of colour in the Lib Dems will feel about jokingly calling themselves extremists when it is a stereotype many genuinely have to live with. 

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 4 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarMary Reid 21st Feb - 8:35pm
    @Gary J - I only speak about London because that is where I live. I am sure there are plenty more vibrant, multi-ethnic communities around...
  • User AvatarMalc Poll 21st Feb - 8:35pm
    Depends on if he slammed the letter box and woke me up or not I suppose ! LoL Malc Poll
  • User AvatarGary J 21st Feb - 8:14pm
    Mary Reid It's perfectly possible to live in a vibrant mostly white community. Boasting about London exceptionalism is perhaps one of the reasons why Lib...
  • User AvatarGary J 21st Feb - 8:05pm
    It's been reported that a person acting suspiciously in the area at 6 am on election day turned out to be Tom delivering leaflets. Should...
  • User AvatarAnne-Marie Simpson 21st Feb - 7:54pm
    @Lorenzo Cherin, “ You cannot say right of return for all with a link to Palestinian terrain, to Israel, not a separate state, and not...
  • User AvatarJohnmc 21st Feb - 7:45pm
    Okay, I’ll play .... how is that an advance in brexitland? It just shows the anti Brexit-Crazy Tory vote fracturing more than ever!