Media Diversified’s founder, Samantha Asumadu explains why we believe that in silencing ourselves, we will encourage others to speak up about anti-black and anti-GRT racism and prejudice

In his seminal article Melanie Phillips wants to “destroy” the Muslim world
Dr. Nafeez Ahmed asked,
‘Do people of colour, do Muslims, do migrants, do minorities, do people on the sharp end of racism, discrimination and white supremacism have the right to speak out?

Do they have the right to challenge, to oppose, to withdraw, to resist, to speak, to debate, when they see powerful institutions, often dominated by white people, promoting and rewarding individuals that serve to mainstream, legitimise and normalise hateful narratives?

Narratives which malign people of colour, Muslims, migrants, minorities and people suffering from racism, discrimination and white supremacism?’

On Saturday Twitter told us once again, we do not.

Thus Media Diversified is calling a strike. It starts on Tuesday 4th April at 9am and will end Tuesday 19th April at 9am.

We do not expect others to join in this work strike. In fact we want you to post about it on our social media using the hashtag #DoWeCountToo?

What we hope is that this strike will encourage independent platforms to stand up for their writers, neighbours to look out for their neighbours, people who have never met and only know each other online to stand up for each other.

For far too long people have not taken misogynoir seriously. You only have to look at the ongoing targeting by the media of Diane Abbott or the horrific treatment of Child Q to see that.

In her 2015 article Misogynoir vs. The New Politics Maya Goodfellow wrote, “Ultimately the treatment of Diane Abbott – of which this is a mere snapshot – tells us what we need to know about race, gender and radical politics in the UK. A black woman who challenges the status quo and won’t apologise for doing so will always be judged unfairly. Because too many subconsciously feel it’s not up to people “like her” to be the voice of opposition.”

She followed up this article in 2016 when journalist Michael Crick decided it might be fun and fine to degrade her.
On Wednesday, political journalist for Channel 4 News Michael Crick decided to share on Twitter an excerpt froma conversation he supposedly had with a London cabbie: “You couldn’t vote for that Corbyn, could you?  Not for anyone that’s messed around with that Diane Abbott.” Crick’s choice to cherry-pick this specific quote and make it public spoke volumes. 

Way back when European colonisers first interacted with people on the African continent, images of overtly sexual, supposedly unfeminine and crude black women were commonplace. These dehumanising stereotypes have endured. When they’re not entirely written out of the picture, women of colour, and specifically black women, have their bodies held up for all in society to gaze upon. Black women in the public eye can expect to be both lusted after and reviled at the same time’

We are also consistently shocked at how anti-GRT prejudice is completely normalised in the UK, to the point of it being a punchline

And where it comes to anti-gypsy and traveller prejudice,  look no further than the quick absolution of Jimmy Carr. Or the fact that David Baddiel’s latest public outing was a fluff piece in the Guardian about how much he loves cats.

We believe that in silencing ourselves, we will encourage others to speak up.

We call on Muslims, Sikhs, Jews, black, white and brown trans people, South Asians, Europeans, East Asians, North, South, East and West Africans, non-binary people, Filipinos, Haitians, white Americans, African Americans, LGBTQI+ people, everybody with a heart to stand against the racists that are too afraid to look in the mirror as they see only mediocrity and a wasted life peering back at them.

They attack those they think inferior. Those they think have more than they have. More intelligence, more humour, more beauty. More love. It is envy. It is white supremacy.

Their daily digital lynchings which Twitter not only tolerates but by not meting out any consequences condones, is a throw back to days of slavery.

Their tactics are so coordinated that these people either have help from the state, the police or have been infiltrated by spies. Either way their hate is pure and their strategy ugly.

If you see gypsies and travellers under attack, if you see black women under attack don’t just look away. Go out in a blaze of glory if need be. But don’t look away.

We can no longer let these people full of ugliness rule us with their colonial and state tactics.

We are all on the spectrum of intersecting challenges and on the flip side, strengths. Let our fallibilities and our honesty be our strength.

We call on institutions to join in this national conversation on institutional mysogynoir and anti-gypsy and anti-traveller prejudice. 

What does your racism look like?

We demand that Twitter articulate why they refuse to punish racists amd colonialists for misogynoir and anti-gypsyism.

You don’t suspend these violent people, you won’t even delete the posts.

You ignore reports from black women andgypsies alike. Allowing them to continue to harass from accounts we have blocked.

It’s not good enough. Your ignorance is no longer a defence. In fact if you allow it to continue, you are no different to the collaborators of fascist regimes of past and present.

Hostility, prejudice, discrimination or racism specifically directed at Romani people has long been defined by the EU Parliament as “anti-gypsyism”. When will social media companies, and society at large regonise that gypsies matter too? That black women matter too?

We invite pledges to tackle it.


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Samantha Asumadu is a former documentary filmmaker and breaking news reporter. She is the founder of Media Diversified. She is a writer and journalist and is currently working on her first two books, The Wannabe and Radical Empathy: The Columnist Class, Egos and Accountability – More info here:Between a Rock, a Hard Place and a Dystopia.

Find her on Twitter @SamanthaAsumadu 

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