The racist video in which a woman calls a man a 'smelly Nigerian' and he punches her shows two wrongs don't make a right

We need to talk about race pro-actively, not glorify violence in the name of racial equality

Share
Related Topics

Nothing is particularly shocking about a racial altercation taking place on the Tube; however, this week’s surfacing of an especially ugly skirmish between two commuters on YouTube poses a series of provocative questions with regards to how this country talks about race.

The three-minute video, which appeared on Wednesday under the title ‘Racist Woman On London Train Gets What She Deserves!’, opens mid-debate after a 19-year-old black man has allegedly stepped on a white woman’s shoe. How does the woman respond? By calling the man a “smelly Nigerian”.

Racially-insensitive insults begin to fly from both parties – ranging from the woman being called a “white princess” and “escort” to her firing back that the black man is “fucking shit on [her] shoe”. Yet the squabble is nothing but a particularly messy night on the Tube until the black man finally loses his cool and apparently decides that it’s time to literally beat some sense into the bigoted woman.

In doing so the man’s actions did little more than to solidify the disgustingly ignorant convictions of London’s racist individuals. Indeed, it can’t be ignored that young black men are already blamed for a substantial amount of all crime committed by men in London – this sort of incessant, nationwide racial profiling will never cease to exist so long as young men succumb to the hateful taunts of others.

Under absolutely no circumstances is racism acceptable – least of all, on public transport between strangers. Yet violence based upon such irrational hatred is even worse. Had the event been responsibly reported to transit officials, the police might have even bothered to track her down; however, because the altercation was permitted to become violent, the racial spat has served only to embarrass everyone involved. In effect, this video didn’t illustrate a “racist woman” getting “what she deserves”, but rather yet another disappointing chapter in a society’s inability to celebrate its ethnic diversity.

Unfortunately, YouTube videos attempting to publicise the racist rants of society’s more ignorant individuals is no new occurrence – in fact, Wednesday’s violent episode is only the latest in a growing tradition of home-made exposes of public transport at its absolute worst. On the one hand, it’s quite understandable that spectators should wish to share their first-hand experiences with racism, in the hopes that it might initiate a higher level of awareness and subsequent action. Yet on the other hand, it’s clear that a vast majority of these videos aren’t concerned with civil discourse – but instead choose to wrongly glorify violence in the name of racial equality. Nothing has ever been so self-defeating.

Race will always be an issue in Britain – at least 10% of the population isn’t white, and this figure is expected to rise substantially in coming years. Accordingly, it’s time for the UK to start talking about race proactively – not just MPs, but everyone.

This discussion doesn’t need to start in Westminster, but it needs to start in Britain’s trains and buses. Indeed, perhaps the most upsetting aspect of Wednesday’s highly-publicised spat is that it took so long for the dozens of spectators watching to get involved – which doesn’t necessarily mean throwing oneself into the line of fire, but helping to defuse a tension from which violence is a regrettably predictable outcome. With any luck, perhaps the commuters who appear on YouTube’s next video depiction of racism on public transport will have the courage to stand up and interject – before someone is able to throw another punch.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Junior Quant Analyst - C++, Boost, Data Mining

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Junior Quant Analyst - C++, Boost...

Service Desk Analyst- (Desktop Support, Help desk)

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst- (Desktop Su...

Junior Quant Analyst (Machine Learning, SQL, Brokerage)

£30000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Junior Quant Analyst (Machine Lea...

UNIX Application Support Analyst- Support, UNIX, London

£45000 - £55000 per annum: Harrington Starr: UNIX Application Support Analyst-...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Mosul dam was retaken with the help of the US  

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Robert Fisk
 

Next they'll say an independent Scotland can't use British clouds...

Mark Steel
Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape