I have sent the following letter to the Evening Standard and the Brent and Kilburn Times.
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I am disappointed to see a Willesden woman caught on film in what appears to be a bigoted attack on a young Muslim mother in Brent. It would be bad enough if this was a one-off, but this was quickly followed by a similar incident in which an elderly Muslim man was cruelly attacked and his walking frame thrown.
Racial aggression in this second case was also directed against welfare support, itself a frequent target of ignorance. Too many wrongly believe that immigrants, or in this case those who ‘look like immigrants’, a racially tinged judgement, somehow have ‘special’ privileges. This is a divisive and obvious myth.
Sadly, in both cases, the alleged perpetrators were from ethnic minorities themselves – a depressing state of affairs.
Most Londoners take pride in our diversity. We understand that our strength lies in community, mutual respect and understanding. But on public transport, a space we must all share, this seems increasingly and inexplicably stretched.
It is welcome to see Police taking such abuse seriously – we can’t allow George Osborne’s cuts to put this at risk. But we also need to see a zero tolerance approach from TfL. Passengers and staff both deserve to feel safe when they travel. The small but loud minority taking part in bigoted, abusive or violent behaviour should be immediately removed and banned from using the buses and tubes we share. We must be open to each other, but we do not have to put up with them.
Cllr Tom Miller
Willesden Green Ward, Brent
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