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Yesterday’s tweet was sent by Tory MP Nadine Dorries to British Muslim journalist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown – and within minutes it had drawn significant criticism and numerous accusations of racism.
Alibhai-Brown had initially published a light-hearted tweet satirising Royal Wedding fans on Twitter, stating:
“Is it safe to be back on twitter? Have people- including royal wedding journalist junkies- run out of breath yet? Proof again that GB is an infantalized, escapist nation.”
However, a clearly rile Nadine Dorries replied to the Ugandan-born British Muslim journalist by stating:
“Yasmin, why don’t you just try to be nice? Maybe appreciate just a little the country and the people you have chosen the live, work and benefit from all of your life.”
Dorries’ reply quickly gained attention, with numerous Twitter users expressing their disgust and accusing the Tory MP of blatant racism:
Hi Nadine, why don’t you just try to be not racist? Maybe appreciate just a little bit that the country you’ve chosen to live in is a diverse, multiethnic and multicultural country. Perhaps reflect upon the white privilege that you’ve benefited from since the moment you were born
— Gary Spedding (@GarySpedding) May 21, 2018
She's contributed more to the life of our nation than you ever will you poisonous xenophobe.
— Jo Maugham (@JolyonMaugham) May 21, 2018
Whether Nadine's OP is racist or not you can make your own mind up, but you can bet your bottom dollar, if the message had been this way around, the Nadines, the Tim Montgomeries & the Dan Hodges of the world would be screaming "anti-semitism!" pic.twitter.com/AXlPa3qt08
— Matt Thomas (@Trickyjabs) May 21, 2018
However, Dorries’ reply to the racism furore was to deny she was racist and accuse Alibhai-Brown of playing “the race card”:
My comment to @y_alibhai has caused a bit of a flurry! Can’t read all the comments. I am not racist, almost laughable that I’m being called that, by the rabid left, of course. She made a hateful comment and my response would have been the same to anyone, regardless. The wedding
— Nadine Dorries (@NadineDorries) May 21, 2018
Seriously Yasmin, the last time you and I were together you apologised to me for being so ‘hateful.’ Below you to play the race card, you’re better than that. Have a nice day. https://t.co/0ve1VCSLHM
— Nadine Dorries (@NadineDorries) May 21, 2018
However, despite her denials that essentially telling a person of colour to be grateful or go home was in any way racist, Ms Dorries’ statement yesterday strongly mirrors racist hate mail sent to Labour MP David Lammy just last month telling him to ‘be grateful or go home’ during the height of the Windrush scandal.
After becoming a prominent figure for speaking out against the government’s horrific treatment of the Windrush Generation, Tottenham Labour MP David Lammy was subsequently sent a vile letter telling him:
“For Gods [sic] sake Man stop your Vile and obscene Speeches knocking this Country down.
Be grateful that we have taken you in as a Black Man and given you a Life here, as we have done for all those Black People who Came to Live here.
Be Grateful Man for the country that gave you a Life, and stop knocking it.
Otherwise, Go back to your country of your forbears and lets be rid of you.”
I have just received a letter telling me to be “grateful” as a black man for all “we have done for those black people who came to live here” or “go back to where ever you came from”. I was born in the Whittington Hospital the son of Windrush migrants. And I will speak for them. pic.twitter.com/WkCeDpLQPf
— David Lammy (@DavidLammy) April 23, 2018
The letter sent to Mr Lammy in April was disgusting, and was a clear display of blatant, vile racism. But now, given that we have just seen a Tory MP mirroring such toxic sentiments – essentially telling a British Muslim journalist to be simply be grateful and shut up because it’s not her country – and then denying it is in any way racist, it is no surprise that such hate is still being openly expressed in Britain today.
Furthermore, the prevalence of such discriminatory and openly racist views are still rampant in Britain today, and are only being exacerbated by a government who continue to push disgustingly dog-whistle politics and who continue to defend numerous racist members and politicians.
And just to prove that the problem is still prevalent, Labour MP David Lammy has literally just published another letter he received just yesterday, which pictured a chimpanzee, and stated:
The picture on the card is of your Grandad “Sambo Lammo”
Why don’t you get in your canoe and paddle back to n*gger land, climb up a tree, and eat a banana, you big fat stinking pile of n*gger sh*t.”
Love to receive fan mail. Whoever wrote this and sent it to my office and was too cowardly to even sign their name on it, can you at least please note that I was born in the Whittington Hospital, North London, N19. And if you think that this will scare me into silence, it won’t. pic.twitter.com/nlkZ7QWcgg
— David Lammy (@DavidLammy) May 21, 2018
Welcome to Tory Britain 2018.