It is time for the British media to stop chasing immigrants out of this country; there is no running away from the ultimate truth that when life for humans began, we were all the same race.
Every individual is born in to this world a certain race, an identifiable race that will be attached to them for life.
Race may be defined as a group of humans who share the same ethnicity. Racism is intolerance of a certain ethnic group in the form of prejudice and discrimination, typically a result of one’s belief that their race is superior to another. The ultimate product of extreme race-hate is genocide, an unforgettable occurrence that has marked tragic scars in history. Merely acknowledging the immoral and damaging nature of racism however simply is not enough. What truly demands recognition is the root of racism that is so prominently embedded within British soil.
More than half a century after immigration was introduced to the United Kingdom, the nation remains insecure about the matter. Such insecurity can be justifiably argued to be the result of the media. To put it frankly, it is no secret that some aspects of the British media induce the idea that our nation is threatened by foreigners; the Daily Mail being perhaps the boldest of perpetrators, frequently splashing racist headlines on the front page such as labelling British Olympic gold medallist Mo Farah a ‘plastic Brit’. Most unfortunately, it is one of the most popular newspapers in Britain with nearly two million daily readers.
Whilst the purpose of media in theory is to broadcast and publish current affairs to the populace, what it chooses to shine light on inevitably influences public opinion. Researchers on behalf of the University of Cardiff examined 974 newspaper articles from 2000-2008, found that of all stories concerning British Muslims, 36 percent were with regard to terrorism, 26 percent considered Islam to be “dangerous” or “backward”, and “references to radical Muslims outnumber[ed] references to moderate Muslims by 17 to one”.
Furthermore, writing for The Guardian in late July of this year, Joseph Harker published a highly enlightening article that explores the story of the ‘second big prosecution where men in Derby have preyed on teenage girls’, whilst highlighting the correlation between the race of those involved in the crime with the amount of media attention the case received:
‘Of the eight predators, seven were white, not Asian. And the story made barely a ripple in the national media’
The correlation is profoundly enhanced when Harker proceeds to note how the infamous Rochdale “Asian sex gang” ‘made the front page of every national newspaper’, which undeniably contributed to furthering the negative stereotype of the Asian community.
An unarguable conclusion can thus be made here, and it is that the British media is negatively and detrimentally dictating the definition of a Muslim to the general public. This is utmost signified by the evidence in the recent findings that, ‘75 per cent of non-Muslims now believe Islam is negative for Britain, and 63 per cent don’t disagree that “Muslims are terrorists.”’
The Leveson Inquiry did accentuate the fact that it is time for the British media to undergo change, with the most prominent outcome being the necessitation of efficacious scrutiny. Change as such however, revolved chiefly around the media’s responsibility to respect privacy and not exploit illegitimate evidence. Writing in July of this year, Dr Nafeez Ahmed produced an article explaining why the Leveson Inquiry must also investigate anti-Muslim bigotry, and how racism within the media can be eradicated.
He first suggests the further involvement of bodies such as the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) and Equality and Human Rights Commission to participate in effectively regulating the media, for instance through ‘ensuring broader impartiality and fairness in media coverage’ and being able to ‘launch independent investigations and impose fines’.
Whilst an increase in regulation may physically disable media bodies from writing racist remarks, merely stifling the perpetrators won’t actually change their attitude. This is why further research by Dr Ahmed discovered there to be a general consensus on the ‘need to reform wider media culture in general’. Whilst the fact that there are only five weekly columnists from ethnic minorities within the British media justifies Dr Ahmed’s argument that ‘the biggest challenge of all is minority underrepresentation’ , the problem that demands confrontation is the ignorance of journalists and those behind the press; only with proper training and education does understanding arise. It is lack of understanding of other cultures that has created a nation insecure of immigrants. It is poor social integration measures that have limited people’s ability to overcome ethnic differences and realise that race is irrelevant.
It is time for the British media to stop chasing immigrants out of this country, because there is no running away from the ultimate truth that when life for humans began, we were all the same race.
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