Johannesburg – VIJAY SHAH via CHRIS BAYNES and The Independent
A winner of the Miss South Africa beauty pageant has sparked controversy after visiting a home for children orphaned by HIV/AIDS while wearing protective gloves, the Independent newspaper of Britain reported today.
Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters visited a soup kitchen in the major city of Johannesburg to meet with the orphans. She was seen wearing gloves, which have led observers to accuse her of being racist. She was handing out hot meals to the orphans as part of the Winter Soup Drive charity event at the Ikageng community centre in Johannesburg, organised by the city’s Maslow Hotel. The Miss South Africa, aged 22 and of mixed heritage, however insisted the gloves were worn for hygienic reasons as she was working with food. On Twitter, Nel-Peters showed herself sitting down on steps with some of the Ikageng orphans, eating soup and bread rolls with them.
The picture shows Nel-Peters wearing what appears to be white latex surgical gloves as she eats a roll. It sparked a backlash from other Twitter users who claimed Nel-Peters was being racist or that she was afraid of being ‘contaminated’ by the children, many of whom had lost parents to HIV/AIDS or suffered from the virus themselves. South Africa has one of the world’s highest numbers of infected people. The 2007 UNAIDS report estimated that 5,700,000 South Africans had HIV/AIDS, or just under 12% of South Africa’s population of 48 million.
One Twitter user wrote: “I want to know why she would put on latex gloves to touch black children.” Another said: “I really can’t believe ‘our’ Miss SA is wearing latex so that she can touch these kids!” A third suggested she wore gloves “to protect herself from black kids” because she feared they would “contaminate her”. The backlash soon grew into a Twitter hashtag competition, #MissSAChallenge, which went viral this past Thursday, where users began posting pictures of themselves wearing white latex gloves, making fun of the beauty queen’s decision.
Some posted photos of themselves wearing gloves to type at a desk, make a drink, and read a book.
The Ikageng centre has spoken out against the challenge. Its programme director, Carol Dyanti, said “All volunteers, including our staff members, wore gloves during the food preparation. It was mandatory.
“It was such successful day and I am sorry that the focus is now on the glovs (sic) rather than the positive impact it had.”
Nel-Peters also spoke out against the controversy, stating in the Independent story via an uploaded video on Twitter: “We were handing out food to young kids and that was the only intention with wearing the gloves.
“It was purely to be as hygienic as possible. I really feel like my intention were really misunderstood but I would like to apologise if I offended anyone.”
Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, who was born in Sedgefield in the Western Cape province in 1995, is a model who was crowned Miss South Africa this year and will go on to represent the country at the Miss World and Miss Universe pageants this year. Latex gloves are often worn by people working in catering and hospitality, as well as in the medical field, for reasons of hygiene and safety.
The families of three teenagers who were targeted in a racially-motivated attack outside an East Hampublic house are appealing for witnesses who saw the assault, reports the Newham Recorder this week.
Stephanie Villegas and Hollie Vincent, both aged sixteen years, were walking down the High Street South, a major road linking East Ham with Canning Town, with their cousin Rohan Reda (aged 17), when two older men began hurling racist abuse at them as they walked past the White Horse pub, opposite East Ham’s Central Park. The incident occurred at around 6 pm on Thursday 11th June.
The teenagers then claimed that the two men approached them, punched them, and then threw them to the floor in the unprovoked attack.
“It was disgusting. We had already walked past them once”
“A little while after, we walked past them again and that’s when it started. They were older men, at least in their forties” Hollie told a reporter from the Newham Recorder. Hollie’s cousin Rohan, who is of mixed heritage, was then subjected to a racial slur.
Hollie, who had recently graduated from her studies at local Brampton Manor Academy (formerly Brampton Manor School) recalled in the interview that the attack began when one of the men accused Rohan of ‘eyeballing’ him, meaning that the attacker thought that the 17-year-old was looking at him in a contemptuous way. The men then began following the three teens down High Street South and one is said to have thrown an apple at the teenagers as they tried to avoid a confrontation with the racists. Hollie then tried to confront the men over their behaviour.
“That is when we asked them to leave us alone, but he punched me in the face and I fell to the ground” Hollie narrated.
During the attack, the Newham Reporter also states that Stephanie’s hair was pulled, her phone was smashed and that the thugs also snatched a chain from around Rohan’s neck.
Hollie added “I’ve lived in this area my whole life but have never seen anything like it”
“The worst thing was people were actually standing there and watching, but finally two schoolboys came to help us”
“All three of us were assaulted. It was a racist attack against my cousin and I just don’t understand how two grown men assault two young girls”.
As of publishing date by the Newham Recorder, there have been no arrests made and police inquiries are still ongoing. Local police are appealing for witnesses to come forward in confidence.
Anyone with information about the East Ham incident should call police on 101 or alternatively, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. You do not have to give your name or any identifying details.
“Three teenagers attacked by grown men in ‘racist’ attack” – Seema Hakim, Newham Recorder, Archant Community Media Limited (17 June 2015)
The following article has been penned by Baltimore-based rapper and street philosopher Sullee J, who along with his management team, is now a regular contributor to the Half-Eaten Mind. He has taken time out from working on recent releases such as ‘Rap Proclamation‘ and ‘Rebel Nation‘ to release a special article critiquing the failed state of America’s poorer neighbourhoods. With racist killings by the police, racial and greed-based violence, poverty and lack of opportunities and aspirations very much the life and times of the poorest urban Americans, Sullee J goes straight to the heart of the housing projects and spills out the bile of the shattered society within. All the while politicians and the mainstream media only notice the surface of an endemically poisonous situation and skim past the intricate details. The reasons why. Of why generation after generation of people are locked in the same grim cycle. The article speaks in Sullee J’s own inimitable way about the current conditions in the United State’s inner cities, among the dilapidated high-rise tenements and austere ganglands. He gives his perspective on these very real and current conditions and the mindsets behind them. The cause…..the solution….
It’s a sad situation, when the system has placed limitations based on an individuals skin, wicked nation. Simulated injustice and foul litigation. What on earth gives folks the right to be racist. It’s ironic, they title the states united, but entice segregation. How can they shoot up a child based off appearance? Then justify for clearance? That’s just defying, no that’s lust desiring, looking at you straight, but inside them buster’s eyes are leering. This article speaks on the views of the projects. The biases and thoughts processed. The mentality of how they really view the painted. Rest in Peace to the victims of hatred.
“Treat the hood like cancer, let them kill themselves!” The hood is just an environment full of tyrants, where everybody claim, they’re real as hell. Why help the project, when the projects don’t want to be healed itself? The red & blue try to change the streets, but really they cut a deal for sales, they never reveal themselves. In the hood, they’re just savages, give them food stamps and let them live off a few packages. They’re just meaningless bodies, wasting land we could probably invest & seed a monopoly. We should just tear the hood down, but it’s so sad why we need ’em. That’s the only place we could manipulate the souls through our drug trades, and fast feed ’em.
We don’t give a damn about the hood, but it fills our wallets. Let them destroy each other, as long as they keep filling our pockets. Keeping the rolls B.I.G., like Christopher Wallace.
I swear to God, this is the mentality of our politicians. They raise campaigns about saving the youth, but never really step foot in the hood, they’re just bribing visions. Robbing rhythms to fill hope in the hearts and gain support through biased decisions. They say, “These are just folks in deprived conditions.” Why not sell them dope to keep ’em occupied while alive, they could pay for the fuel while we take the ride, & then they wonder why, society’s so corrupt? -Because the ones who talk about saving it, are the same ones who are F’yn it up.
How do you explain glorifying gangster ways then expecting less crime? Let’s keep it real, as long as the money is being made, you don’t give a damn who comes up, or who’s dying. It’s all about the dough, it doesn’t matter who’s frying! One boss just died? Who cares, there’s another down the street with a new science.
This is real, don’t be amazed! Right now there are a lot of little girls out there with a child, when they themselves haven’t even been raised. Barely in the seventh grade, mixed up in all this, there are those trying to make it. Nobody looks at the good; they just overshadow ’em because of the sentences on the news pages. Today’s headline: “11 year old shot in the head over some shoes” wasted… Who’s recruiting the youth and telling them, the more people you shoot, fuels your reputation. There’s a war in our own country, but the media doesn’t seem to show it. Therefore, the lack of notice causes these hungry minds to cock back, and cast explosions, till now where the situation is bizarre enough, and the reporters behind the mic have a reason to put the hood back on blast, now! Ain’t that bogus! But I’m just a regular fella try to exhale the truth. You don’t have to believe me, just turn off your TV, look around you, and well… Welcome to Proof!
Many thanks to Sullee J and his management for contributing this thought provoking article.
Baltimore-based rapper Sullee J, the revolutionary warrior poet of our times, has returned to the mike for his latest track “Rap Proclamation” in which he asks “What is justice, is it just us?“.
As America is rocked by the allegedly racially-motivated killings of teenagers Michael Brown and Tamir Rice (and others like Eric Garner, who died after being put into a stranglehold by a New York cop) by armed police and as entire communities are slandered as ‘illegal aliens’ by right-wing politicians, the disturbing spectre of racism in a nation that has elected its first mixed-race president is rearing its ugly head for all the world to see.
The rap community has taken note of this wave of abuses, and Sullee J has responded against the injustice in a powerful and inspiring track, a lyrical call to arms against oppression and being downtrodden.
“Rap Proclamation” speaks on the current political and social situations now facing the United States, a twisted mess involving the courts, racism and the injustice meted out against minorities and the less fortunate. It is a raw lyrical protest against how society holds down people of colour, where skin pigment means discrimination. It is a proclamation to ‘rise above the stereotype’.
Rap Proclamation was produced by iRatz and is available for viewing and listening on YouTube and Soundcloud. Check out Sullee J’s official fan site at http://www.officialsulleej.com/
The party, led by Nigel Farage, has recently taken significant ground in the UK’s constituencies as it challenges the traditional conservatism of the ruling Tories but has been caught up in scandals involving Islamophobic, homophobic, sexist and racist comments on social media and in public from some of its ministers and workers. One local election candidate suggested that Lenny Henry, a popular and long-established television personality, should leave Britain for a ‘black country’. Another, who is now under investigation by UKIP, tweeted comments that Islam was a ‘satanic religion’ and that Nigerians were ‘corrupt people’ while Africans should be left to kill themselves off. The same candidate, also said that Ed Miliband, the leader of the Labour party, did not qualify as British but as Polish. Ed Miliband’s grandparents were Polish Jews who fled their homeland to escape Nazi persecution. Others have taken to social media to rail against Islam as “organised crime under religious camouflage” while likening the religion to Nazism, and suggesting that the murder of the black teenager Stephen Lawrence has received a disproportionate level of attention, reports The Guardian newspaper.
William Henwood, the UKIP candidate for the area of Enfield, just north of London, allegedly made the ‘black country’ comment in response to a recent speech by Henry in which he criticised British television for not portraying more role models and characters from ethnic minority backgrounds. Henwood responded by tweeting the following comment “He should emigrate to a black country. He does not have to live with whites.”
Gareth Thomas, the shadow minister for Europe (representing Labour), said the Henwood tweets, as well as racial comments and tweets from other UKIP members should be seen as evidence that the party is “not fit to represent the country in Europe“. UKIP in return have denied that they are a sounding board for racists and insist that the party is “non-racist, non-sectarian” and that members who express racist or prejudiced views would be expelled from the party. A statement from the party given to the Telegraph states: “..any comments made by members that fail to uphold these (non-racist) values will be duly investigated and acted upon“.
Conservative Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt described Henwood’s comments about Lenny Henry as “absolutely disgusting”.
“I think it is for Nigel Farage to make absolutely clear that that isn’t UKIP’s official view but also to explain why so many people with those kinds of views seem to be attracted to becoming candidates for UKIP,” he told BBC Radio 5 Live’sPienaar’s Politics, a talk show by veteran BBC journalist John Pienaar.
Asked if he thought the comments were racist, he said: “Yes I do and that’s why I’d like to hear a very clear denunciation from Nigel Farage. I think it’s totally unacceptable, and he is as British as you or I are.“
UKIP’s deputy chairman Neil Hamilton, a former Conservative MP, said Henwood’s comments were being investigated by the party but he claimed they were a “complete distraction” from the upcoming European election campaign and “every party” had “unknown” activists who “who may have said something unpleasant on social media“. Roger Helmer, a UKIP MEP (Member of the European Parliament) for the East Midlands region, said Henwood’s comments did not represent his party and were only being reported because of a conspiracy campaign against it. UKIP have frequently lambasted both the Tories and the opposition Labour Party for a smear campaign against it as the two larger parties attempt to salvage electoral losses swallowed up by UKIP’s growing popularity among their ex-supporters. Some Tories have even defected to UKIP in recent months.
Henwood defended his comments in a report by the BBC, saying that the Lenny Henry and Islam tweets were not offensive. He told BBC political correspondent Ross Hawkins “I think if black people come to this country and don’t like mixing with white people why are they here? If he (Henry) wants a lot of blacks around go and live in a black country.“. This comment was made despite the fact that Henry was married to a fellow comedian of white British ethnicity and had made no suggestion that whites and blacks should lead separated lives. According to the BBC, Henwood who was preparing to stand for next month’s local council elections in Enfield, refused an interview on camera in the aftermath of his messages.
Earlier this week, UKIP ‘poster boy’ Andre Lampitt was sacked by the party after a string of racist and prejudiced comments made on Twitter in which he abused Africans and insulted the founder of Islam. He has previously appeared in UKIP television campaigns aimed at ordinary voters, as the party traded on Lampitt’s background as a house decorator. Lampitt, who was ironically born in Zimbabwe, also poured scorn on international aid organisations such as Oxfam and expressed pleasure from the AIDS epidemic in the African continent, saying: “Inner peace will come when Aids does what it should and reduce African density.”, according to the Daily Mail. The UKIP video shows the white Zimbabwean dressed in builder’s attire while railing against immigration of blue-collar workers and tradesmen from the European Union. Facing the camera, Lampitt states that British tradespeople are losing out to the ‘lads from Eastern Europe’. Meanwhile, UKIP’s advertising policy for public billboards has also been slandered for being virulently anti-European. One poster depicts the British flag, the Union Flag, catching fire and burning away while a EU flag is revealed underneath. Another shows a split view of a British woman sitting on a crowded bus while a European bureaucrat sits comfortably in his chauffeur-driven limousine. One other UKIP ad features a local builder begging for spare change after losing his job and home thanks to cheaper competition from the Continent. It later transpired that the actor who modelled for that poster was an Irish citizen from Dublin who had lived in the UK for the past decade.
UKIP has stolen ground from the big three parties as it capitalises on voters’ disgruntlement over immigration and the track record of the current ruling Coalition, with significant gains being made among former Tory voters and the undecided. A recent Observer/Optimum poll found that UKIP have made 18% shares of the decided electorate. However the recent round of gaffes and controversies reported all over the nation’s media may almost certainly destroy UKIP’s chances of gaining seats in both Westminster and Brussels.
Lenny Henry, who comes from the West Midlands city of Birmingham, has not yet given any formal comment or statement regarding the Henwood tweets.
“Ukip candidates add to Nigel Farage’s woes with a barrage of racism” – Daniel Boffey & Lucy Fisher, The Guardian/Guardian News and Media Limited (26 April 2014) LINK
“Star of Ukip advert suspended for calling Miliband ‘not British’, attacking ‘evil’ Islam and saying Africans should ‘kill themselves’… and he is from ZIMBABWE” – James Chapman & Matt Chorley, Mail Online News/Daily Mail/Associated Newspapers Ltd (24 April 2014) LINK
“Ukip in new racism row after Lenny Henry insult” – Tim Ross, The Telegraph/Telegraph Media Group Limited (26 April 2014) LINK
“UKIP candidate William Henwood defends Lenny Henry tweet” – BBC News Politics/BBC (27 April 2014) LINK
“Warren Ellis & Lenny Henry chatting” – spiritquest, Flickr (12 November 2011) LINK
“File:Nigel Farage of UKIP.jpg” – Euro Realist Newsletter, Wikimedia Commons (19 May 2008) LINK
The mother of Stephen Lawrence, the south-east London teenager killed in an attack by racists nearly two decades ago, has launched a campaign to mark the 20th anniversary of her son’s death. Doreen Lawrence, in a report from the London Evening Standard, announced the new campaign will help change attitudes and that more will be done this year to combat racism. She expressed hope that the campaign will mean no other family would have to go through what she endured. It has been entitled “SL20 – the Legacy of Stephen Lawrence” and will be run by the charity organised by the Lawrence family.
With it being just over a year since the conviction of Stephen’s killers and the police still reeling from accusations of institutional racism, Ms Lawrence’s initiative will also incorporate an outreach initiative towards new police chiefs in the Met and across Greater London’s 32 city boroughs. Many members of ethnic minority communities still regard the police force with suspicion in light of perceived and actual discrimination against the young, Muslim and Afro-Caribbean communities especially.
The Stephen Lawrence Centre in the Saint John’s area of south-east London: headquarters of the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust.
In commemoration of the campaign’s founding and in celebration of Stephen’s life, a concert is planned for this April along with a series of anti-racism lectures and a gala ball to raise awareness for the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust. The charity was set up in 1998 by Doreen and Stephen’s father Neville as an educational trust supporting disadvantaged youngsters in London’ s tough inner city areas. SLCT has helped dozens of youths escape poverty and gang violence, awarding over 100 bursaries for studies in architecture and urban design. Stephen Lawrence, a A-level student at the Blackheath Bluecoat School and Woolwich College, had dreams of becoming an architect at the time his life was brutally cut short.
Stephen had been waiting for a bus with a friend in the south-east London district of Eltham, when a gang of racists crossed the road and launched a vicious attack on them. The white youths hurled racist slurs at the two black British men, before ambushing Stephen and stabbing him twice. After a botched police investigation into Stephen’s murder which was tainted by incompetence and ingrained racist attitudes among some of the investigators assigned to the case, the killers were finally convicted in a cold case review and subsequent trial in November 2011. Gary Dobson and David Norris were sentenced to minimum terms of 14 to 15 years at Her Majesty’s Pleasure, as the court ruled they were still juveniles at the time.