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A letter from the editorial team

This is the first “letter from the editor.” We hope it will be the last.

We set out with a simple mission – to share positive news from charities and campaigners with the public.

Our growing audience figures prove that the demand for this good news content is there.

But for the first time in two years we had to respond to Facebook comments.

The story celebrated the success of a woman in her career. That her career was in the male dominated world of law made it a stand out achievement. We felt that her appointment as a judge was good news.

She was also the first female judge who would sit “on the bench” wearing a hijab.

We were saddened by the negative reaction to this story from a small number of our audience.

But we were encouraged by the responses from the rest of the community who defended her appointment.

As we said on Facebook:

Please remember this is a home for positive news and is a friendly community. We are proud to post a link to a story celebrating a woman’s hard work and success. If you feel that this story is not good news worth shouting about, we suggest you find other news outlets to follow.

Racism is unacceptable.

That these negative comments appeared on the same day that news about the George Floyd atrocity in America was unfolding, served to us as a reminder that racism is sadly alive and well in the UK as elsewhere.

As the campaigners, Stand Up To Racism, said:

We stand in solidarity with George Floyd. We send our condolences to his loved ones. We stand for #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd. We say #BlackLivesMatter

We are outraged that yet another black person has been killed at the hands of the police in the USA. The events unfolding in the USA are a product of hundreds of years of racism and oppression of black communities, which has led to countless lives lost.

The events also take place in the context of black communities disproportionately dying as a result of and infected by Coronavirus, the highest levels of unemployment, which is rising fast due to the rapid economic contraction taking place. So black people are disproportionately affected by police brutality, unemployment, economic hardship and the coronavirus.

We understand the anger that has motivated people to come out and protest across the USA and also here in Britain.

We must remember that we are in the midst of the deadly coronavirus global pandemic. The UK has one of the worst death tolls in the world. Around 34 per cent of those that died were from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities (BAME). According to the Financial Times (FT) cautious estimate, 64,000 people have died, much higher than the government’s figure. That means around 21,000 people from BAME communities have died in the last 10 weeks.

We agree with the scientists and others who say the government’s easing of the lockdown is too premature because the number of daily new infections and deaths are currently too high. There is a risk that the measures to prematurely ease the lockdown will lead to a second wave of infections that will disproportionately impact on BAME communities.

The campaign co-ordinated a mass “take a knee” on Wednesday 3rd June at 6pm. Thousands of ordinary Brits took a knee on their doorstep in solidarity with George Floyd and to show they will not allow racism to spread in our society.

Neither will we and we will continue to proudly celebrate the good news from people of all walks of life.

Stay safe.

Image credit: Stand Up To Racism

 

 

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