To the editor of the Kingston Guardian
We are appalled by a number of articles on the Kingston Guardian website, which pander to racist attitudes or are openly racist.
About a dozen articles have appeared on your website over the past year which document the movements of Travellers. No other community would warrant press coverage when they move from one area to another. This surveillance of Travellers and publication of their movement only serves to pander to racist attitudes against Travellers.
This is shown clearly by some of the online comments made by readers these articles. One commenter says, “[The Travellers] are arrogantly disrespectful and they *need* to keep “travelling” – off a pier.” Another gloats, “Once we leave Europe… life’s gonna get pretty hard for them and it won’t be a moment too soon.”
We call on you to end this harassment of Travellers. It is of no interest to anyone, apart from those who wish to whip up hatred, for you to publish the current addresses of Traveller families. The furore which this dog-whistle reportage can cause has the possibility of putting these vulnerable families at further risk.
We are also absolutely outraged by a recent article (“Muslims: Get your house in order!”), written after the Woolwich murder, which was clearly Islamophobic.
The article lays the blame for the murder on the Muslim community as a whole. A section reads, “Mosques need to do more to root out extremists and those spouting extremist views.”
When racist EDL thugs attacked Kingston Mosque in 2010, your newspaper did not call for white people to root out the extremists in the local area. It did not blame all white people for the actions of a tiny minority. Do you think all white people are responsible for the series of attempted bomb and arson attacks on mosques we’ve seen over the past few months?
It is unacceptable to impose the responsibility for an individual act on a whole section of the population. It re-enforces Islamophobic racism and panders to the views of the far-right. We call for a full apology.
Zahida Ali Croydon, Rosemary Addington Surbiton, Jessica Andrews Surbiton, Neeta Barot Walton on Thames, S Brownlie Surbiton, Lisbeth Campos Richmond, James Cameron New Malden, Ryan Coley Kingston, Richard Donnelly New Malden, Nilufer Erdem Kingston, Richard Exworthy Tolworth, Alistair Farrow Teddington, Clinton Fraser Kingston, Catia Freitas Cobham, Ana Goncalves Surbiton, Antony Hamilton New Malden, Hamza Hamouchene Kingston, Mary Holmes Twickenham, Hafsa Ismailjee Kingston, Ruwayda Mustafa Kingston, Noel Hamel New Malden, John Johnson Kingston, Clare Keogh Kingston, Martin Lake Norbiton, Rita Leech Chessington, Francis Lyons Guildford, Francesca Manning New Malden, John Merrick Norbiton, Ben Millard Kingston, Chasity Nao Greenwich/Kingston, Ewan Nicolson New Malden, Pippa Porcupine Guildford, Julie Reay New Malden, Neil Rogall Richmond, Iain Taylor-Comyn New Malden, Richard Tamplin Richmond, Dave Tinham Kingston, Sherrl Yanowitz Rogall Richmond, Joe Stanley-Smith Kingston, Jean Vidler New Malden, Lauren Walters Blackheath/Kingston, Reverend Jonathan Wilkes Kingston, Flik Wolf New Malden.
You can sign this open letter by leaving a comment below or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.