'Welcome to our white town': Mural showing 15 white people branded 'racist'

2 September 2021, 20:11 | Updated: 2 September 2021, 21:03

The mural features just four women and no people from ethnic minorities
The mural features just four women and no people from ethnic minorities. Picture: Driffield Town Council/Facebook

By Daisy Stephens

A mural designed to pay tribute to people and businesses in a Yorkshire town has been criticised for its lack of diversity, with one person saying it "screams welcome to our white town".

The mural shows "a number of well-known personalities" from businesses in Driffield, but residents have taken to social media to point out that all 15 of those featured are white.

There is also no one pictured with a disability, and only four out of the 15 are women.

"Wow, not one person of colour or disabled person and mostly full of men," wrote one Facebook user.

"Representation matters. I appreciate the sentiment is celebrating the local businesses and the people behind them who have worked really hard but there are so many other ways this could have been represented in art besides just drawing a load of white people."

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Another user called the mural a "missed opportunity" to highlight the diversity of the East Yorkshire town.

"Whilst I really like the idea, it just screams welcome to our 'white town'," wrote another resident.

"Obviously [being] a minority is even more reinforced by this which is a shame really, some thought could have gone into [being] a little more inclusive."

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However, others have praised the council for the mural, which has been put up temporarily by Driffield Town Council as a "tribute to the independent businesses who have been ravaged by the pandemic".

"This looks brilliant, I would've liked to have thought this picture could've had a more permanent fixture somewhere once the building work is done," said one resident.

"Love how you have brought together the familiar faces of Driffield businesses and made something like this, think it is really thoughtful and personal to our town."

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Another user branded those writing negative comments as "keyboard warriors looking to find something to be offended by".

"If this represents local personalities who just happen to all be white then so be it," he wrote.

"It would be the same if they were all black. It is what it is!"

A spokesperson for Driffield Town Council said the mural was intended to "provide an attractive temporary image" whilst building work was going on behind it, to "attract more people to this neglected area of town and provide a much needed boost to the businesses in Middle Street North".

"The people shown run businesses and shops in Middle Street North, Market Place and Middle Street South, also known as the Northern and Station Quarters," added the spokesperson.

"The Town Council and the Steering Group are working hard to support local businesses and this mural is an attempt to boost the town not to cause negative publicity."