Anti-semitism taken more seriously than other forms of racism, black caller tells James O'Brien

28 July 2020, 13:59

By Seán Hickey

This caller condemned entirely Wiley's anti-semitic tirade on social media, but suggested that anti-black and Islamophobic racism doesn't get met with the same criticism.

James O'Brien was discussing Wiley's ban from Twitter after a slew of anti-semitic tweets from the rapper were left unchecked for hours by the platform. Fudge phoned in to give his view of the controversy, and argued that it's undeniable that there is a hierarchy of racism in the UK.

"Most people, left wing or right wing, oppose racism," he began, and then put forth his view that "when it comes to the Tories, or right wing columnists, they turn a blind eye to racism unless it's anti-semitism." He said that the right have "made racism seem like a left wing issue" and washed their hands of commenting on it unless it is anti-semitic.

"As a young black man you can say that what Wiley said was absolutely disgusting, but when people talk about other minorities in a similarly disgusting way they don't seem to get the same response that Wiley got" James surmised. He prodded the caller to elaborate on his argument.

Fudge told James to "look at the way Jeremy Corbyn gets treated when it's about anti-semitism," and stated that it's "not even comparable to what Boris Johnson has said about black people," and there lies the disconnect.

The caller went on to make a claim about the anti-semitism row in the Labour Party. "As a percentage it was less than what it was in the Conservative and the Lib Dem party, I'm not condoning it whatsoever, it was still wrong, but it was less than it was in other parties."

Wiley has been banned from Twitter for anti-semitic tweets
Wiley has been banned from Twitter for anti-semitic tweets. Picture: PA

James added that "Wiley has taken to facebook today to start again," on another anti-semitic rant, and told the caller that although he understands the argument "it was the quantity not the quality of what he wrote."

Fudge reminded James of when Lord Alan Sugar posted a racist tweet about the Senegalese football team and got away with an apology. James argued that "if Lord Sugar had done that ten times and then carried on, it would be a valid comparison."

The caller circled back to condemning Wiley, stating that "right wing people would call it cancel culture when all it is, is someone being racist getting chucked off a platform that deservedly does."

James ended the conversation, saying "if Wiley had done one tweet, regretted it and apologised, would he have faced the brouhaha that he faces today and as a white man I say, no he wouldn't."

"The broader question of how Alan Sugar can make a racist joke about black people and remain a BBC presenter while other people can't make an anti-semitic comment without feeling the full force of public outrage, that question stands I think."