Nick Ferrari challenges Laurence Fox over Black History Month and safe spaces

13 October 2020, 09:22

Laurence Fox: Safe spaces are promoting segregation

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

When asked about his comments over supermarket Sainsbury's Laurence Fox tells LBC that safe spaces are "promoting segregation"

Speaking to LBC's Nick Ferrari actor and leader of the Reclaim Party Laurence Fox said he thought people were scared to speak because of fears over a PC culture.

He said British values were "the things you learn around the dinner table when you're a child," actor cited "robust argument, the ability to disagree and remain friends, politeness, fairness, these sorts of things."

When Nick asked "where have they gone then?" Mr Fox said he felt "people are scared to speak at the moment for fear of the repercussions that will happen if they say the wrong thing."

He told LBC people were afraid of being "cancelled."

When asked to point to examples of that Mr Fox said he was an example, "that lovely welder in Burnley, there are hundreds."

When asked which welder he was referring to Mr Fox said: "He was the one who did the white lives matter banner over the stadium."

This led to Nick asking the actor why he has " a problem with Sainsbury's marking Black History Month."

"I don't at all," was the instant reply but he said it "would be interesting if there was also Jewish history month and Muslim history month."

He said his "issue" with the supermarket was "that they were saying they were creating safe spaces for their black employees."

He said this "doesn't take too much mental gymnastics to think that might be sort of promoting segregation in a way."

"Seeing as this country is tolerant and becoming more tolerant, I don't know why it assumes that you may not be safe around white people."

When Nick Ferrari challenged him pointing out "neither of us are black, we don't know what it's like," Mr Fox said " all we can go in is the polling on these things."

Nick asked if those people feel like they need a safe space then "is it wrong for a supermarket to facilitate that?"

"I just think that safe spaces are essentially kind of promoting segregation, and I think it's backwards and we want to look forwards."

David Lammy on Black Lives Matter and significance in UK

The supermarket chain had previously said: "We are proud to celebrate Black History Month together with our black colleagues, customers and communities and we will not tolerate racism.

"We proudly represent and serve our diverse society and anyone who does not want to shop with an inclusive retailer is welcome to shop elsewhere."

Following the comments, Mr Fox tweeted that he would not be shopping there again, accusing Sainsbury’s of "segregation" towards other races.

"Dear @sainsburys I won’t be shopping in your supermarket ever again whilst you promote racial segregation and discrimination," he said before urging others to boycott the chain too.

A spokesperson for the supermarket chain said: "At Sainsbury’s we strive to be an inclusive retailer where people love to work and shop. Earlier in the year we created online support groups for black colleagues across the business.

"These “safe spaces” helped our black colleagues come together, share their experiences and support one another.

"We represent and serve our diverse society and are proud to be celebrating Black History Month with our colleagues and customers."

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