Belfast Telegraph

We must do more than simply condemn racism

Racist attacks are on the rise in Belfast
Racist attacks are on the rise in Belfast

Editor's Viewpoint

Another week has passed, and there is yet another disturbing story about a racist attack. This time it occurred in Rathcoole, and the victim Kerry Ann Brown has had her home attacked for the second time in less than a year.

Her children, whose ages are 10, seven and two, were terrified when a brick was hurled through the window of their home this week.

Ten months ago she had graffiti scrawled on her front door, just after she moved in to Lindord Green in Rathcoole.

Mrs Brown, who is originally from Jamaica, has lived in Northern Ireland since 2002, but her experience in the Rathcoole area has been traumatic and, not surprisingly, she is thinking of moving out.

The attack has been condemned rightly by local councillors from different political parties, and Mrs Brown's law-abiding neighbours have also been angered by the attack.

It is important that the victim of a racist crime receives widespread support from people who naturally condemn such repulsive behaviour, and there have been many such statements following other racist crimes.

While condemnation is welcome, it is clearly not enough. The police have committed themselves to tackling this racist scourge with a special focus, but it is time they came up with arrests so that people can be punished for their anti-social behaviour.

However, the police cannot tackle this alone, and they need help in tracking down these people. Without doubt, some of them will be boasting about what they did, and eventually the word gets round. There are people in the Rathcoole area who may know something, or are able to put forward names and to provide evidence which will help the racist thugs to be brought to justice.

If so, they have a duty to make this information available to the police. There is also a need for a greater and more concerted effort by all the politicians to get a greater grip on combating this disgusting behaviour. Racism is a social evil that stains us all. Everyone has a duty to help to cut out this abomination in our midst.

Belfast Telegraph


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