Fury as Afua Hirsch calls out Britain's racism and Nick Ferrari asks: 'Why do you stay in this country?'

Moya Lothian-McLean@moya_lm
Wednesday 10 June 2020 08:45
news

A resurfaced clip of a debate between two commentators about racism has caused outrage online.

In the clip, white LBC presenter Nick Ferrari is seen asking black colleague Afua Hirsch why she “stays” in Britain after she presented a segment on “problematic figures” glorified by memorials across the country.

Originally airing in 2018, the clip is taken from Sky News panel debate show The Pledge.

Hirsch uploaded the clip to Twitter yesterday, captioning the post:

In a former life, when I thought you cd politely persuade people not to be racist

Their response? "If you don't like it here, LEAVE". Which I'm yet to hear said to a white British person

Racism is telling black people who have a critique of their own country, they should leave. 

In the two-minute video, the author and presenter begins by discussing New York removing the statue of a doctor who “tortured” enslaved black women before going on to cite other examples of countries removing or defacing monuments to individuals with racist pasts.

Hirsch mentions Bristol’s Colston Hall as an example, which originally promised to change its name in 2018 and has only now committed to the pledge.

She goes on to question whether Britain should reconsider monuments to the likes of Churchill and Horatio Nelson.

After the segment, Hirsch joins Ferrari and three others for a panel debate on the subject.

He immediately tells her to “move on” by quoting her own words back to her. At first Hirsch laughs.

Ferrari then says:

Why do you stay in this country?

If you take such offence when you see Nelson’s column, if you take such offene when you hear Winston Churchill’s name?

I would argue in the unlikely event that anybody wanted to have a poll, probably 80 to 90 per cent of people would say Winston Churchill did a good thing. 

I’m delighted that I see you each Thursday [...] but if it offends you so much, how do you manage to stay here? 

As Ferrari is speaking, Hirsch looks visibly shocked and upset.

The clip’s reemergence amid the renewed Black Lives Matter movement has prompted many to condemn Ferrari's words.

Channel 4 journalist Krishan Guru-Murthy called them “unacceptable”.

Broadcaster Ayesha Harzarika called out Ferrari’s othering of Hirsch.

While the interim director of think tank Runnymede Trust, Dr Zubaida Haque, said Ferrari’s question captured the “issue of racism/xenophobia in the country”.

Both Sky News and Ferrari’s main employer, LBC, have yet to comment.

indy100 has reached out to both and if they respond we'll be sure to let you know.

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