“Five men, all Somali, and a woman were arrested in London over the weekend and brought to police stations in West Yorkshire but have all now been released.”
The men have been released so why does it matter that they’re Somali? Could it be that emphasising their nationality/race allows people to kick up the illegal immigrant debate again (even though they’re not necessarily illegal or immigrants)?
And also, why should their gender matter? In every report about the group I’ve read, they’ve consistently made a note of the fact that one of the group was a woman. Why does it matter? It just helps maintain the idea that only men kill people and that’s just dangerous. People kill people. Six people were arrested and now released. That’s all that’s required.
This report is just an example: the BBC are far from alone in their reporting in this way. I also don’t think it’s deliberate on behalf of the journalists (or the sub-editors and editors to let it through): it’s just used so often, without thinking, that people stop thinking. It’s inherent. People only state to someone’s race or religion when it is different from their own and because the vast majority of institutions in this country are white- and Christian-(or pseudo-Christian)-led, we hear about “black suspects” and “Islamic terrorists” but not so much about white ones (they’re just “suspects”) or refer to Christian fundamentalists for those fighting from Protestant/Catholic positions. The constant repetition means skin colour and non-JudeoChristian religions get tied to negative words or acts in our minds and that helps us form a bigger, negative, view of our world. Either everyone’s race and religion should be stated or, preferably in my opinion, no-ones – because most of the time it has no bearing on the case and doesn’t really matter.
But it’s ok, because Tony’s said that any suggestion that people in this country are oppressed because of their religion is “rubbish” and we’re “at least as good” as the rest of Europe on promoting equality. Yay for Europe!