For the past couple of days, I have publicly and passionately challenged through the power of social media Will Straw who wants to become a Labour MP in Lancashire surrounding his views on the Britannia Coconutters of Bacup.
The picture below, is the mascot.
My challenging Will is not a personal attack on him as an individual (as, he has a right to his views), but whether he is fit and proper to hold Public Office. Which, is very different.
As a Black British Voter, if he becomes an MP he will ultimately be making important decisions beyond Lancs about my future in the United Kingdom – so, it’s important only the best people are doing this in my interests.
However, Will has responded personally to me and offered to talk. You have to respect this.
I’m of the view that the Cocunutters exploit racist views, with you only having to read the racial abuse I received yesterday from The Telegraph readers online. Oh, and I’m not being sensitive etc.
Part of my objection to the Coconutters in 2014 is in the past few days I have received messages from young black people who find the ordeal offensive, and more so from a prospective Labour Party MP.
One young guy saying, this is exactly why he no longer lives in Lancashire. How sad.
Where is his voice?
Whether rightly or wrongly, I have gained a public profile through my fighting Scotland Yard to do with racism and homophobia in its ranks and it continues to grow – but, with this comes responsibility. I’m no longer a public servant, but, I still understand this.
I’m equally no role model, but I’d be naïve if I thought that some may listen to what I have to say and especially those young people who follow me on Twitter and the likes and those I give talks to about fighting all forms of discrimination.
For this reason, I’m hoping before my conversation with Will that any other person young, old, black or white who has found the Coconutters to be offensive let me know.
Any future politician has to be one that listens to all the people, not just some of them.
My blog in the past month alone has risen by 5,000 views, so I have a small voice that hopefully can make the world a better place. However, the world I live in is Great Britain. The place I was born and contrary to those who offended me on The Telegraph yesterday, I have given my blood and sweat to as a public servant.
I have nowhere else to go home to.
My own strong point for Will is this, calling those like me an ignorant for finding offensive ‘white people dressed-up with black faces with a mascot like a golliwog’ does nothing to make this country better.
Take care, Max.