The Bristol Post has been criticised for having a photo of the city’s Mayor Marvin Rees, which was according to critics ‘racist’, on its front page.
Now while many argue that the photo was innocuous and in no way prejudiced, the PC brigade has railed against the photo, decrying it as ‘racist’. Sandra Gordon (the head of Bristol’s Commission for Race Equality, set up by the Mayor) described it as ‘offensive and inappropriate’, all the while feeling it demonstrated him in a negative light. She also felt that the previous white mayor would have never had such coverage. Meanwhile, the Deputy Mayor Asher Craig, described the coverage as ‘sensationalistic’, and recommended that the staff at the Post needed diversity training. Others complained that it looked like a mugshot.
Rees himself has made no comment on the incident, despite having jumped on such causes before, like criticising Jeremy Clarkson on his Twitter account, while the presenter was on Top Gear. This had been despite the fact that coverage of the Mayor’s speech, which was accompanying the headline, was in favour of him.
To make matters worse, on debate show The Pledge, other ‘journalists’ towed the line, with Afua Hirsch stating that it fits in to the narrative of negative portrayals of British black people, and June Sarpong (who admits to knowing Rees personally) concurred with that line of argument, questioning as to whether they would have ‘done the same thing to a white politician’.
Now while initially, the editor of the newspaper described such comments as ‘beyond ludicrous’, he has also surrendered to the outrage mob, saying that the editorial team’s thinking was ‘fell short’ on that occasion. This had been despite the fact that he’d previously defended said Mayor from accusations of ‘institutional racism’ that were inflicted on the council earlier this year.
This isn’t the first instance of ‘racism’ accusations being thrown at the newspaper, with it apologising for its ‘Faces Of Evil’ headline in 2018, which covered 16 black criminals jailed for dealing crack cocaine. Its coverage led to a boycott of the paper from certain segments of the community for a while.