On 7th February Glasgow MSP Humza Yousaf (my regional representative) could be seen volunteering to sell copies of The Big Issue to help out with The Big Issue’s ‘the Big Sell-off’ promotional event.
Perhaps my godless heart of stone has predisposed me to a life of sceptical cynicism, but I don’t think it’s a coincidence that there happened to be cameras available at the time.
I suppose, in defence of Mr Yousaf, promotional stunts such as these only have mass-effect if they are able to be captured and shared among more people than could have been able to see Humza in action first-hand.
It was, however, very fortunate that cameras were present, as they were able to capture the racist bigot who decided to take advantage of the situation, you can see below what happened.
I was most impressed by Mr Yousaf’s fairly composed and respectful handling of the situation. (More thoughts cont.)
It may be encouraging to know that a 30-year-old man has been arrested in relation to the incident. I was struck by the calm response of Mr Yousaf, I can only imagine how angry I would feel if I was subject to such an incident – and I don’t think I would have the ability to maintain composure.
Sadly it seems that this isn’t the only incident of racist bigotry captured on film in Glasgow recently, as this video shows.
It seems in both cases that the perpetrators seem to claim that the motivation for their actions are concerns over benefits entitlement. Perhaps this is a result of the recent Channel 4 show Benefits Street and the poorly chaired ‘debate’ afterwards. This may point to the need for less rhetoric and some good evidence based policies from the UK Government.
There is however, the possibility of a darker motivation at the heart of intolerant racist bigotry in Glasgow.
Glasgow’s past involvement in the slave-trade has occasionally been pointed out in the media, however, there still seems to be a lack of commitment to have it widely acknowledged.
This is a fundamentally important year for Glasgow, and Scotland – I hope these incidents do not indicate the gestation of a revival of far-right bigotry which has been widely avoided in Scotland.