The Metro has apologised today after Campaign Against Antisemitism and others called out the newspaper for printing a letter yesterday telling readers that racism against Jews matters less if it comes from a member of another minority.
The letter, from “Vytautus” in Sheffield, claimed that “Racism is [exclusively] an attempt by a ‘privileged’ majority to undermine the destiny of a minority individual or group – it can only be applied by the privileged. What we term ‘racism’ by minorities is not racism but ‘prejudice’, as the minority cannot affect the destiny of the privileged majority.”
The letter went on to describe the cricketer Azeem Rafiq’s past antisemitic comments as “prejudicial” but insisted that they were not “racist”, because Mr Rafiq is from a minority community.
As to whether Mr Rafiq’s comments could not be racist also because they targeted Jews, the letter was ambiguous.
Campaign Against Antisemitism and others called out the newspaper for printing a “dangerously irresponsible” letter.
Metro’s editor, Ted Young, tweeted in response to complaints: “The MetroTalk page is carefully edited with all sorts of views coming in from around the country Nicole. Our readers always challenge views that are clearly wrong in the cut and thrust of debate. But In hindsight this should not have made the page. Apologies.”
Mr Young promised an apology in today’s edition, which was duly printed: “Yesterday, we published a letter that argued remarks about Jewish people from cricketer Azeem Rafiq did not amount to racism. The MetroTalk page is carefully edited with all sorts of views coming in from around the country. Our readers always challenge views that are clearly wrong in the cut and thrust of debate. But in hindsight the letter should not have made the page. Apologies.”
Campaign Against Antisemitism monitors traditional media and regularly holds outlets to account. If members of the public are concerned about reportage in the media, they should contact us at [email protected].