As the days go by, more and more people protest across Europe and the US against racism, but in contrast, there are some politicians who articulate a different opinion. In the UK, two members of the Conservative Party, Linda Symes from Portsmouth and Robin Vickery from Suffolk, suspended from Tories due to racist comments on Facebook.
In particular, Symes posted a question, why people protest for George Floyd and not for the death of the 7-year-old Emily Jones “who murdered on the streets by BLACKS” or for Lee Rigby, a soldier who murdered on East London by Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale on December 2013. Furthermore, Symes, on another Facebook post, claimed that London’s mayor, Sadik Khan, who is from Pakistan, “will remain mayor only because of his nationality.”
In her defense after suspension from Tories, Symes claimed in The News that she is not a racist, but there are multiple examples of deaths that the people did not protest. Symes added that “George Floyd’s death is unacceptable and the guilty for this must pay the price, as well as anyone who is responsible for killing people for greed, religion, or color issues.”
On the other hand, Robin Vickery, a well-known Conservative in Ipswich has been suspended by his party at both the county and borough councils after reposting racist messages on Facebook. In his posts, Vickery demanded that all the black and Asian people must be deported from the UK and, similarly to Linda Symes, compared Floyd’s and Rigby’s deaths. The local organization of the Conservative Party stated that they will start immediately an investigation against Vickery as soon as possible.
Want to know how racist elected Conservatives are in Suffolk? Suffolk Tories are institutionally racist…period. County Councillor Robin Vickery doesn’t hide it…he puts his disgusting views out there for all to see. #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/VKewCDy5a1
— #NoPasaran ✊ (@alargevat) June 6, 2020
Furthermore, a third member of the Conservative Party in Bristol, Councilor Richard Eddy, blamed protesters for throwing into the sea the statue of Edward Colton; a 17th-century city donor and slave-trader. Eddy described Colton as a “hero” and accused people of “outrageous violence.”
To be noted, these are not the only comments from Tory’s member, as earlier this week, an Aberdeen Conservative councilor had his suspension lifted over alleged anti-Semitic, Islamophobic, and homophobic comments he made on November.
All in all, this is a different point of view. We can see how many people went on the streets to express their sympathy for George Floyd and to protest against racism, but on the other hand, we see how conservative party members are posting controversial opinions. For most people, Floyd’s death is an engine for protestation against racism, politics, economy, etc.