The chicken shop knife-crime campaign would be funny if it wasn’t so tragic | Coco Khan
With its ill-conceived ruse to plaster its message on takeaway boxes, the Home Office has plumbed new depths, says Guardian writer Coco Khan
The outcry was swift and abundant. Critics pointed to the campaign’s underlying racist assumptions, and the implication that knife crime is solely an issue for brown people rather than the product of growing nationwide poverty impacting all communities. Many politicians expressed their dismay, including David Lammy who called the initiative “either explicitly racist or … unfathomably stupid”. Why the “or”? I’d say we’ve got ourselves a government more than capable of both.
But their statistics are the pièce de résistance. It claims – with no reference to its source – that 70% of chicken shop customers are “BAME”, which breaks down as “45% Black, 45% Asian, 45% Middle Eastern” … which is 135%. Clearly maths is not a strong point for All City Media Solutions. Perhaps they are adherents to the school of Tory maths, you know, where somehow none of the sums properly add up, but it’s okay because pixie dust (sorry, racism).
That the government is so out of touch with young people that All City’s turn as Toby Young dressed as Ali G was received as credible, is truly depressing. Because the conditions for young people grow bleaker each year and despite the government’s desire to push all the blame on to young people themselves, state intervention is urgently needed. The future that faces young Brits is likely to be one of debt, housing insecurity, a growing mental health crisis, as well as pension and income instability – if they’re even being paid the minimum wage at all (recent legislation means workers under 24 can be paid less than everyone else).
• Coco Khan is commissioning editor for Guardian B2B, and a columnist and feature writerRead more: The Guardian
I despair. People just look to call out the race card in everything. It's a black woman advertising KFC so why aren't people calling that out as blatant racism? So would it make more sense to slap an anti-knife sticker on the side of a bottle of sauvignon blanc, werthers originals and ski lift passes?
'If it *weren't* so tragic'... “It’s more convenient for our sensibilities to pretend it’s not black men killing and dying than it is to save their lives” 'David Lammy who called the initiative “either explicitly racist or … unfathomably stupid” Not the first time 'David Lammy', 'racist' and 'stupid' have been used in the same sentence together.
It’s just yet another example of how completely out of touch the government is. ‘funny if it wasn’t so tragic’ It seems some commentators are more troubled by the optics of the campaign than they are about the record numbers of young people murdered on our streets. ‘funny if it wasn’t so tragic’ It seems some commentators are more disturbed by the optics of the campaign than they are about the record numbers of young people murdered on our streets.
Good article. What are the stats on knife crime? Really do not see the problem, whenever i go or look at the shop ques, they are generally of diverse races. I personally would have thought if this campaigned stopped one family losing a loved one to knife crime, it would be applauded. Well it’s what blacks eat. Chicken and grits. And the blacks are doing the knife crime. Lets get real 👍🏿
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'Knife crime isn't just about chicken shops'What do chicken shop customers make of government plans to put knife crime warnings on packaging? Nobody is disputing that. I can’t believe you are now quoting Diane dopey Abbott 90% or more knive crime is committed by black people. Who is this guy kidding? Just look at newspaper front pages. No middle clas white people, no Europeans.
Takeaway chicken boxes to warn young people of knife crime risks in Government campaign at chicken shopsYoung people will get takeaway chicken boxes warning them of the dangers of knife crime when they buy food from chicken shops under a Government scheme. Bit racist and stereotypical? I expect the toilets of the house of commons will have anti drug warning signs too? Takeaway chicken boxes to warn young people of knife crime risks in justice league campaign at chicken shops