Yet another controversy surrounding race and racism.
The argument is simple: judge a person on their individual merits – not their race, nor anything else. It is not difficult!
If a person has committed a crime then let the consequences be taken only on that individual.
Crime is not committed by somebody’s ethnicity. By connecting the crime directly to a particular ethnic group, it removes the responsibility of the individual to the crime, and incriminates innocent people that had nothing to do with it.
And if a group of people that identify as Travellers commit a crime – such as the groups that have illegally set up camps around Southend; damaged private property; threatened staff in local businesses; and committed theft – it is absurd that anyone other than those involved take the blame.
To put it bluntly, Travellers are not to blame. Criminals are criminals - not Travellers.
Like anyone else, if a crime is committed then let the system deal with each person as it comes.
If I were a Traveller, I would be indignant with any notion linking me to any person's criminality who just so happened to be part of the Traveller community. As patronising as it may sound, think of all the times a person that fitted your description (height, weight, skin colour, age, attitudes, beliefs, etc) committed a crime, and then suddenly you were linked to that crime because you shared some of these characteristics. It may be obvious to say this is wrong, but this is what is happening to people. This very basic level of empathy seems to be so hard for some people to take the time to find.
So there are calls for Travellers to be banned from Southend outright. But I wholeheartedly, morally and logically disagree.
All people are welcome to Southend. Follow the law of the land and enjoy everything we have to offer.