Panorama: hate on the estate (updated)

There is a Panorama programme on tonight (BBC1, 8:30pm BST) about two Asian Muslim journalists who spent two months undercover in a Bristol housing estate, and encountered overt racist hostility, including both name-calling (Paki, Taliban etc) and physical assaults, when they left their flat. The abuse came from people of all ages. You can see a written report on it, with a short video, on the BBC’s website: Reduced to a four-letter word.

(One question: are they a couple, or just posing as one? Surely an unrelated Muslim man and woman should not be living together like that for a mere journalistic scoop, particularly when other means could have been used to find all this out.)

Update: when watching the programme, it became obvious that all the people who were taunting the “couple” were local yobs who were hanging around and causing trouble, some of whom had ASBOs (court orders against them intended to stop them making a nuisance of themselves). The footage gave the impression that there were a lot of people who helped them, both in simple things like giving them directions and in scaring off the yobs, and they were as white and ‘working-class’ as the kids. There was also a little girl who was obviously trying to be friendly despite the undercover reporter pretending not to speak much English, calling her a “beautiful lady” (how sweet!). There was definitely a racial element to the taunting, and a gang of them had also attacked Sri Lankan shop workers, but it was entirely the doing of these hooligans, mostly (but not all) male, pre-teen to young adult. The programme did not seem to investigate whether these same people were making life miserable for others on the estate as well. Given what these kinds of youths do on pretty much every other run-down estate where they exist, not just to non-whites, that would seem likely.

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