Professor Alison Scott-Baumann, whose recent research project has highlighted the role of the Government’s Prevent strategy in forcing people of colour to self-censor on UK campuses, has criticised the Home Secretary for a tweet that highlighted the ethnicity of a recently convicted grooming gang.
These sick Asian paedophiles are finally facing justice. I want to commend the bravery of the victims. For too long, they were ignored. Not on my watch. There will be no no-go areas https://t.co/cZGqDOxt4u
— Sajid Javid (@sajidjavid) October 19, 2018
The tweet was published on Friday 19 October and has been retweeted nearly 4,000 times, causing somewhat of a social media storm over the weekend.
Speaking to SOAS Blogs, Scott-Baumann said:
“Racial profiling is completely unacceptable and using Twitter for that purpose is extremely dangerous as it can seem to justify hate crime. In fact, experts tell us that sexual abuse occurs across the whole population and all types of men commit such crimes; these experts know that Asian men operate in groups but the majority of such crimes are perpetrated by solitary white men, often well educated and often operating initially online.
“We hope the Home Secretary will intensify efforts to make it possible to prevent online grooming and raise awareness of this prevalent crime. He also must address the poverty-driven cycles of deprivation that trap some communities, and make exploitation, rape and abuse more likely.”
It has been suggested by some political commentators that Mr Javid’s tweet was a measured tactic in pursuit of a potential leadership challenge against the struggling Prime Minister Theresa May. At the time of publishing, no further comment has been issued by Mr Javid’s office.