Hackney, London, UK: Hackney is in the East End of London, a region regarded as working class. A black guy, Jamal Perry (26), lives there with his girlfriend and a housemate with his cats. In classic British style they are indoor/outdoor cats.
The cats had the habit of visiting a neighbour’s home where three women lived, one of whom is in her 30s. Cats visiting neighbours is also commonplace. The cats were coming home to Mr Perry “smelling of another home and not eating properly” he claimed (Metro newspaper). Mr Perry reportedly asked politely that one of the women stop feeding his cats. Her response appears to have been less than friendly. She allegedly used the N word against him six times. Mr Perry filmed the whole episode. She tried to stop him. She made a rude gesture at him (middle finger).
In response Mr Perry’s housemate called her a “racist bitch” as she apparently entered their home. The woman ignored the request to stop being racist and put her hands in the air while being accused of it.
The police were called to the scene and arrested the woman on suspicion of a racially aggravated public order offence and taken into custody. She was later bailed to re-attend in mid-July. The police are investigating.
Comment: This incident is particularly relevant at present because of the Black Lives Matter protests following the allegedly racist motivated murder of George Floyd in the US. This woman was reckless and is likely to be tried and convicted. If she is, she’ll get a fine and a criminal record. For me, running a cat website, the obvious interest is in the cats who were the catalyst for the whole event. When domestic cats are free to roam they often visit surrounding homes. They might be fed there. Cats have no concept of human made boundaries, doors and ownership. They just see a landscape to navigate and different people. If the people are kind to them they sometimes accept. They may end up being overfeed, obese and diabetic! I understand Mr Perry’s desire to stop it happening.
Her response was clearly outrageously unacceptable. I suspect that she’d had a few beers and lost her self control otherwise she’d have stopped because she knew she was being filmed. She’ll pay for it. She likes cats ironically. Racists can be cat lovers too. That’s something to take note of. Racism is in all of us. It is tribal. Arguably humans are still as tribal as they were 300,000 years ago. I don’t think we will ever get rid of racism which works across all races i.e. black to white, Pakistani to white, and Asian to black for instance. Although white on black racism is the most prevalent.