Fingal Communities Against Racism is concerned that far-right groups are using people’s fears around crime in Balbriggan to push a racist agenda on social media. Our attention has been drawn to appalling racist material circulating on YouTube, for instance.
The far-right use every opportunity to exploit people’s fears, including fear of crime and anti-social behaviour, to stir up hatred and division and turn neighbours against each other. Unfortunately, this is part of a pattern of far-right groups targeting Balbriggan by linking crime with diversity through a narrative of racially motivated ‘gang’ violence. Last August, we warned that an accidental house fire in the town was being used by the far-right to further a racist agenda. By the time the real facts had been established in the media, great damage had already been done. (Please see link to news story below) https://www.thejournal.ie/balbriggan-far-right-black-gangs-5180007-Sep2020/
The reality is that no town is free of crime or anti-social behaviour. However, genuine fears are being played upon by people who don’t care about Balbriggan or its residents in order to push their racist narrative that diversity leads to crime. The result is that Balbriggan and its young people are being portrayed in a relentlessly negative way to the country as a whole; erasing the experience of diverse communities living and working together to create a better future for everyone.
We would urge people to speak out against attempts to divide communities and to report any racist material they encounter on social media. We can all make an investment in the future of Balbriggan by speaking up about the many positive aspects of living here. It is in the interests of everybody living, working and bringing up families in Balbriggan not to let a racist agenda define our town.