Tackling racism and working-class insults | Letters

Kelvin MacKenzie compared the footballer Ross Barkley, who is of mixed race, to a gorilla. Photograph: Paul Hackett/Reuters

As a season ticket-holding Evertonian, born and bred in Liverpool, I read with particular interest the article about the Sun’s latest outrage (Kelvin MacKenzie suspended by Sun over racism row, 15 April). It is shocking to me that ignorance of Ross Barkley’s racial heritage is presented as some sort of extenuation. Are we to assume that likening a supremely gifted working-class man to a gorilla would be acceptable in the absence of a Nigerian grandfather? I deplore racism, but I equally deplore the pillorying of the working class which Evertonians endure at so many matches, where we are invited by opposing supporters to “eat rats in [our] council flats” among other class-based insults, reflecting the ugly anti-working-class rhetoric of the likes of MacKenzie.
Maggie Patel
Warley, West Midlands

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