Metro newspaper apologises for publishing letter claiming Jews are part of ‘privileged majority’

The CST said the letter was based on ideas that deserved to be 'in the dustbin of history'


The editor of the Metro newspaper has apologised and printed a correction after publishing a letter that implied Jews could not be victims of racism as they were part of the ‘privileged majority.’

The newspaper's Metro Talk page on Tuesday 23rd November featured a letter from a reader named Vytautas in Sheffield that attempted to make the point that the term ‘racism’ cannot be applied to minorities who make prejudicial statements. 

The letter read: “Racism should not be misconstrued for prejudice - this alone does not infringe on the rights of minorities. Racism is an attempt by a ‘privileged’ majority to undermine the destiny of a minority individual or group - it can only be applied by the privileged. 

“What we term ‘racism’ by minorities is not racism by ‘prejudice’, as the minority cannot affect the destiny of the privileged majority. Azeem was deprived of his potential. 

“But what did he take from Jews when he made his prejudicial comments at the age of 19? For racism to exist, there has to be a power imbalance and he had no power. Let us not misconstrue racism with prejudice.” 

The views in the letter seem to espouse a view held by some anti-racism campaigners that minorities can’t be guilty of racism. 

Social media users reacted angrily to the letter with ‘Jews Don’t Count’ author David Baddiel saying on twitter: “The idea that Jews are privileged and not a proper minority is at the heart of the Jews Don't Count issue, and swirls at the basis of all the dismissals of the calling-out of antisemitism.”

Editor of the Metro Ted Young apologised for the letter saying in a tweet:  “The MetroTalk page is carefully edited with all sorts of views coming in from around the country… Our readers always challenge views that are clearly wrong in the cut and thrust of debate. But In hindsight this should not have made the page. Apologies.”

A printed apology also appeared in the Wednesday 24th edition in the Corrections and Clarifications section of the paper that mirrored the one given by Mr. Young on Twitter. 

Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl said: “It is beyond belief that in the light of Azeem Rafiq’s historic antisemitic posts, Metro would publish a blatantly antisemitic letter claiming that racism is only racism when not directed against Jews. The editor’s apology is welcome but the paper must ensure its letters page is never again infected with racist views.”
Dave Rich of the CST also condemned the letter saying: “The idea that racism towards Jews doesn’t count because Jews are somehow too powerful or privileged to be affected by it is, itself, an antisemitic myth that reinforces old stereotypes about Jewish power while denying us any anti-racist solidarity. It is based on a flawed and simplistic understanding of racism that belongs in the dustbin of history.”

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