- 15 Oct 21
Stories, insights and messages of support for the campaign against racism in Ireland have been flowing in to Hot Press HQ, from artists, musicians, DJs, broadcasters, sports stars and more…
All Against Racism will be a major theme in the upcoming issue of Hot Press, set for publication on October 29th, with 100 Voices speaking out on the issue.
In a special initiative, Hot Press is working with the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission, to spread the word about different forms of racism, and how people are affected across the island of Ireland on a day-to-day basis. The issue will also carry expressions of enthusiasm and support for the idea of a truly multicultural island of equals – and the huge potential that Ireland has to become a world leader in equality and egalitarianism.
“Ireland is at a pivotal moment in all sorts of ways,” Hot Press editor Niall Stokes said. “The pandemic has highlighted a lot of the fault lines in Irish society. The experience has been devastating in so many ways for hundreds of thousands of people who live here.
“But the past two traumatic years have also demonstrated two things. The first is that Government can – and should – intervene more, invest more and put the resources into the process of equalisation, which is at the heart of a stable, just and fair democracy.
"The second is that we all become stronger if we work together, and support one another. The aim has to be to move beyond pointless, unnecessary and damaging antagonisms that are essentially wasteful, to a place where a commitment to mutual respect and support drives meaningful engagement in society, and in the democratic process.
“Ireland is a relatively wealthy country. There is no reason why we cannot accommodate people of different backgrounds, colours, nationalities and creeds as equals. It has been wonderful over the past 20 or 30 years, to observe the complete transformation which has happened in Ireland – with people arriving here to work and live from all over Europe, as well as from Africa, the Americas, Asia and Australia. We need more of that, not less.
"The ethos of equality for all is not hard to understand. Every citizen, and every worker, is entitled to equal treatment in life, love, education, culture, music, sport and work – and in terms of being afforded the opportunities to realise their potential to the full.
“Anything which operates as an obstacle to that ideal of equal treatment for all – irrespective also of gender identity or sexual orientation – needs to be examined, addressed and changed. But in addition, it is vital that there is a change too in the way in which we look at, relate to and treat people in what have traditionally been minority groups.
“Our All Against Racism special is a way of addressing that challenge. It comes at a special moment in music and sport – where the new melting pot is producing benefits that brook no argument. We have seen it in music with the emergence of new Irish stars like Denise Chaila, Reggie Snow, Tolu Makay, Loah, JYellowL, Zeinab (pictured above) and lots more.
"But it is happening too in football, with the emergence of a new wave of really top class young black Irish players, including Gavin Bazunu, Andrew Omobamidele, Adam Idah and Chiedozie Ogbene, among others. Hearing these young men speak, and seeing them in action, since they were brought into the Irish squad, has been inspirational. There is a quality of composure and of thoughtfulness about what they have said and done which is hugely impressive.
“It should go without saying that anyone who might try to depict any one of them – including Chiedozie Ogbene, who was born in Nigeria – as somehow less than the players they work with in the Ireland squad would be stupidly wrong-headed, prejudiced and insulting.
"The Irish football team now is a powerful example of how we all benefit from working together, embracing differences and aiming to up our game as a people and as a country. That is something from which we all can, and should learn. Hopefully our 100 Voices: All Against Racism special will help to bring the day closer when the vestiges of racism, and the inequality that goes hand in hand with it, can be eliminated from the island of Ireland.”
People can pre-purchase the next issue of Hot Press here...
Photo credit: instagram/zeinabofficial