People have been coming to me for interview this week. In the middle of the riots a woman candidate phoned up and said ‘I’m on my way – is there anything I need to know about road blocks etc?’
I told her there was no problem where we lived, and she arrived safely.
Later the same day a male candidate phoned me. He had heard that some of the roads might be closed. He thought it might be difficult. Could we postpone?
Last night we were due to have a planning meeting for a major event we are holding in a week’s time. The West Indian woman leader of a fellow congregation phoned. She had heard that the Asians had promised to kill three black men and rape the women every day. She was scared, and wouldn’t come.
I sympathise with her fear, but it is a stupid rumour, without any foundation in fact, probably arising out of the guilt of the black community that the murders up the road this week were done by young black men.
Such attitudes do not show any attempt to heal the community, to confront the issues, or to show faith instead of fear.
And I can’t help thinking, how come it’s OK for us to live here in the middle of it, but not OK for people living in safe middle-class suburbs to come here … ???