[Editor’s Note: The following was contributed by a British reader.]
Spectator columnist Rod Liddle has apologised for referring to the two men accused of the Woolwich terror attack as “black savages”.
He said in a blog this morning: “I was slightly puzzled by the early media reports of the appalling murder in Woolwich and particularly the wrangling over whether or not this could be called ‘a terrorist attack’.
“Does it make much difference? Two black savages hacked a man to death while shouting Allahu Akbar; that’s really all you need to know, isn’t it?
“In a sense calling it an act of terrorism somehow dignifies the barbarism.
“The media will now go into crowd-control mode and tell us how all Muslims are as shocked by this attack as are the rest of us and how Islam is a peaceable religion. No, it isn’t.”
He added: “All credit to the woman police officer who shot the scumbags, although I suspect we will soon have an inquest into why it took the ‘boyden’ (that’s ghetto slang for police, apparently, dear readers) 20 minutes to arrive.”
The article received a barrage of critism, with Liddle described by many as “racist”.
The blog was this afternoon changed to say “two savages” rather than “two black savages”.
Liddle also added the following update: “To avoid the ludicrous phrase ‘men of Muslim appearance’ I originally used the word ‘black’ to describe the appearance of the knifemen. If anyone took that wrong way, I’m very sorry.”
The Press Complaints Commission Editors’ Code of Practice states:
i) The press must avoid prejudicial or pejorative reference to an individual’s race, colour, religion, gender, sexual orientation or to any physical or mental illness or disability.
ii) Details of an individual’s race, colour, religion, sexual orientation, physical or mental illness or disability must be avoided unless genuinely relevant to the story.