A group representing people from ethnic minorities says that there has been an increase in racism in the wake of the suspension of Stu Peters from his Manx Radio show.
Mr Peters’ comments to a caller about race sparked complaints and an investigation by the Communications Commission.
It found that while he was insensitive, his comments did not amount to racism, and he kept his job.
Now People of Colour Isle of Man has written an open letter about the matter.
It says: ’The result of this show, regardless of intention, has resulted in increased racism on social media posts and articles written by individuals addressing their experiences of racism on the island.
’We have been shocked by the sheer amount of ignorant responses to many of the articles news outlets have published regarding racism.
’Writers of colour have repeatedly had their experiences downplayed and many commenters have argued that the writers themselves do not understand the racism they experience.’
The group says that members were disappointed but not surprised at the verdict from the commission, whose scope was ’constrained’.
’The Communications Commission failed to appreciate how racism and ignorance do not solely manifest in overtly offensive slurs,’ the letter reads.
Mr Peters’ show has been the catalyst for higher numbers of people contacting the group regarding the racism they have experienced on island. It says that Manx Radio has failed to properly address the issue of racism.
’Though discussed, we are yet to see implementation of tangible anti-racist policies and the only structural change to the show will be the removal of "live calls", the letter says.
’This gives Mr Peters total autonomy over conversations and will only create an echo chamber filled and curated by Mr Peters’ personal biases, which is not a win for free speech but the opposite.
’Freedom of speech is a fundamental right and we would like to make it very clear that we do not oppose free speech.
’However, we all have a responsibility to not abuse this freedom to further marginalise and degrade other groups such as women, people with disabilities, refugees and the Black and PoC community.’
The group says that Mr Peters’ statement failed to acknowledge or apologise for his own wrongdoing.
’He has not acknowledged why or how his views have contributed and perpetuated racism and ignorance.
’There is no humility in claiming "freedom of speech" when looking to defend one’s own uneducated opinions,’ the letter says.
The group adds: ’We have been shocked and saddened to receive many stories from individuals who have been racially abused on the island, only to be told there is no legal recourse.
’It seems disingenuous for the Isle of Man to continue to say it is "welcoming to all" when this is happening under our noses.
’We have much further to go before we can claim to be an inclusive and supportive nation.’