A university lecturer who has been sent vile letters telling him things like ‘let’s live in the Caribbean’ has said racist abuse has increased over the past four years.
Professor Christopher Jackson, a geologist at the University of Manchester, was told ‘black people like you are a complete disgrace’, ‘let’s live in the Caribbean’ and was asked ‘If this country is so racist, why are you here? ‘.
But when he reported the matter to Greater Manchester Police, he was initially told the force would not look into the matter further.
“If you read that letter out, if you scream at someone outside the pub, it’s threatening,” Professor Jackson told the BBC. Manchester Evening News.
“But the saddest thing for me is that it’s as expected.”
In a letter to Professor Jackson, the GMP said it would not investigate because the letter did not provide any ‘reasonable lines of inquiry to identify violators’ – although it was signed and provided email address.
However, after the case was initially closed, police said they have now reopened the case with “investigations still ongoing”.
In a statement, a GMP spokesperson said the case ‘was closed due to the length of time the crime took place until the crime was reported and the lack of evidence’.
“However, I can confirm that officers have been in contact with the victim and investigations are currently ongoing,” they said.
Statistics show that less than 1%, 155 of the 23,000 university professors in the UK are black.
Professor Jackson, who was asked to give a Royal Academy Christmas lecture last year, said the abuse he received had increased as his profile grew.
‘I can say that racist abuse has increased dramatically over the last four years, since I’ve had something recorded on YouTube and I’ve done a TV show.
‘I think the more visible you are, the easier you become a target because people know you’re there.
‘The most dramatic example of all of this is someone like Marcus Rashford.
He said: “Five years ago, nobody sent him death threats, but now he uses his platform for something other than making a lot of money as a player and People don’t like that.”
A letter that Professor Jackson received with a book argued that slavery was beneficial to blacks.
The sender wrote that they were ‘disgusted’ by Professor Jackson’s daughter saying she was glad he was no longer a slave.
But the father of three said he feels it is important to have conversations about racism with his children, aged 10, 8 and 5.
Professor Jackson said he was ‘quite thick’ – but admitted he was now wary of opening emails and letters.
‘Today, I’m a bit like what’s going to happen here, whether this is something racist or not, whereas five years ago I didn’t think so.
“Today, I think it might not be very good,” he said.
Professor Jackson has taken to Twitter to spread awareness of the abuses faced by black academics on a regular basis.
He says by being open about the abuse, he hopes to achieve a positive outcome.
‘One of my parents said you’ll always find a way to bring someone down, just make sure it’s the right person.
“I think in this respect, this letter proves to me that I am doing the right thing because I have clearly caught people’s attention,” said Professor Jackson.
A spokesman for the University of Manchester said the university was aware of the ‘deeply distressing and heartbreaking incident’.
They said: ‘The university stands against racism and discrimination in all its forms.
‘Our staff and students have the right to feel safe while living, studying and working at university and we will continue to do all we can to ensure that this remains the case. .
‘We understand this is a police matter, but we will continue to support Professor Jackson through that process as well as our internal procedures.
‘If any of our staff or students feel they have been the victim of any form of discrimination, we encourage them to report it immediately to the relevant authorities or directly to the University. University.’
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https://metro.co.uk/2021/11/30/university-professor-told-go-live-in-caribbean-in-racist-letter-15688968/ University professor told 'let's live in the Caribbean' in racist letter