Radio Host Suspended for Denying He Had ‘White Privilege’ Reinstated

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An Isle of Man radio host suspended for denying he had “white privilege” had been reinstated after the Free Speech Union went to bat for him.

Man, which is technically neither part of the United Kingdom nor a British Overseas Territory like the Falkland Islands but a semi-independent Crown Dependency tied to the British government through its historic relationship with the British Crown, was home to fewer than 200 people who identified as Black/Black British when its 2011 census was taken, along with 1,624 people who identified as Asian/Asian British, 354 people who identified as Other, and 748 people who identified as Mixed — less than 3.5 per cent of the population, all told.

This has not stopped it from being dragged into the contentious Black Lives Matter debate which has spread across the West since the death of George Floyd in the United States, however, with popular Manx Radio host Stu Peters finding himself “cancelled” after denying he had “white privilege” during a conversation with a caller.

The dial-in to the talk radio show had called Peters to confront him over an online post he had written suggesting that “an Isle of Man protest about police brutality in America makes no sense except as a virtue-signalling snowstorm”, claiming that “in 2018 the U.S. had around 50,000 white on black violent crimes compared with 400,000 black on black and around 550,000 black on white violent crimes” and signing off “ALL LIVES MATTER”.

The call included the following exchange, for which Peters was suspended and the matter referred to the Communications Commission to determine “whether or not any Broadcasting Codes were violated”:

Jordan Maguire: OK, so, when you’re saying “all lives matter” that first of all is just derogatory and ridiculous…

Stu Peters: No, it’s not derogatory.

JM: For all lives — listen — for all lives to matter we have to raise the people of all creed, colours, religions to the level that white people’s privilege allows them to be. For all lives to matter, black and other…

SP: I’ve had no more privilege in my life than you have Jordan.

JM: Excuse me?

SP: I’ve had no more privilege in my life than you have. I’m a white man, you’re a black man you say.

JM: If you believe that then you’re already — this is exactly what white privilege is.

Peters was cleared by the Communications and reinstated by Manx Radio after the Free Speech Union pioneered by right-leaning British commentator Toby Young went to bat for him, however, arguing that “whether you agree with Stu’s views or not, it’s clear that he was exercising his right to freedom of expression under Article 10 of the European Commission on Human Rights, which the Isle of Man is required to uphold”.

The Communications Commission said that “whilst issues surrounding race can be an emotive matter, the debate in question was conducted in a fair and measured way, and for the most part, in a calm and open manner”.

It also revealed that it had received just 13 complaints about Peters’ broadcast — compared to 27 communications supporting him.

The Free Speech Union described Peters’ exoneration and reinstatement as a “significant victory”, with Toby Young denouncing efforts to “publicly shame people who don’t subscribe to the latest woke orthodoxies and rob them of their livelihoods” as being “reminiscent of the struggle sessions during China’s Cultural Revolution.”

The BBC, however, chose to pursue the story by highlighting race activists’ irritation with the episode, publishing a report on the People of Colour Isle of Man group insisting that Peters’ comments “were not fit to be said on radio” and that staff should “undergo routine training on how to manage sensitive conversations”.

Manx Radio managing director Chris Sully said he was “very open” to discussing ways to appease such groups, and the station intends to institute staff  “diversity and ethnicity training”.

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