Sadiq Khan on the rise in hate crime – and defending himself against slurs

Sadiq Khan, who is the first Muslim of a major western city, has told a radio programme that he used to get into fights as a young child over offensive, racially-charged words.

Speaking of his upbringing, he told listeners on the BBC Asian Network that “most people who grew up in that part of London…got involved in fights.”

“There are some things that weren’t acceptable, the use of the “P word” or the “N word” – and that would lead to a fight,” he added.

Khan also spoke about the effects he perceived the Brexit vote to be having on race relations and hate crime.

“I suspect hate crime has spiked after Brexit because language that was not used in 20 or 30 years has been used more openly,” he said.

“How you conduct yourself publicly does matter. The “N” word, the “P” word, the “Y” word, it was normalised.

It comes as National Hate Crime Awareness Week is well underway, with the Met out and about encouraging Londoners to talk about their experiences.

Hate crime incidents “may involve a physical attack, damage to property, bullying, harassment, verbal abuse, insults or hate mail”, police say.

(Pic: Sadiq Khan)

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