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Aug 09 2017

Cllr Chika Amadi – The Response

We asked Cllr Amadi for her response following the news of her recent social media activities. We’ve now received this, and have published it, unedited (other than line breaks to make it easier to read), and in full.

To whom it may concern.

I am neither homophobic nor a bigot.

I wish to say that as a person I treat every human being with respect and have no misgivings against anyone. I have represented all Harrow constituents fairly, impartially and respectfully since 2014. It is unfortunate that my tweets were misinterpreted, taken out of context and misconstrued while I was Vilified, bullied, intimidated, demonised and abused by innumerable people for expressing my thoughts. For all intents and purposes my tweet was highlighting the fact that adults walking naked (for whatever purpose) in the full glare of children especially where that child is distressed is abhorrent (and not necessarily the parade itself) just as if teachers or councillors or workers should display nudity before children without prior warning and safeguarding them, it will end in jail term. I never mentioned or attacked the LGBT community not even once as it has been made out for which I have been vilified, demonised and called Homophobic. I am not homophobic. I am a tolerant person and I love people as well as helping people. If walking naked before children is now okay and acceptable in the UK, I am afraid The UK has then lost its high moral ground to condemn Saudi Arabia for the abhorrent way they treat females as this incidence clearly shows that the UK society treat female children even worst than Saudi Arabia who I guess will not expose young girls in the public. This to me shows that having the watershed over the media is laughable if it is alright for children to be able to see this type of actions practically. My tweets were far from homophobic rather I feel strongly that matured adults parading naked in front of a child without any safeguards in any capacity is offensive and distasteful in this century and in a modern society. Worse still, parents deliberately exposing their children to traumatic sights must be frowned. Children should be allowed to enjoy their childhood until they are able to make informed choices.

As a black Woman, when I saw that little traumatised girl trying so hard to cover her face and as a black British woman I was traumatised as well. I could put myself in her shoes growing up in Nigeria to see a black male in a parade naked.

On refection though, I think perhaps I would be more careful in my choice of words when re-acting to similar issue in the future and I do apologise for any unintended offence caused. But, nonetheless, this does not negative the substance of my complaint in relation to the distress that the action and public display of nudity caused to some young innocent children during the parade. I thought and still strongly feel that the behavior of a small element of the LGBT participating in the parade was deplorable and the protection of children and putting in place safeguards must always be paramount and I think I was right to point it out.

However, I am rather shocked and extremely disappointed that as soon as someone makes a flimsy allegation against a particular section of the Labour Party, it becomes convenient for the Labour hierarchy to quickly consider suspension or even dismissing that person from the Party. How I wish same principle is consistently applied to all cross sections of the Party and or membership. But that has not always been the case. This is rather hypocritical and extremely worrying! This negates the parties rule around social media suspension that I am right to criticise my suspension in a way because the Labour Party has a rule regarding suspension over social media posts . See here: McNicol’s new DPA guide shows Lab HQ can’t legally use social media to suspend

It seems some animals are more equal than others. Does the Labour Party react same way for all members with protected characteristics as the LGBT, certainly not! This is clearly unfair. I thought one is always innocent until proven guilty. I thought the Labour Party stands for equality, fairness and social justice. Or is it just in phrases and slogans? Clearly, the way the Party has responded and overreacted to this allegation by my immediate suspension before any formal investigation is completely unfair. Did it ever occur to the Labour Party management that it might be politically motivated with some vested interest? If the Labour Party had always reacted same way whenever a member of the Black and Minority Ethnic was at the receiving end, I could have been more sympathetic to why the Party had to react that way. Those who initiated my suspension clearly knew what they were doing. How I wish the Labour Party General Secretary is so swift to act when other members of the Labour Party with different protected characteristics are vilified and abused by others. This is another example of hypocrisy and over-reaction from the Party. Is this what Labour Party calls fairness?

Whilst I do accept that perhaps I should have been careful with my choice of words in describing my disgust of the way some adults were behaving and parading themselves in front of children in broad day light, and to the extent that some of the kids witnessing those half naked men were so distressed to the point that they had to cover their faces. I thought children are supposed to be allowed to remain children with their full sense of innocence. But clearly not! Isn’t part of the responsibilities of any elected representative and their Party is to protect children from physical, mental/psychological abuse? Where do the rights of the LGBTs stops and rights of innocent young children start? Clearly, from the way I have been treated, it seems to me that the protection of the LGBT community is more important than the rights of the rest of us who may think the actions and behaviors of certain members of the group, in certain cases are questionable and deplorable.

I am a prisoner of conscience and a victim of neo-liberal social witch-hunting. This is neither fairness nor social justice! I thought one of the principles of law is that ‘one is innocent until proven guilty’. Clearly, this hasn’t been the case here. Suspend first, the hearing later.

I have represented all members of my constituency to the best of my abilities without favours since elected; irrespective of their individual gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, belief, etc. There has never been any complaint about my behavior nor relationship with anyone, including the LGBT community since elected or indeed even before. If my action was classified as extreme and deplorable, how would anyone define the response from the Labour Party? Is that fair? Clearly not to me! Clearly, I have lost everything within the Party: my re-selection, possible election, and my future political career within the Labour Party because of overreaction of the General Secretary and determination to prioritise protection of the LGBT group against other communities with differing characteristics, irrespective how unfair the action might be. It is very obvious to me that that the rights of BAME communities and those of us with religious beliefs must always come secondary. I am a prisoner of conscience, just like several thousands of the Labour members and ordinary citizens, black and white, who feel voiceless and dispossessed by ultra liberal attitude of the Labour Party which is not evenly applied to all communities.

Aren’t Labour supposed to be representing everyone? Clearly, this has not been the case here. All animals are equal, but alas, some seem to be more equal than others in this case.

Once again, if my action and or my comments have inadvertently upset anyone, I do apologise for any offence or distress caused. I am not perfect. I am continuing to learn from my shortcomings and shall endeavour to response positively to any available future diversity and equality training opportunities, including particularly those courses relating to ‘human empathy’. May I also recommend that the Labour Party should make training on ‘emotional intelligence’ for all members of the Party, especially those in the position of power and authority from the grassroots level to the top of the Party because clearly, this is very lacking from my observation of how certain matters are being dealt with.

In view of the unfair and imbalanced the matter has been handled and how I have been treated by the Labour Party, which has deprived me of the opportunity to be considered for re-selection by the Party membership I have represented without any blemish to my reputation since elected; with a heavy heart, have already informed the Labour Party and Harrow Labour Group that I intend to serve the rest of my term as an elected ‘Independent Councillor’ to continue to represent the interest of Edgware residents who voted me in to represent them.

We all must do more to protect the girl child from every form of obscenities, abuse, trafficking or forced Marriage. I was voted in as a councillor by Edgware residents and the fact that I am a Pastor was not hidden. Living in a democratic nation, I feel it is in my right to hold my personal and religious views and values which in no way affects the way I represent those who reposed trust in me and voted for me to represent them. It is in my right to exercise my right of thought and expression.

I believe that it is undemocratic to coerce everyone to accept only a view favourable to one set of people. I believe in the saying: Live and let live. The UK is a country of Rule of Law but some sections of the society seems to be losing their freedom of speech and freedom to practice their faith without fear of reprisals. This is wrong and something needs to be done. However, I forgive every member of the LGBT community and the wider population for abusing me or calling me unprintable names

Regards,

Cllr Chika Amadi
Harrow Council
8 August 2017

[Footnote: for more coverage on Cllr Amadi, see this post from Guido Fawkes.]

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8 comments

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  1. ACRC

    I can’t comment on the practices of the Labour Party or how it has responded. However, I can say that Cllr Amadi has to work a lot harder to justify herself against being homophobic or a bully given many of her other social media posts (not just the one she repeatedly referenced above).

    For example, from Facebook: “Marriage in English dictionary is defined as a union (joining together) of a male and female. Anything other than this is ‘BEASTILITY! Even animals observe this. And in the eyes of God an abomination and they who practice them will end in hell unless they repent and renounce it!” — Chika Amadi 11th March 2012

    (Link https://www.facebook.com/CH277/posts/190665537703247)

    As a LGBT resident (though thankfully NOT constituent) I can say that I wouldn’t be happy going to her for help or support.

  2. Sonoo Malkani

    You’ve been fair,Paul and allowed the Councillor to express her views.The public have aired their opinions in great detail.Hope we can get some sort of closure on this.

  3. Someonewhocares

    Well that certainly is a comprehensive if somewhat unconvincing “Right To Reply” statement!

    Your response is appreciated CA. However *anyone* who is relatively tech, savvy and who is also relatively high profile knows that Tweets are generally used in/for the *Public Domain*….

    -Similarly “just re-tweeting” even more extreme views than your own may satisfy elements of the Law but does not remove your *own* personal responsibilities regarding content (and particularly the possibly highly- inflammatory nature of these to many)

    As for all the ‘nudity’ comments does that also apply to Art/TV/www ? If not it should – of course.

    – So if you (understandably) want our kids to be protected can I suggest you do something about the internet in particular? And quotes from the Bible are all very interesting but Adam and Eve I assume don’t count? Incidentally some Harrow residents are still irritated you (allegedly) did not pay to use the Council Chamber for one of your Religious rallies either.

    Yes, it seems you most certainly have ‘stepped over the line’ here: And I understand your Party’s response/actions too: “Damned if they do, Damned if they don’t ?”

    You are, of course, entitled to your opinions but what did you expect once you went Public? Sadly you have brought shame to the Party and also Harrow (and the other Councillors) too.

    Overall your ‘remorse’ seems just too tinged with anger to be acceptable, sorry

  4. Concerned Harrovian

    Someonewhocares mentioned that Councillor Amadi had irritated residents by not paying for room hire. I suppose now she has become an independent councillor she can continue to claim expenses.

    ACRC I can understand why you or any of the LGBT would be reluctant to approach Councillor Amadi with a problem. Although she states she does not discriminate her very public statements give rise to the idea that she thinks one thing and says another because it is politically convenient.

    Councillor Amadi does not appear concerned that her social media remarks could be read by children! “God will give you terrible assignment that will put you to perpetual sleep. Be warned” and “vultures will tear their flesh”.

    She is a member of Relate and the Children’s Centre which is worrying.

    She is selective in her bible quotes. She does not mention the following from the Sermon on the Mount.

    The New Testament text is as follows:

    1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.
    2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
    3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
    4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
    5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

    — Matthew 7:1-5 KJV (Matthew 7:1-5 other versions)

    Interpretation

    In the analogy, the one seeking to remove the impediment in the eye of his brother has the larger impediment in his own eye, suggesting metaphorically that the one who attempts to regulate his brother often displays the greater blindness and hypocrisy.

    Perhaps she should study the bible more.

  5. Wealdstone Warrior

    Evening Standard have her rambling on about being a victim ” ‘I am the victim of a neo-liberal social witch-hunt’
    https://www.standard.co.uk/news/politics/labour-councillor-suspended-over-homophobic-tweets-claims-i-am-the-victim-of-a-neoliberal-social-a3607686.html

    There is so much I want to say about her statement, but I won’t. All I will say is, she was elected as a Labour Councillor by some of the voters of Edgware and not as an independent. She should do the honourable thing, resign now and go away quietly.

  6. Someonewhocares

    Good link/summary WW: Read that in the ES myself and also the comments, including:

    “If you want to be in public office, you need to represent all of the people, not just those who conform to your stilted ideals. May your politics career now be in ‘perpetual sleep’. ”

    Concise and no doubt correct! Expect she would need divine intervention to get re-elected too…

  7. Emperor Augustus

    Representing all the electorate does not mean agreeing with every single one of them – that would be impossible. Some believe in EU membership, some don’t. Some believe in same-sex marriage, some don’t. Some believe in uncontrolled immigration, some don’t. Some believe in high taxes, some don’t. How can one person support conflicting views? I believe an elected representative should do what they think is right – that might mean supporting the majority view, or their own view if it’s different. The electorate can assess them at each election.

    What I think we all want is politicians who say what they really think – who wants dishonest politicians? But that means we have to be grown up and let them express their view.

    I’m no fan of this particular councillor but I think the way she has been treated is very childish. Those who claim to campaign for tolerance seem to be the least tolerant.

    1. Someonewhocares

      Well maybe it’s different in your ‘Empire’ Augustus but the ‘elected representative’ is elected to do just that, *represent the electorate* surely… not impose his/her personal ideals/ideas on them!

      The necessary extrapolation is simple enough: If he/she had decided to go naked because ‘they think it is right’ is it?!

      Fortunately we don’t have to wait long (and it could be up to 4 years) to get rid of this ‘misguided’ individual: If I am wrong I will eat my hat/words: Is your crown edible?

      Similarly SHE is the one who behaved in a *very* childish fashion of course.

      PS: I do like your remarks about honest politicians though, but in your position you will certainly know that ‘absolute power corrupts absolutely’ of course!

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