How to respond to racist attacks? Put your money where your mouth is!

TW: racism, violence, pictures of racist graffiti. TL;DR, if you’re not up for facing that: Racists say shops run by immigrants aren’t welcome. How about supporting your local immigrant-run businesses? Today!


Last week, the Alminna halal shop in Tallaght was attacked. It was broken into. It was defaced with racist graffiti on the walls. It was looted and ransacked, and it was doused in petrol. This was a horrendous attack, causing thousands of euro of damage and- more importantly- showing that violent bigots have no problem acting with impunity against vulnerable people, and that racism and Islamophobia are major issues in Ireland right now.

In a follow-up report today, the shop owners have expressed appreciation for the massive upswelling of outrage and solidarity that followed the attack. Many people have offered to help- they don’t need direct assistance right now, but if there’s anything that we can do I’ll let you lot know as soon as I do.

But there is one thing that we can do in the meantime. How about, today, when you’re popping into the shop? Why not pass by the big newsagents and give your money to your local immigrant-run shop? Go pick up your bits & pieces from the halal shop or the Asia market or the Eastern European place down the road. Or pop into the mosque kitchen for lunch. Because it’s one thing to state that you’re outraged at racist attacks. It’s another thing to make a point of supporting immigrant-run businesses in your town. People want to deface a halal shop with racist graffiti? Time for the rest of us to put our money where our mouths are and SUPPORT the people who are making lives for themselves in our communities.

But Aoife“, you might say. “I have no idea what to buy from the Asia market or the halal shop or the Eastern European shop down the road!

I dunno about you, but I have a fair idea how businesses work. You do stuff, people give you money. It’s a pretty neat idea. If someone comes up to me and says “hey, I have all this money I’d like to give you, but darned if I can’t work out precisely what I’d like to give it to you for”, I think I’d manage to work something out. Like saying “oh hey, you should try this thing, it’s awesome”, or “we just got in this delicious wotchamabobs, they are actually the best thing since sliced bread, which by the way is over on that shelf”. It’s cool, like. You can do it. I promise. And you’ll have nice things. We’ll all win.

And you know what? By doing so, you’re not just going to be showing solidarity with your local immigrant communities (and picking up some tasty noms while you’re at it). You’re also supporting the very kinds of local businesses, small businesses, that we need.

Someone wants to deface a halal shop? Let’s decide, collectively, to not just sit around being outraged. Let’s actually get off our asses and make a point of actively supporting the immigrant-run businesses in our communities. Right now.

Oh, and then check out the Anti Racism Network Ireland, the migrant women’t network Akidwa, the Irish immigrant support centre Nasc, and.. I’m sure I’ve missed out on places.

How to respond to racist attacks? Put your money where your mouth is!

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