RACISTS were having a hell of a day on Sunday. They were allowed to engage in their favourite pastime – inverting the roles and accusing those who oppose racism of being the real racists. It appears that this is the time we are in, as equality activists and advocates must now give evidence that they are not secret bigots.

Of course, it is unfortunate, to put it mildly, that Diane Abbott – Britain’s first black female MP with a parliamentary career spanning more than 30 years and one of the nation’s most outspoken activists on racial issues, human rights, and civil liberties – penned an ill-advised letter to The Observer last weekend that caused an enormous rift in the Labour Party and gave reactionaries a prime opportunity to start a pile-on.

The hurt and anger she caused with her letter is entirely understandable – and she agrees with this, as she immediately apologised effusively and unreservedly, and distanced herself from her own words.

All serious people agree on this: you can’t equate the prejudice against redheads and the hatred endured by Jewish people and the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities. We shouldn’t minimise the violence that these communities have experienced during centuries like this. It is incredibly offensive. Abbott’s 36-year tenure as an MP has been marred by an appalling amount of racist and sexist abuse, a fact that should never be forgotten.

Startling research by Amnesty International revealed that an alarming 43% of all abusive tweets sent to female MPs leading up to the 2017 General Election were directed at her alone. As an Independent MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington, following the suspension of the Labour whip, she has time and time again bravely and honestly spoken out about the relentless threats she faces on social media every single day.

I bet it must have escalated since Sunday. She made a terrible mistake – that is undeniable – but does it justify the sheer witch-hunt that ensued, especially after her apology?

Many public figures have expressed their discomfort at this sorry spectacle, such as journalist Robert Peston and Tony Blair’s former political secretary John McTernan, who wondered in a Spectator column why we found it so hard to accept an apology.

That being said, I don’t really see why there needed to be an argument against Tomiwa Owolade, the journalist who wrote the piece to which Abbott reacted. Her point was very simple – racism is not something only black people have to endure. Other groups are facing hatred, including Gypsy, Traveller and Roma communities and Jewish people. We all understand that we live in a racist society; anyone who disagrees with this is misguided and perpetuating racism.

Any form of racial discrimination against anyone is morally repugnant, and civic society has a moral obligation to combat prejudice. We should make every effort to eradicate racism in our society.

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Racism can take many different forms, thus my experience of it will be very different from other people’s.

Despite my best efforts, I will never be able to comprehend what it is like to be Jewish. I’ll even go so far as to state that, as a black woman, my experience is very different from that of other black people who live in Scotland. Why? Because race is a social construct, and depending on the time and place, different people will interpret and experience it differently.

Compared to other black people in Scotland, my experience with racism is completely different. Since no-one has ever really mentioned the colour of my skin since I have lived here, I feel, weirdly, like my Frenchness is coming before my blackness. In contrast, I experienced severe abuse and/or was the target of cliches in France – not just in school, but even in my adult life.

In some places, my husband – who is white – and I have attracted interrogative looks from people as we stroll together. And in journalism, I have faced questions about why I wanted to live in Scotland and write about Scotland rather than write about Africa... Yes, really.

I have written a little about Africa in my young career, but it shocked some editors and senior journalists to learn that my career goals were unrelated to the amount of melanin in my skin.

It never implies that I don’t care about the lived experiences of other individuals and groups when I draw attention to these particular issues I face as a black woman.

The so-called “Oppression Olympics” don’t interest me. Racism is abhorrent; it must be opposed and expunged from society. And there is no doubt that we must work together to accomplish this, point blank.

Sometimes I feel that the conversation about racism can turn out as a bleak contest where people fight each other to prove that their pain is greater than that of others, as if we needed a hierarchy and to prioritise fights. In fact, it is entirely possible to care about the various forms of racism and the unique obstacles they present.

Recognising and appreciating one another’s experiences, not just regarding race, but also social class, gender, sexuality, and disability, doesn’t negate our own.

Out of all this furore, I hope that what we take away is that we need to fight against all forms of hatred together. This is eloquently argued by Illana Weizman, a sociologist and feminist activist who I discovered a few years ago thanks to her writing on post-partum, the period that starts from the birth of a newborn baby, which really opened my eyes and encouraged me to educate myself on what would happen to my body and my mental health when becoming a new parent.

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Her latest book Whites Like the Others?: The Jews, The Blind Spot Of Anti-Racism, is a manifesto for the convergence of all anti-racist struggles.

“Our common enemy is white supremacy, whether you are Jewish, Muslim or black”, she says in an interview. “When you are racialised, attacking the recognition of Jewish suffering means attacking yourself.

“Nobody is a winner in the game of ‘who is the one who has suffered the most’. This is the biggest knot in anti-racist struggles. Getting out of the competition is the first condition for us to be able to move forward together and fight against a system that crushes us all.”