Dublin, IRELAND — “I want justice,” said Mr. Samuel Johnson, the victim of a recent racist attack that happened on his very own taxi on an Easter night.
The victim managed to capture the whole incident on his dashcam, which was posted online. After the video had gone viral, the suspect of the incident handed himself in and claimed to be “100% remorseful”.
Unfortunately, the damage has been done. Mr. Johnson now fears for his safety whenever he goes out to drive.
“I’m driving because I have to pay bills,” he says, “but I’m being more careful about who I let into the taxi.”
Mr. Johnson, from Nigeria, have lived in Ireland for 19 years with his family and legally identifies as an Irish citizen. However, he never experienced racism in the country. In fact, he describes them as “nice, welcoming people”.
“I was really in shock as this has never happened to me before,” Mr. Johnson says.
Despite that, he stresses that racists are everywhere in the world – not just in Ireland. And the only way to combat this is for the justice system to generate a law that would prevent these behaviors.
“We need justice so we can minimize [the problem] or so it [racism] will be reduced so these people will change and become better people.”
Ironically, Ireland doesn’t have any hate crime law despite having one of the highest rates of hate crimes in the EU against people of an African background.
The Immigrant Council of Ireland (ICI) have spoken about the incident and said that this was an “upsetting proof” that race was a factor in many verbal and physical assaults. And now, they are urging for a hate crime legislation to address racially-motivated crimes.
“I want to believe things will change, that with dashcams for taxis everyone will behave themselves – both the taxi driver and passenger,” Mr. Johnson says. “If I suspect any bad behavior from a passenger I’ll refuse to drive and that’s it.”