Irish journalist Zainab Boladale speaks out about the racial abuse she has received online.
An Irish Nigeran-born journalist spoke out over the weekend about the racial abuse she has received online since she began presenting a children’s news program.
Zainab Boladale, a fluent Irish speaker who moved to Ennis, Co Clare, when she was four years old, began to present the kid’s news bulletin News2Day for state broadcaster RTÉ in 2017.
After two years of racial abuse, however, Boladale spoke out about the accounts targeting her, mainly a YouTube channel which featured comments stating she “looks like a monkey.”
As the abuse worsened in the last few months, the 23-year-old Dublin City University graduate decided to speak publically because of her “frustration” at media discussions of racism.
Below, Boladale can be seen speaking in fluent Irish about the abuse she received:
FÍSEÁN Zainab Boladale ag cur síos ina cuid focal féin ar na tarcaisníl chiníoch atá fulangtha aici pic.twitter.com/3aiZIkvSPN— Nuacht RTÉ (@NuachtRTE) November 18, 2019
“I think I was just really fed up, and there was just a lot out there in the media about the questions about racism, whether or not Ireland was racist, whether or not this comment is racist or that comment is racist and I just kind of felt really, really fed up and irritated that were still having this conversation,” she told RTÉ.
On her own Twitter page she also shared some examples of the abuse:
For months and months, a YouTube channel constantly compiled videos of me from my account/social/TV etc. When I used to write articles they’d post it on racist forums - Talking about racism when you’re a POC is tiring because the experience feels overwhelming. pic.twitter.com/xSxgbQ6RIv— Zainab Boladale 🏳️🌈 (@ZainabBoladale) November 16, 2019
Boladale recently left News2Day to join the popular RTÉ program Nationwide, where she says she has also faced meetings in person in which racism was an issue.
“It’s tough when you’re trying to just do your job and you have these things being thrown at you and you have to kind of manage that while trying to maintain your positivity,” she said.
"All of us in RTÉ are disgusted that anyone should have to put up with such vile behaviour,” said Managing Director of RTÉ News and Current Affairs Jon Williams in a statement.
"Zainab's grace and dignity stands in sharp contrast to the cowardice of the bullies who've abused her.
"Sadly harassment of journalists is nothing new. But we expect the social media companies to act quickly and decisively to protect victims. All of her RTÉ family stand with Zainab and abhor any kind of racism."