Tracy Ann Oberman
The exchanges are not easy to follow, as it seems Ms Oberman has been busy deleting her Tweets, but what has happened can be put directly: she has interpreted Spedding’s comments as calling her racist, and suggested she will be taking the matter further.
Spedding told her “Tracy, you are not exempt from criticism or being held accountable. If you make jokes that are in poor taste or inappropriate or that other people find uncomfortable then it’s right for them to challenge you on it. In particular when it’s on a very sensitive subject … I mean you’re literally the person who got two people of colour confused with one another”. Then came the Tweet that caused it to really kick off.
“I believe I’ve just answered that by highlighting and referring back to what numerous Jews of Colour have been pointing out; Tracy isn’t present when there’s anti-black prejudice about. She didn’t call to remove Katie Hopkins off twitter or David Duke etc.”
Off went Ms Oberman. “The sheer stupidity and arrogance is incredible. Now Gary. Seriously. You’ve called me a racist … and prejudiced to POC. That is a serious accusation and I’m taking advice. That really crosses a line. Apologise please … You’ve called me a racist Gary. Openly and on TL. [I’m] asking you to apologise … That is a VERY serious ALLEGATION and I suggest you retract it immediately”.
As Sir Sean nearly said, I think we got the point. But where was Ms Oberman heading with this? As if you needed to ask: “NO Gary! I have all the screen shots. No nefarious Zio plot [!] here. Many lawyers on here. You’ve called me a racist. It’s a serious allegation. Retract it. I’m asking you openly to do so the first instance. I suggest you do”.
Oh goody, another legal threat. Except this time aimed at an actual campaigner against anti-Semitism, which puts the exchange in the You Couldn’t Make It Up category. And there was more, as Spedding responded “It’s okay to admit you don’t like being challenged or held accountable Tracy. But trying to threaten or intimidate me simply won’t work”.
Sadly, the red mist had descended and Ms Oberman’s mind was made up. She had been called a racist, even though Spedding had not called her a racist, and it needed a significantly sized logic leap to get from what he said to what she claimed. Still, on she ranted. “Gary you called me a RACIST. Either retract that or apologise … You’ve called me a racist”. Thus far, Spedding is unmoved. So Ms Oberman has a problem.
Now she’s threatened him so openly with a lawsuit, and knows the derision that will follow if she backs down, she may feel has to pony up an action. In the meantime, another thought enters: what will all those on Labour’s left make of this episode?
After all, Ms Oberman and her pals didn’t have much problem with those who called “racist” on the likes of Jeremy Corbyn, or indeed his supporters. Just a thought.
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