Marsha de Cordova speaks out after media mistake her for two other black MPs

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Community Editor
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Marsha de Cordova speaks out after media mistake her for two other black MPs

Postby Community Editor » Thu Feb 06, 2020 7:37 am

"When the political staff at the BBC ran picture of me and labelled it Dawn Butler, I was both exasperated and upset. It’s not the first time this sort of thing has happened and I doubt it will be the last."

Those are the words of Battersea MP Marsha de Cordova who this week was not once, not twice, but three times confused for other black, female MPs.

On Monday during the BBC's live telecast of the House of Commons, de Cordova spoke up to discuss the agriculture bill. But captioned underneath was not her name. Instead it read "Dawn Butler, Labour Co-operative, Brent Central."

But it didn't stop there. The Evening Standard then wrote a story on the mishap, only to use a picture of Bell Ribeiro-Addy - a black MP for Streatham - instead of de Cordova.

Speaking to the Wandsworth Times the Battersea MP said it felt like she "was being deliberately trolled".
 Image

She added: "In the range of micro and macro aggressions against people of colour in the public eye, this might seem to some as reasonably harmless but as Gary Younge said recently, ‘the message is clear. It really doesn’t matter how prominent, accomplished, integrated, qualified or celebrated non-white people become to a significant number of others, including their peers. They will always just be another black person: interchangeable.’

"What’s worse is that when the Evening Standard reported on the BBC’s mix up of Dawn and I, they used a picture of Bell Ribeiro-Addy, the great new black Streatham MP, instead of me. "It feels like we are being deliberately trolled."

The Standard took to Twitter to "apologise unreservedly" for the image it used. But in that tweet it also placed part of the blame on Getty Images (who have also since apologised) for incorrectly captioning the picture of Bell Ribeiro-Addy.
 Image

A statement provided to the Wandsworth Times from Getty read: "As soon as we were made aware of the error by the Evening Standard, we corrected the caption information on our website and in a notice sent to customers.

"Getty Images holds itself to a high standard of editorial integrity and has robust measures in place to ensure our content ingestion process reflects these standards. Although these errors are relatively rare, we, like all news agencies, regret when these measures fail to capture inaccuracies.

De Cordova said newsrooms and TV studios are still stubbornly lacking in diversity and that this sort of mistake is "just the visible symptom of that homogeneity."

"This is even more than issue of diversity though, I’m certain a black picture editor working on at the BBC would have no difficulty in telling two white female politicians apart so the constant mistake suggest a basic lack of concern," she added.

"We have more women of colour in Parliament than ever before and this is something to celebrate. This is sadly undermined though if media can’t be bothered to tell us apart.”

The BBC did not respond to a request for comment.

Photo: A screenshot of the BBC's coverage from the House of Commons on Monday
  
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Dickyd
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Re: Marsha de Cordova speaks out after media mistake her for two other black MPs

Postby Dickyd » Mon Feb 10, 2020 12:06 pm

This all sounds to me like an attack of the 'cos I'ze is Black syndrome'. Regardless of colour there are many
'lookalikes' out there and people make mistakes so stop making a mountain out of a mole hill and get on with the job that your constituents expect you to do and stop all this trivia!
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rgreil
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Re: Marsha de Cordova speaks out after media mistake her for two other black MPs

Postby rgreil » Tue Feb 11, 2020 7:16 pm

This all sounds to me like an attack of the 'cos I'ze is Black syndrome'.

What an incredibly crass comment. Thinking that all black people look alike is not a crazy pc gone mad syndrome. But an actual micro aggression motivated by (albeit involuntary/subconscious) racial bias. When was the last time that 2 white MP's were mistakenly portrayed on a newspaper because they looked alike??
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chorister
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Re: Marsha de Cordova speaks out after media mistake her for two other black MPs

Postby chorister » Tue Feb 11, 2020 10:50 pm

Dickyd wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 12:06 pm
This all sounds to me like an attack of the 'cos I'ze is Black syndrome'.

I am a white man, and I have to say I think your comment is beyond ridiculous.  I didn't vote for Marsha de Cordova, but I think her response is measured, dignified and restrained.
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LifestyleMum
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Re: Marsha de Cordova speaks out after media mistake her for two other black MPs

Postby LifestyleMum » Wed Feb 12, 2020 4:39 am

“This all sounds to me like an attack of the 'cos I'ze is Black syndrome”

Rgreil & Chorister... well said!
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parsleysong
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Re: Marsha de Cordova speaks out after media mistake her for two other black MPs

Postby parsleysong » Wed Feb 12, 2020 9:34 am

In fairness to the member of the BBC staff that used the picture, the women in the photos do bear more than a slight passing resemblance to one another! I doubt it was a case of them thinking that all black people look alike - this was the bbc after all, hardly known as a hot bed of racism thesedays. I've been told I look like such and such but I don't interpret this as them not being able to tell one person with red hair from another. I think it makes racial relations worse to misinterpret an understandable mistake for full blown racism.
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chorister
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Re: Marsha de Cordova speaks out after media mistake her for two other black MPs

Postby chorister » Wed Feb 12, 2020 9:41 am

@parsleysong - it was actually almost certainly a mistake caused by Getty Images mis-captioning pictures - I would be staggered if the sub-editor who put the piece together (or for that matter you or I) had any idea what any of these three MPs actually looked like (or many of the new intake either, whatever their colour).  Mistakes will happen, and we probably need to shrug, not over react and try to make sure they are not repeated.  What is unforgiveable in my book is @Dickyd's reaction.
Last edited by chorister on Wed Feb 12, 2020 10:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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daddydaycarerocks
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Re: Marsha de Cordova speaks out after media mistake her for two other black MPs

Postby daddydaycarerocks » Wed Feb 12, 2020 9:56 am

From the interviews I have seen, Ms De Cordova is hardly an inspiring individual, the other candidates at the election must have been very poor indeed. Maybe thats more why she is not recognised by the press.
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Starr
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Re: Marsha de Cordova speaks out after media mistake her for two other black MPs

Postby Starr » Wed Feb 12, 2020 2:01 pm

The 3 women aren't even lookalikes though! 😫😂
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parsleysong
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Re: Marsha de Cordova speaks out after media mistake her for two other black MPs

Postby parsleysong » Wed Feb 12, 2020 4:33 pm

I don't agree Starr - look at the photos above of Dawn Butler and Marsha de Cordova - I think they look very similar! in those photos. Just like some people do happen to resemble other people whatever their race and there doesn't have to be anything sinister about it. Making out it's yet another sign of the chronic racism of white people when it's not just makes things worse for race relations and could mean real racism falls on deaf ears.
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Starr
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Re: Marsha de Cordova speaks out after media mistake her for two other black MPs

Postby Starr » Wed Feb 12, 2020 5:30 pm

I know what racism is thank younparsley song - such as your comments about black men not very long ago along with many other stupid remarks that showed up your prejudice and unfounded fears

I dont think they look that alike to justify mixing up 3 women twice and i think this has happened not because of racism but a lack of ability to tell black people apart by those involved..so I'm glad she pointed it out and she/ theybhad every right to be annoyed. Perhaps people should pay attention more to people as individuals...to avoid these blunders
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parsleysong
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Re: Marsha de Cordova speaks out after media mistake her for two other black MPs

Postby parsleysong » Wed Feb 12, 2020 5:41 pm

huh?? 

You've got too much time on your hands and seem to be looking for a fight. Chill out.
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Starr
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Re: Marsha de Cordova speaks out after media mistake her for two other black MPs

Postby Starr » Wed Feb 12, 2020 5:44 pm

I am chilled! We are all chilled parsley song. It's all good.
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