A British councillor of Afro-Caribbean origin in the western port city of Bristol has tendered an apology after calling his NRI colleague a “coconut” during a heated debate in the city council.
The term with racist connotation was used by Liberal Democrat councillor Shirley Brown to criticise her Conservative colleague Jay Jethwa, who is a councillor from Stockwood.
‘Coconut’ refers to people of Asian origin who are ‘brown on the outside and white inside’, which amounts to criticising people who try to turn their backs on their own culture and adopt the outlook and trappings of the majority white community in Britain.
Brown, 47, directed the slur at Jethwa after the latter proposed funding cuts for an equality group’s plans to spend 750,000 pounds on teaching the history of slave trade. Jethwa, 41, said it was a waste of taxpayers’ money to spend money on such a project, which infuriated Brown.