Mansfield musician goes viral with racism video following youth worker's prison sentence
A young Mansfield musician has gone viral on social media after recording a video speaking out about racism after an incident in the town centre hit national news.
Sash Moyo, who is originally from Zimbabwe and moved to Mansfield six years ago, is keen to use his platform as a musician to speak openly about racism.
The 19-year-old recorded a video discussing the social media aftermath after a Mansfield youth worker was sentenced to 14 months in prison for punching a man unconscious over a 'white power' remark, before a boxing match aired on February 23, last year.
Nottingham Crown Court heard William Dennis, 23, of Kempton Road, Mansfield, was ‘a young man who had devoted his life to helping others, and had played a significant role in deterring young people away from knife crime and racism’ however, the judge admitted he had ‘no choice’ but to sentence him to prison due to the severity of injuries received by the victim.
Explaining the reasons behind the video, Sash said: “I grew up in Zimbabwe and have lived in a few different areas in the UK.
"Mansfield is an attractive place to live because of housing prices and more ethnic minorities are moving here – so the tension at the moment is really worrying.
"What was alleged to have been said that night may have been one or two comments, but to a black person, it can bring up years of racism that has been aimed their way.
"The fact that some media outlets labelled Will as a ‘thug’ without including the information on what started it is why I felt the need to speak out.
"It worries me with the level of hatred I have seen on Facebook – both men have families who are having to read these comments.
"I am not condoning violence at all, and the victim’s injuries were awful and life-changing, so the last thing we need is more tension in this town.”
With the prevalence of the Black Lives Matter movement, racism has been a hot topic, with many claiming the issue is not as big as the movement claims.
Mansfield’s MP Ben Bradley also spoke out about his belief that the movement did more to cause a bigger divide than ever.
Sash added: "I experienced racism during my school years, absolutely, so it is frustrating when I read people claiming racism isn’t really a problem in our town.
"It is, and we need to learn from what has happened.
“If I can use my platform to make people think, or at least open people’s eyes to the language they use, then I’ll be happy.
"We need to realise that these kind of words should never be said to anyone – it is not ‘banter’ and never should be classed as that.”
Sash admits he is concerned that the effects of the incident last February may be felt for months to come.
"I can feel the tension is building and I worry that, when the pubs reopen, it’s going to cause an atmosphere on nights out,” he added.
"I’ve already felt it myself some nights previously, and I hope we don’t start seeing more incidents like this.
"Both of these men have paid for that night, that should be the end of it."