NHS nurse Reizel Quaichon has spoken out after being abused due to the colour of her skin.
Reizel posted on Facebook to bring awareness to the horrific incident and highlight just how traumatic it is to be a victim of hate crime.
She stated she was “mentally shattered” at the time of the assault as she has been working tirelessly and “risking her life” by putting in endless hours in an NHS hospital, in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.
She said she was pushed aside by a white couple at the train station as she was on her way to a night shift. As she was elbowed in the rib and pushed aside, the female partner began to shout racial abuse at her.
Reizel has pleaded with the public that the pandemic is never an excuse for racism and this is a time when we should be working together.
She also speaks about how this is not the first time she’s experienced racism in the UK and that she’s seen a rise in it recently, correlating with statistics regarding the increase in hate crimes.
Hate crime has more than doubled in the past five years with racial hate crimes rising by 11% in one year alone. While some of these figures could be due to people reporting more often, there was a rise in racially motivated attacks after the Brexit referendum and terrorist attacks in 2017.
Reizel has pleaded with the public that the pandemic is never an excuse for racism and this is a time when we should be working together
Reizel said: “I dare anyone who doesn’t work in the healthcare environment to come and observe just one day in the hospital.”
She went on to talk about how workers are overwhelmed by the pressures, staff shortages and the lack of resources that are brought to a dangerous boiling point by fear and panic amongst staff. Our NHS cannot cope with COVID-19. It has been destroyed by the Conservatives.
The Government says it appreciates NHS workers but what use is “appreciation” when there’s no funding and no staff? The Conservatives want to sell and dismantle the NHS secretly and may well be doing so right in front of our eyes. A shortage of critical care beds means this country is not equipped for the pandemic because of the Conservatives’ punishing cuts.
The Government says it appreciates NHS workers but what use is “appreciation” when there’s no funding and no staff?
This offensive lack of funding and dismantling of our free at points of access healthcare service, combined with the Government’s hostile attitude to migrants, leads to situations like Reizel’s. The Government either allows or directly enforces racist, hostile and aggressive attitudes and policies towards immigrants and people of colour: as seen with its regular deportations.
As a collective, we must demand an end to this gaslighting from the Prime Minister and senior Conservatives. It is people like Reizel who are suffering as Johnson and colleagues laugh off xenophobia and racism.
Reizel and her NHS colleagues are the ones on the frontline dealing with coronavirus and will be doing so for many more months to come. They should be able to do so without the added fear of facing racial abuse.