Red alert for the partisan media: black man takes his gas cylinder on the bus

Black man, not Maltese, gas cylinder, public transport... danger ahead for the PN media

Some stories just write themselves. At a time when the Opposition is facing criticism for pandering to racist sympathies, its official news website decided to run a scare story about a black man taking a gas cylinder for a bus ride with him.

The mundane event ostensibly made the news for safety reasons: a standard “look at this silly man” piece. But the five-sentence unsigned article’s xenophobic undertones are impossible to overlook.

“Persons who spoke to us explained their fear during this trip. They told us that although the man eventually didn’t do anything, nobody knew what his intentions could have been,” reads the Maltese-language article.

READ MORE Five reasons the PN is strategically wrong to pander to xenophobia

The final two sentences are the usual window-dressing, last refuge of the person who knows they are in the wrong, disclaimers: “It was noted that even if the intentions of the passenger were not evil, God forbid an accident or even an impact with the bus occurred. So much so, that on the orders of the driver, the passenger was seen holding on to the cylinder for the entire trip, amongst fears that it for some reason, rolls.”

And spontaneously explodes, it neglected to add.

Because anyone who has ever seen the way gas cylinders are distributed – tossed on to and off the back of those trucks with the loud multi-pitch horns, clanging their “hellos” and “how-do-you-dos” to each other as the thick metal cases impact each other, would know that a rolling gas cylinder is as dangerous as any other rolling hard object, like a suitcase, for example. Suitcases on buses, strangely, do not generally make the news.

What’s wrong with migrants’ businesses now? PN candidate sets tone of campaign

The sinister implication hiding in between the lines is that the man could have been planning to use the gas cylinder to blow up the bus in a Looney Tunes inspired suicide attack and that the reason for this is because he is... black.

Forget that he might have needed it to cook at home. Black man, not Maltese, gas cylinder, public transport: probable terrorist.

The short article was left unsigned, allowed to pander to an insular fear of the non-Maltese, intended to create suspicion where none is warranted.

More in National