Some demobilised British soldiers have struggled to find suitable employment on their return home. In coastal cities this has led to resentment against members of various ethnic minorities, seen by some of the disaffected veterans as having taken jobs that are rightfully theirs. Race riots have already erupted in Glasgow, Liverpool and London, with white British men attacking those of darker skin. Earlier this month this unsavoury racist violence spread to Wales, with Black, Asian and Arab residents attacked by rioters in Newport and Barry.
The worst of the violence erupted three days ago in Cardiff and is only subsiding now. The trouble may have begun when a white mob was incensed at the sight of black men and white women travelling together in a car. Others suggest the spark that ignited the violence was a young white man dying in hospital after reporting that a black man had slit his throat. Either way the city soon descended into bedlam, with white mobs attacking anyone from an ethnic minority. Initially the violence was confined to the port area, with boarding houses catering to Arabs and men from the Caribbean ransacked, but the rioting quickly spread through the city, with mobs setting upon any non-white person they can find (and in at least one instance beating up the white wife of a man from Barbados who had made his escape). At least two men lose their lives in the Cardiff rioting, one of whom is an Irishman shot when he was attacking the home of a Somali priest. Hundreds are injured.
Race riots in Cardiff and Liverpool leave three dead (Century Ireland)
Remembering the 1919 Cardiff Race Riots (National Museum Wales)
Remembering the Newport Race Riots of 1919 (Wales Arts Review)