Ask A Woman: Barrister Alex Wilson discusses racism in the court room and why cancel culture can be harmful

Alex Wilson joins Julie Etchingham's podcast to discuss her journey into law. Credit: Twitter/ @EssexBarrister

Julie Etchingham is back with another series of Ask A Woman - the podcast that talks to bright, powerful, fascinating and funny women.

This series, the ITV News presenter is out to find out what each guest has learned in lockdown and ask them what comes next.

Barrister Alex Wilson joins to discuss cancel culture, navigating Oxford University and why she's proud to be fighting against racism in the court room. Listen here:

Alex has been a practicing barrister for over two years and has recently published her first book 'In Black and White'. Through her work she challenges discrimination in the court room, having been mistaken for a defendant on more than one occasion.

In September last year, Alex tweeted her frustration at being stopped from going into court multiple times.

Alex tells Julie: "It shows that even when the whole world is talking about racism, even when we're so alert to it, people can act in frankly racist ways without even a second thought."

When asked about whether much had changed, she added: "Sadly, I'm not sure a huge amount has changed yet, I think that more conversations are being had which is really important."

One issue the pair talk about in the episode is when to call out racism and why cancel culture can be harmful.Speaking after England cricketer Ollie Robinson was suspended over sexist and racist tweets, Alex said: "It's more difficult than it first appears because I do think that we have to have a society and a system that gives people the opportunity to rehabilitate, to become better versions of themselves."I think cancel culture is difficult and by cancel culture I mean this idea that we just sort of say 'this person's a racist and they should never play for England again.'"She added: "I do think it's really important that we give people the opportunity to be able to better themselves because otherwise all this effort is pointless."Everything that I'm doing now, what is the point if we have the view that if someone's been racist once they can never change?"

Julie Etchingham's podcast sees the ITV News presenter seek insights and wisdom from a range of inspiring women. Credit: ITV News

In the episode, they also discuss:

2:46 - being mistaken for a defendant in court

11:07 - how losing a close friend to knife crime inspired her journey into law

13:50 - navigating Oxford University 

20:21 - convincing her family it was right for her to become a criminal barrister(or something similar)

24:20 - what Boris Johnson needs to do to make a stand against racism 

32:05 - how young women are changing the world

38:00 - why she's embarrassed by how the public treated Meghan Markle 

40:25 - what she wants to achieve with her group Black Women in Law

Missed any of the first series of Ask A Woman? You can check out more episodes below: