Friday, April 19, 2024
HomeCulture WarHow toxic race politics have hopped the Atlantic

How toxic race politics have hopped the Atlantic


A BITTER-sweet smell of vindication fills the air. But WhatsApp-gate isn’t its only source. In the summer of 2020, with George Floyd mania spanning the Atlantic, critics warned of dire consequences for British race relations. The last thing this country needed, we argued, was toxic US-style racial politics. What had happened 4,000 miles away in Minneapolis was of little relevance to Britain. Like lockdown sceptics, we were pilloried.

Well, look at the UK now: on a perilous path towards those same noxious politics. The malign influence of Black Lives Matter on politicians, universities, footballers and statue-longevity grows. Critical Race Theory infects our schools. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) dogma flourishes in Woke Central, otherwise known as Whitehall. Advertising demographics are ludicrously out of kilter. Scheming offence-taking humiliates an elderly courtier.

Worse, it now appears that we’ve emboldened a strident black activism straight from the Democrat inner-city playbook. In a recent GB News discussion, BLM organiser and actress Imarn Ayton went head-to-head with former London Assembly member and deputy leader of UKIP, Peter Whittle, founder and director of the excellent New Culture Forum. The debate was prompted by an imminent report expected to conclude that the RAF discriminated against white men.   

Ms Ayton went straight on the offensive, blithely asserting the poisonous canard that Britain is structurally racist: ‘We have a culture of prejudice and so we need quotas.’ A March 2021 report by the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities concluded that structural racism doesn’t exist in the UK. As we saw, this sparked fury among the Guardianistas: nothing must hinder the progress of the anti-racism industry and its self-appointed captains, ably represented by Ms Ayton.    

What came next showed that the tone of black advocacy in the UK has turned more sinister, more US-inspired. ‘What I need is for white people to work on their prejudice and get out of our way, then you won’t need quotas,’ pronounced Ayton. Playfully inviting Whittle to pick up this rancid gauntlet, host Emily Carver missed a trick. She would have better served viewers by calling out Ayton for what she evidently is: a divisive race-huckster.

For his part, Whittle remained dignified and reasonable, without landing any heavy blows. You can see the whole of the short debate here.

Doubtless Ms Ayton supports a London-based group called the Black Equity Organisation. Its website says it was launched in late May 2022, ‘the week the world remembers the second anniversary of the murder of George Floyd and the global wave of anti-racist protests’ (a wave of unprecedented violence and destruction in the US, lest we forget).  

BEO describes itself as a ‘national and independent civil rights group, founded by some of the most influential Black leaders in the country, set up to advance justice and equity for Black people in Britain’. One of those founders is David Lammy MP, who pops up in this brief, let’s-end-black-persecution introductory video.

Note the weaponised language: the reference to Floyd; the deployment of ‘civil rights’ and an upper-case ‘Black’. It’s no surprise that Al Sharpton dropped in on the BEO crew last month to dispense a few pearls of race-grifter wisdom. ‘The blood that binds us is thicker than the water that divides us,’ he told them. Given the bleak message of victimhood spread by ‘Reverend’ Sharpton and other race-hustlers in the US, it’s a sentiment which bodes ill for UK social cohesion, including, of course, for blacks who have integrated and thrived here.    

BEO proclaims it’s ‘ready for a generational shift and will strive tirelessly to dismantle systemic racism in Britain’. Things are so bad that ‘Hope is not enough. Swift action and results are urgently needed.’ Perhaps it should warn the dinghy migrants about the benighted country they’re heading for. ‘Equity’, backdoor communism, is the name of the lucrative game: equality of opportunity is old hat; it’s equality of outcome that counts now.

Hence copious statistics are adduced by outfits such as BEO, from school exclusion to stop-and-search, unemployment to home-ownership, Covid mortality to graduate income, to ‘prove’ that Britain deliberately oppresses minorities, and thence to demand redress. Marxism grounded in class struggle failed to level British society; the proles were too patriotic. Cunningly reoriented towards alleged racial inequity, it’s succeeding.           

Perhaps we were already on the wrong track. Yet the self-indulgence, irresponsibility and, in the case of the Left, naked opportunism which contaminated Britain three summers ago accelerated the process. The canonisation of a Minnesotan felon, like the coeval embrace of medico-tyranny, filled a void in the lives of people who should have known better, and presented a gift to sowers of discord. As many of us predicted at the time, we’ll be paying the price long after the passing pleasures of ‘I told you so’.

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Stuart Major
Stuart Major
Stuart Major is an independent scholar based in Sussex.

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