Thursday, October 29, 2020
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Right-on Welby boards the white supremacy bandwagon

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IT HAS been dismaying, to say the least, to see the Western world bow the knee this past week to the racist, far-Left narratives of radical Marxist organisations such as Antifa and Black Lives Matter.

Following the tragic death of George Floyd in police custody and the ensuing protests and riots, dangerous racial tropes such as white privilege and white supremacy, once confined to the fringes of public discourse and academic enclaves dominated by the Left, have begun to appear on the lips of establishment figures around the world.

The latest public figure to fall in line is the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, who has issued a statement with the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, decrying the ‘ongoing evil of white supremacy’ and ‘systemic racism’. The statement notably failed to mention, let alone condemn, the appalling rioting, looting and criminality being committed out of opposition to ‘white privilege’ in the United States. 

Welby doubled down a few days later when he attributed the disproportionately negative outcomes for ethnic minorities in the UK coronavirus epidemic ‘certainly’ to ‘endemic and longstanding racism, white supremacy’. Does that mean the disproportionate number of male deaths are certainly down to female supremacy, Mr Welby?

Figures like Welby do not realise they are pawns in a game being played by far-Left forces intent on overthrowing the ‘capitalist’ system of the West. As commentator Thurston Powers observes: ‘It isn’t surprising that Black Lives Matter is a communist organisation, but the type of communism they subscribe to is. They are conservative communists attempting to fold the progressive movement back into traditional Marxism. BLM has turned its back on intersectional theory, the modern conflict theory that birthed safe spaces, trigger warnings, and the Oppression Olympics. Instead, BLM is rebirthing the traditional class struggle, reframing it in terms of black and white.’ 

Welby and others have not sufficiently reflected on what they are saying to realise that white privilege and white supremacy are classic racial tropes which serve the purpose of delegitimising their targets, writing off their needs and concerns, and dehumanising them so as to make them the objects of vengeance and violence. This blindness is all the more irresponsible when it is clear that this is precisely how these tropes are currently being used to justify rioting, looting, vandalism and murder aimed (however imprecisely) at white privilege, white police officers and white culture.

White people are not privileged simply because they are white, neither are they to be assumed racist, or to be white supremacist or neo-Nazi. Such talk is highly dangerous, a group libel akin to anti-Semitic tropes that are, not coincidentally, also beloved of the Left. Liberals like Welby for whom white privilege now trips off the tongue as if it is unassailable fact would never dream of talking about ‘Jew privilege’. But the meaning, effect and danger are the same.

It has been amply shown that the allegations of systemic racism in the US police force are a myth. As Kathy relayed last week from Heather Mac Donald in the Wall Street Journal: ‘In 2019 police officers fatally shot 1,004 people, most armed or otherwise dangerous; 235 were African Americans, fewer than the crime rate would predict. In 2018 African Americans made up 53 per cent of known homicide offenders and 60 per cent of robberies, though they are 13 per cent of the population. The police also fatally shot nine unarmed blacks and 19 unarmed whites in 2019 – a police officer, she computes, is 18½ times more likely to be killed by a black male than an unarmed black male is to be killed by a police officer.’

Academic studies confirm this: ‘As the proportion of white officers in a fatal officer-involved shooting increased, a person fatally shot was not more likely to be of a racial minority.’. (See also here.) 

American police can certainly be brutal, but largely, it seems, on an equal opportunity basis. Derek Chauvin appears to have been a generally brutal police officer, and there is not yet clear evidence he was racially selective or motivated. It was an officer from the same police department in Minneapolis who, in 2017, shot 40-year-old white Australian yoga instructor Justine Damond as she approached the police car she had called to report what she thought was a sexual assault then taking place. The officer was a Somali immigrant, who was subsequently convicted of murder, a conviction the Somali Police Association said was racist.Tony Timpa is a white man who died in a similar way to George Floyd, though no great fuss was made then. 

Many of the protesters blame Trump and the Right, but the police department of Minneapolis, like those of almost all the cities where riots are taking place, has been controlled by the Left-leaning Democrat party for decades. If there is systemic racism and brutality in these places (and I don’t assume there is), why have Democrat governors and mayors not done more about it? It’s no good blaming Trump and conservatives for things squarely under the control of the Left.

Yet the message is not getting through and is being drowned out by the growing chorus of Black Lives Matter. Of course black lives matter, just as all lives matter, and no one should be subject to racial prejudice. That includes ‘white’ people, who should not have to put up with being tarred with racist smears such as white privilege and white supremacy and being targeted by thugs or systematically disadvantaged under ‘positive action’ schemes. The sooner right-on leaders like Justin Welby wake up and see the merry dance they are being led in by far-Left activists, many of them anti-white racists intent on precipitating race war, the better.

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Will Jones
Dr Will Jones is a maths graduate with a PhD in political philosophy and author of Evangelical Social Theology: Past and Present (Grove, 2017).He blogs at https://faith-and-politics.com/

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