BROADCASTING live from Parliament Square on Brexit Day, Friday March 29 2019, Channel 4 News anchor Jon Snow found himself in a bit of a quandary: how best to sum up the collective ire of 17.4million betrayed Leave voters, many of whom had chosen to congregate outside the Palace of Westminster in protest? Easy – they were too white. Here is Snow’s commentary:
Absolutely Jon, what are white people doing in London? pic.twitter.com/TIQGFlvz6P
— Frank Haviland ?? (@Frankhaviland) March 29, 2019
Do not be deceived by his name: Snow has had a rough time at the hands of whiteness. Brought up in Ardingly, Sussex, the son of the Bishop of Whitby, Snow has seen more pale skin than most. It can’t have been easy attending those bastions of white privilege, the Pilgrims’ School and Ardingly College, either.
Snow has soldiered on through adversity, even being made a trustee of the pallid National and Tate Galleries (no doubt with gritted teeth). He smiled bravely while being appointed president of the Cyclists’ Touring Club, no matter how shamefully white cycling is. He acquiesced to the excruciating whiteness of the People’s Vote march, and managed to stomach the brazen bleach-fest Glastonbury, provided of course he was permitted to scream ‘F**k the Tories’ intermittently.
Race does not usually feature on Snow’s agenda. You won’t hear him question the race of stab victims and assailants in London; you won’t see him report undercover on the Pakistani rape gangs in the northern cities; and you certainly won’t see him correlate the Labour Muslim vote share with the rise of anti-Semitism in the party. So with Britain 86 per cent white, according to the last census, it’s curious to note that whiteness in the pejorative sense is the only case where his curiosity is piqued on the subject.
Whiteness is by far the easiest way to discredit an individual or a group, no matter whether they are a democratic majority, no matter that their motives are perfectly legitimate, no matter how peacefully they protest, no matter how ridiculously generic a label it is.
What Snow needed, I suspect, was a way to question the validity of these little platoons daring to travel so far south. The elites have oft patronised and stereotyped the white working class (and that is how, regardless of the evidence, they have characterised the Brexit voter). Labour has long since given up pretending to represent them in favour of more woke votes. If Snow had a shred of honesty he’d have called them ‘gammons’ and had done with it.
Sadly, Snow’s comments are nothing new. The campaign against whiteness is in full swing, and has been for years. From universities indoctrinating their white undergraduates that they are all inherently racist to newspapers and magazines that race-bait as a matter of principle, for example the Guardian: ‘We tend to empathise with our online avatars. So let’s get rid of white emojis’; the New York Times: ‘Can my children be friends with white people?’; GQ: ‘White people need to be better.’
Everything white people are involved in is either racist: sandwiches, classical music, maths; too white: the Oscars, Hollywood, Women’s Marches, or cultural appropriation: tea, dreadlocks, Native American headdresses. So if little Annabelle comes home from school clutching her maths homework and dressed as Pocahontas while you’ve got the kettle on, it’s time to cancel the Guardian subscription.
Anti-white rhetoric is now so endemic in our language that the mere prefix ‘white’ is sufficient to render a word derogatory: whitesplaining, white privilege, white fragility. Even charity performed by white people is now distasteful. Comic Relief, who for so long have borne the brunt of such ignominious donations, have finally had £8million worth of white saviourhood wiped from their books, thanks to the visionary zeal of David Lammy.
For woke liberals, ‘white’ is now little more than a euphemism for ‘Nazi’. It allows one to score virtue points without having to demean oneself. I hope that, at least, is not what Snow meant by his comments.
In a predictably non-apology apology which Channel 4 could not even get Snow to deliver, the station said: ‘This was an unscripted observation at the very end of a long week of fast-moving Brexit developments.’ Not a bit of it – the end of a long day without a script is when you see beyond the mask; for Snow it slipped just a fraction.
We are living in strange times. Our liberal masters appear to view democracy as an irritation, whiteness as a cancer, and non-white victim statuses as carte blanche.
For those calling for Snow’s dismissal, I think this is the wrong approach. Snow is the establishment. Firing him for leaking an opinion shared by his colleagues serves no purpose. Instead examine his words, interview him – ask him what he really means. If we don’t get a grip on this dishonest identity politics nonsense (and preferably eradicate it altogether), we are sleepwalking towards a ticking time bomb. Too many white people in one place might then turn out to be a real problem.