ONE of the dominant trends in western contemporary culture is to reflect upon our historical misdeeds in relation to European colonialism. This is partly driven by the media’s obsession with examples of racism, real and imagined, past and present, in which white majority societies mistreat their various ethnic minority populations. We see these themes playing out in controversies regarding statues of historical figures such as the slave-trader Edward Colston and allegations made by the former Yorkshire cricketer Azeem Rafiq.
However, despite our culture’s incessant soul-searching and excessive self-flagellation, we get zero credit from the woke cultural establishment which dominates the media, publishing and entertainment industry that we have made any progress in terms of race relations. Walk into any high street bookshop and ask them to point you to their ‘white people suck’ section. Once there, you can browse a selection of titles including White Fragility, by the white author Robin DiAngelo, Don’t Touch My Hair by the half-white privately educated Irish writer Emma Dabiri, who relives the childhood trauma of white Irish kids admiring her Afro hair, and Reni Eddo-Lodge’s Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race.
Without denying that incidents of racism directed at ethnic minorities still occur, it is perplexing after America elected a two-term black president and Britain’s current government is the most ethnically diverse in its history that the media and publishing industry can take seriously any author who posits the idea that white supremacy is a problem in English speaking countries where genuine far-Right parties have very little support.
Now, let’s consider the media and entertainment industry’s obsession with historic racism and the imaginary threat of contemporary white supremacism and compare it with present day examples of bigotry and hatred that can’t be blamed on us pale-faced folk. Let’s take the aforementioned case of cricketer Azeem Rafiq. In November 2021, while he was testifying to a parliamentary committee, we learned that during his cricket career he was on the receiving end of racist abuse. His ordeal was headline news for days and the subject of much debate and soul-searching on how to combat racism. No one in the media tried to minimise what he went through. It was presented as a clear-cut case of white people being unpleasant to a Pakistani man.
However other forms of bigotry and hate in the UK do not receive the same level of scrutiny when the blame can’t be placed on the evil white man. For instance the degree of hatred and bigotry that ex-Muslims in Britain experience from a significant portion (not all) of the community to which they once belonged. While there are occasionally honest pieces covering the plight of ex-Muslims in the press, such as this one, you know it’s never going to be a topic that will be discussed on Question Time, nor will the persecutors of ex-Muslims be mocked by Left-wing comedians.
On the very rare occasion that the media spotlight is turned on predominantly non-white forms of hatred and bigotry, or when individuals from ethnic minority backgrounds dissent from progressive narratives on race or Islam, there is a fierce backlash from others in the media and from many in the political establishment. For example, after his 2016 Channel 4 documentary What British Muslims really think, Trevor Phillips was suspended from the Labour Party and widely condemned by other media outlets for reporting the findings of a survey in which a significant portion of Muslims openly admitted to holding views that were at odds with the values of liberal democracy. Progressives like to claim that they are motivated to stamp out hatred. In reality, most of them are concerned only with perpetuating a narrative that whites are to blame for all the world’s ills. That’s why when confronted with evidence of pathologies and hatred within non-white cultures rather than deal with the issue at hand, they will attempt to shut down the discussion by smearing their opponents as racists or of having a phobia.
Similarly, the academic Dr Tony Sewell, from a black British background, has been pilloried in the media and by the woke cultural elite for highlighting that black-on-black gang violence is related to fatherlessness and for arguing that Britain is not an institutionally racist country.
Britain’s woke cultural establishment are more concerned with berating whites for things dead whites have done than they are with finding solutions to problems affecting living black people.
Over the past year an even more absurd example of refusing to talk about a problem staring us in the face has presented itself. After the jihadist-motivated murder of the Conservative MP Sir David Amess in Southend in late 2021, the media and political establishment spent about a week discussing people being rude and abusive on social media as the main cause of the MP’s murder. Is being rude on Twitter really a stepping stone to joining ISIS?
Only a few years ago our sentimental culture thought it could combat Islamist terror with candle-lit vigils and poems about the wonders of diversity. After that didn’t work, we now just pretend it’s to do with something else.
Dr Thomas Sowell once asked: ‘Have we reached the ultimate stage of absurdity where some people are held responsible for things that happened before they were born, while other people are not held responsible for what they themselves are doing today?’
Not only have we reached that absurdity, Dr Sowell, we have gone well beyond it for some years now.