Why the liberal-Left gets racism wrong
We must be aware that most accusations of racism from the liberal-Left are at best fake, and at worst part of a shabby and authoritarian agenda designed to close down serious debate and ostracise decent people
A very strange survey came out the other day. Data from BSA showed a rise in British people self-identifying as having some level of racial prejudice, from 25 percent in 2000 to 30 percent in 2013.
Predictably, the survey was jumped on by the liberal-Left, which sought to blame a combination of factors such as enduring "Islamophobia" and UKIP's focus on immigration. What nobody seems to have pointed out is that the emperor has no clothes.
While racism remains a painful reality for far too many non-white citizens of Britain, a survey asking people whether they hold racist views amid a campaign from news outlets such as the Guardian to smear anyone and everyone as a racist merely for raising the issue of immigration is bound to be fraught with methodological flaws.
And chief among those flaws is precisely that the way most people self-identify is heavily influenced by the quality (or lack of it) of the public conversation. One can well imagine many ordinary Britons feeling that their quite legitimate and non-racist concerns over excessive and uncontrolled immigration makes them at least a little bit racist. It's the well-I-suppose-I-must-be reaction.
In one sense, the smear campaign from the liberal-Left is quite irrational. UKIP's problem with immigration concerns the predominantly white migration patterns from inside the European Union. Race doesn't come into it. Indeed, one could well argue that having an uncontrolled immigration policy solely for countries that are mainly white is itself racist.
Why does a doctor from Nigeria have to jump through a dozen hoops to be accepted as a legal resident of the UK, when an unskilled labourer from Latvia (no offence to our friends in Riga, by the way) can just jump on Ryanair and get a job in London the same day?
Food for thought, isn't it?
As for Islamophobia, the canard has been doing the rounds for years. For crying out loud, Islam is a religion not a race. A white Bosnian can be just as much a Muslim as a non-white Somalian. Discrimination against Muslims just because they are Muslim is profoundly wrong, but it isn't racist. Not everything that is bad in this world can be reduced to race.
The liberal-Left, or at least the smarter among them, are, of course, aware of this. So why does this particular blanket smear persist?
There are a number of reasons. But first we need to be clear about which category of the Left we are talking about. Because we are not talking about working class, trade union style Leftism. Most people who could reasonably be placed inside that part of the Leftist tradition share the concerns of the wider population. They're decent, reasonable and simply desire a more rational approach to immigration.
It is the middle class Left, still attached to the fraying threads of cultural Marxism, that is the villain of the peace here. For them, the honourable fight against racism naturally merges into other streams in their tradition, most particularly the will to suppress.
This Leftism is totalitarian in its instincts. But, living in a liberal democracy, its adherents can hardly send you to the Gulag. What they can do is to slander you, drive you out of your job, and have you shunned by mainstream society as a "bigot".
Of course, the mask slips when their heroes are exposed as racist themselves. Take the literal and figurative poster boy of the ideological Left -- Che Guevara. His vicious racism against black people knew no bounds.
“The black is indolent and a dreamer; spending his meager wage on frivolity or drink; the European has a tradition of work and saving, which has pursued him as far as this corner of America and drives him to advance himself, even independently of his own individual aspirations," Guevara opined.
Has this stopped generations of Leftists from sporting T-shirts emblazoned with his portrait? Has it stopped young Leftists plastering posters of him all over their student lodgings? Not a bit of it. Ideology trumps everything, and if the race card is no longer useful, it is no longer used.
The Left uses the "racism" smear for purely opportunistic reasons.
While this should have no effect whatsoever on the battle decent people will join to oppose vilification of our fellow human beings because of their race, we must be aware that most accusations of racism from the liberal-Left are at best fake, and at worst part of a shabby and authoritarian agenda designed to close down serious debate.
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