|Montreal, November 9, 2002 / No 113|
by Ralph Maddocks
One of the many so-called benefits of the collectivist view of things is the introduction of multiculturalism as a counter to the traditional culture of the west. That western culture which so many of those to the left of the political spectrum consider to be loathsome.
It seems however that this multiculturalism is simply racism camouflaged in politically correct clothing. The multiculturalists hold that ethnic identity should be a central factor in educational and other policy decisions. Multiculturalism is quite likely to turn countries into collections of separatist groups each competing for power with the others.
In 1965, in the USA, President Lyndon Johnson's Executive Order 11246 required federal contractors to "take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed, and that employees are treated during employment, without regard to their race, creed, colour, or national origin." Johnson's order – he added women two years later – became the basis for educational and other quotas. Today it has become axiomatic that to cure racism one must promote racial and ethnic diversity within all organisations, companies, universities, government agencies and other institutions. Whatever the term used, diversity training, diversity hiring, diversity awareness, etc., the common feature is racial preference. One pertinent question that needs answering is why, if diversity is such a great cure for everything, has it produced such racial division and hostility? Could it be because thinking in racist terms is also racism and ought not to be expected to be the cure for racism?
It seems the height of absurdity to believe that taking jobs or privileges from Group A to compensate Groups B and C, in order to correct some real or imagined injustice, can avoid breeding resentment among Group A. Indeed, concurrently, the real racists become confirmed in their views about other groups and become much more likely to take some kind of violent action against them. People are individuals and expect to be treated as such, they cannot be dealt with merely as ciphers. The answer has to lie in colour blindness and, certainly in the work environment, must involve determining if an individual has the training, knowledge, ability, honesty and integrity required to perform the task effectively; skin colour alone cannot guarantee this.
In real life we all have prejudices and display bias about religion, gender, place of birth, nationality and skin colour. This is not an excuse for not trying to deal with problems in a bias-free way. The focus though must be on the individual, not the group. Racism will be present as long as collectivism is not eliminated. What must be done is to insist upon respect for the rights and dignity of each individual person, irrespective of colour or origin, and stop awarding benefits to special interest groups.
Perhaps no country exemplifies the problems of multiculturalism more than that regulated by the fearless Tony Blair. Blessed with a Commission for Racial Equality, watched over by a band of superannuated friends of the government, the Commission administers the race laws that same government enacts. The underlying principle appears to be a belief that equality among individuals applies only to those whose ancestors have lived in England for the last half century. The CRE, presumably in the interests of equality, proposes among other things that companies determine the racial composition of their workforce. This seems part of the campaign to destroy the individual liberties that England and its citizens have enjoyed for many centuries. Among those charged with administering the race laws bringing about multiculturalism are many who, or whose ancestors, come from countries where the practice of equality and human rights is almost non-existent. A perfect example of this kind of meritocracy might be India where the caste system used to include the "untouchables," now known as Dalits (the oppressed) a semantic change which hardly seems an improvement.
In October this year there was an interesting letter in the Daily Mail which gives some idea of the way the politically correct treat those who do not agree with them. The letter claimed that the writer had written to the British Broadcasting Corporation – of which more later – suggesting that its comments on racial matters were biassed. The writer's letter was passed by the BBC to his local police force and he was placed on a register of suspected racists. Shortly afterwards, at dawn, Special Branch came and searched his house. Failing to find evidence with which to arrest him, his file was then handed to the CRE. This democratic institution subjects him to regular interviews and has ruled that he is probably a racist, largely because he likes Elgar's music, had a Union Jack in his office and owns a Rover car.
Over the last 20 years the left has moved from focussing on individual racist behaviour to claiming that all institutions are racist. The famous Macpherson(1) report, an inquiry into the death of one Stephen Lawrence at the hands of five allegedly white youths, led directly to new anti-discrimination legislation passed in 2000. It also introduced the concept of institutional racism to instill fear in the hearts and minds of the police. A fear which seems to have prevented the rank and file from doing their jobs effectively ever since, judging from the rising crime rate. Government "Stop and search" statistics just released show the following numbers: 1.1million in 1998-1999, 857,000 in1999-2000 and 714,000 in 2001-2002. Strangely, no figures were given for 2000-2001.
The concept of institutional racism has been extended not only to behaviour which can be seen clearly as racist (i.e., specifically excluding non-whites from obtaining services) but behaviour they claim is inherently racist (i.e., adopting policies which while not specifically directed at excluding non-whites, nevertheless results in their exclusion). In other words racism, like beauty, is in the mind of the beholder. In practice this means that only white people are perceived to be racist and if a white person complains about the actions of a non-white person then that person's complaints are ignored to the point of even failing to charge that person's non-white killer.
In this perverted climate, Asian on Black, Black on Asian, Black on Black, Asian on Asian and Black on White violence seems not to be racist. A couple of incidents from the United States illustrate perfectly the truth of this claim. Four years ago, the US press was full of reports of a man called James Byrd who was brutally murdered by three men in Jasper, Texas. The accused picked up Mr Byrd, beat him, chained him, and then dragged him to his death behind their truck. Politicians wrung their hypocritical hands, the media shed floods of tears, and ink, about the enormity of the crime and even the President issued a statement condemning the act. The press in this and other countries country joined in the act, asking what this kind of horrifying act portended for the future of the USA. Obviously here again was a clear example of the racism we are told is so entrenched in the US culture.
The second example occurred just this year when a man named Ken Tillery, also in Jasper, Texas hitched a ride, this time with four men who held him hostage, beat him and then ran over him with their vehicle, crushing him to death. Unlike the case of Mr Byrd there was an almost deafening silence from the various news outlets and the only press report seems to have appeared in the Houston Chronicle. The difference in the treatment of the two cases? In this racist age, the explanation is very simple; the unfortunate Mr Tillery, unlike the equally unfortunate Mr Byrd, was white.
According to the Justice Department of the United States, almost 85% of all inter-racial violence in America is committed by blacks against whites. Watching US television, or reading their press, would not confirm this. Yet strangely, there are no black hate crimes and no white civil rights movement has yet appeared to create sympathy for any of the victims. Nor, in the present atmosphere of racial hypocrisy, is there likely to be one. In fact, to express concern over such attacks on white people would likely bring the witch-hunters out into the streets.
An even more recent manifestation of this politically correct nonsense was the assumption that the sniper who terrorized Maryland, Virginia and Washington was a lone white gunman. How could it be otherwise? So ingrained was the idea that the police were even pulling over white vans! Later a report said that because the police were not using racial profiling they had stopped but failed to arrest the actual suspects several times. So it was that when authorities did finally find their suspect, he defied the stereotype and turned out to be an African-American, a Muslim convert, a member of Louis Farrakhan's Nation of Islam and a sympathiser with the terrorists of September 11, 2001. Of course the suspects have yet to be tried and must be presumed innocent until then.
Returning to England, promotion of this same concept of multiculturalism/multiracialism is such a part of English life that, as mentioned earlier, the state broadcasting organ, the BBC, has been brought into it. At one time, the BBC was universally believed to present a balanced and truthful account of the events. It was not thought to be a propaganda organ of the government, or its leader, distorting events to support political ambitions. This seems to have changed, perhaps not altogether surprising since the irreverent already refer to the BBC as the Blair Broadcasting Corporation.
On one of their web sites(2), part of a Black History Month event, which caught my attention, there is a paean to "Multi-racial Britain" by one Diane Abbott MP. For those who may not know, the good Ms Abbott is a Labour MP of African descent, a lady who was educated at Newnham College in Cambridge and has been a civil servant, broadcaster and journalist. Ms Abbott makes the case that, "From the days when the Norman French invaded Anglo-Saxon Britain, we have been a culturally diverse nation. But because the different nationalities shared a common skin colour, it was possible to ignore the racial diversity which always existed in the British Isles. And even if you take race to mean what it is often commonly meant to imply – skin colour – there have been black people in Britain for centuries. The earliest blacks in Britain were probably black Roman centurions that came over hundreds of years before Christ. But even in Elizabethan times, there were numbers of blacks in Britain. So much so that Elizabeth I issued a proclamation complaining about them."
It is well over half a century since I studied early English History, so to make sure that my memory is not failing me I looked in a few reference books for confirmation of Ms Abbott's statement that "The earliest blacks in Britain were probably black Roman centurions that came over hundreds of years before Christ," a statement which had struck me somehow as odd. As far as can be determined, the first Roman invasion of Britain was that of Julius Caesar on 24th August 55 BC, when the Roman fleet set sail for the English coast, with an estimated 10,000 troops made up of Legions VII and X. It was nearly 90 years later though, that Rome undertook the conquest of the island in earnest, when in AD 43 the Emperor Claudius gathered a force of about 40,000 to invade the island. All the area that is now England was soon subdued and added to the Roman Empire as the province Britannia. Perhaps Ms Abbott's problem is mathematics as well as history, or should it be "herstory"?
On yet another BBC web site(3) the following appears: "The early story of the British Isles is one of colonisation. Firstly, celtic and pict tribes arrived and formed the first communities in the British Isles. Then came the Romans. In 250AD, Rome sent a contingent of black legionnaires, drawn from the African part of the empire, to stand guard on Hadrian's Wall. There is no evidence that these men stayed in Britannia and when the Romans finally quit in the fifth century, the way was clear for the Germanic tribes that would slowly become the English."
Romans described as Africans, e.g. the emperor Septimius Severus, were white men born in Rome's African colonies. Septimius, judging by a reproduction of a wall painting portrait of him, certainly does not appear to be black. Of course, when playing this kind of race game, facts are rarely allowed to interfere with the free play of emotions. Apparently the BBC has allowed its reputation to become involved in this kind of propaganda, hiding behind weasel words like "probably."
This website concentrated on black and Asian immigrants, presumably because they form the two largest ethnic minority groups in Britain today. Although how much consideration was given to those who claim to be Jews as a cultural minority is not clear, they must represent a fairly important slice of the UK population. As a public service broadcaster, the BBC has of course some specific obligations requiring it to meet the needs of minorities and special interest groups. There is however, some evidence to suggest that the minority ethnic groups use the BBC much less than does the majority of white audiences. In this topsy turvy world of the politically correct, the BBC, not being required to make a profit, must continue to reflect multiculturalisn in its programmes and services.
Another example of the way multiculuralism actually works is illustrated by an invitation just issued by the Mayor of London, "Red" Ken Livingstone(4), to a celebration of the Hindu Diwali festival in Trafalgar Square. His invitation says in part that "The event will be a truly colourful occasion, bringing London's different faith communities together to celebrate the festival of light, and the power of good to triumph over evil that it symbolises." Many would applaud Mr. Livingstone for this gesture of friendship, but we should ask at the same time why he could not find the money for a St George's Day Parade but somehow found it for a St Patrick's Day one, and has banned New Year's Day celebrations in Trafalgar Square?
The effect on education of this multicultural hypocrisy is that youth is no longer encouraged to question their own assumptions and those of their parents and society. Students must accept uncritically whatever it is they're being offered rather than use their faculty of reasoning and the exercise of independent judgment. Multiculturalism demands obedience to authority, the authority of the ethnic group. Youth cannot be expected to be colour blind if we teach them that their identity is determined uniquely by the colour of their skin. To destroy or neutralise the faculty of reason will prevent the promotion of self-esteem, and teaching collective identities cannot induce it. How can one expect people to see others as individuals if one advocates multiculturalism? But then that isn't the idea, is it?
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