Friday, January 06, 2012

Racial Issues: UK and race question: Diane Abbott, you are right


UK and race question: Diane Abbott, you are right

By Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

The shadow Health Secretary in the United Kingdom, Diane Abbott, has been forced to issue an apology for her remark "White people love playing divide and rule". Although her remarks come at a time when the English Premier League is getting to grips with a race row, and after racist attacks on Britain's streets, Diane Abbott is absolutely right.

How many young black people have felt across the UK that they are discriminated against, that they cannot walk into a job without being judged unconsciously because of the colour of their skin, how many feel that the police pick on them more than other youths? According to reports, quite a few.

Among the former colonial powers, the United Kingdom's race relations record is certainly not the worst and British society has done a great deal towards banishing racist manifestations from public view, making it illegal to make derogatory racist remarks and having a race relations board which examines complaints of racism openly and fairly.

Enter the Premier League, with Liverpool's Suarez apparently calling a colleague "prieto" in Spanish (black) and Chelsea's John Terry who allegedly called another colleague a " f***ing black c*** ".

Compared with a lot of things that are said on the soccer pitch, including open insults about the behaviour of one's mother and father, what one does with one's sexual organs and whether or not one is legitimate, perhaps being called "prieto" or "black" are not the most insulting, especially since in another incident a ball boy was called "white" and nothing happened.

Conclusion: the more common sense and the less hype there is, exacerbating matters to points to which neither ethnic group expected or wanted them to go, the better. Moreover, muzzling a politician for telling the truth, by claiming that "White people love playing divide and rule" does nothing to allow for a free exchange of ideas, where debate and dialogue can do far more for race relations than drawing lines on maps, determining what people can and cannot say.

In making her claim, Diane Abbott is absolutely and unequivocally right. European colonialism in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries was based exactly upon this precept and the straight lines on the map of Africa bear witness to this. We saw how the FUKUS countries (France, US and UK) behaved and continue to behave in Libya, where the most despicable bunch of terrorists and thugs was armed and aided and set free against the Jamahiriya Government of Libya to protect the oil interests of western powers.

Jumping on the back of Diane Abbott for saying something that is so obviously right is totally counter-productive, to the same extent that taking soccer taunts to levels a soccer player does not even know exist, is risible. Suppose nobody used the term "black" or "white" or "pink" and substituted it by the word "person"? And anyway as Eusebio said, "So what he a player is called black? What is he, anyway?"

And suppose Britain lightened up a bit, stopped being so uptight and prissy and allowed its citizens to get on with living together, something they do so well? Britain's is not a racist society; the media hype makes it seem so and creates more problems than it solves.

Diane Abbott is right and she has the right to her opinion.