Institutional Racism

Yet another British institution is found to be institutionally racist - and this time it’s the mental health system, which really shouldn’t surprise anyone. See BBC report but it’s all over the national British newspapers. On the same day, Rod Liddle in the Spectator reports that the social services are no longer able to help children out of trouble because everything they could do would infringe their human rights. I am lucky (alhamdu lillah) in never having been in “care” or in the mental health system. I have, however, been in the “special needs” system, and was sent to a supposedly special boarding school in Suffolk from the ages of 12 to 16 (1989-93). Rod Liddle complains that they can’t stop a young girl from corresponding with a convicted sex offender in jail (!) and can’t stop kids going out after 10pm. People should not be so dismissive of the concept of children’s rights or quick to invade their privacy. There is a good reason not to allow loco-parentis carers to read (ie. censor) children’s letters, which is to allow the children to communicate freely with outsiders about what might be going on in their school. Imagine if you wrote about something a care worker was doing, or that you had been bullied and the staff did nothing or made spurious excuses - something which happened a lot at my school. Things like these need to be reported and, if the school or care home can’t sort it out, someone else has to. I remember an incident in which the headmaster walked into a lesson, dragged a boy out by his ear, yelling “Who’s a nosy c**t then?”.

I witnessed several incidents of racism both by pupils and staff, including the deputy head calling a boy a “fat Jewish slob” to his face. The best this man could come up with in response to a complaint about bullying from me was a racist jibe against that person. People should think more about the effects of racism, especially press racism, because it makes it more acceptable in society - and this is the result. People being victimised, and people dying. But also, stop your complaints about rights! Human rights is another way of saying you can’t treat people like dirt.

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