In-your-face racism is back (but victim blaming never went away)

Picture of an old-style red London bus, with the number 9 on the front, under some leafless winter trees in a London streetA few people I know yesterday tweeted an article by Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, the mainstream media’s favourite “Muslim” and authority on all things Asian, which claimed that “in-your-face racism” had returned and that she was spat at on the number 9 bus the other day (although it appears to have missed and landed on the back of her seat), and that few people were doing anything to fight it, unlike in the 80s and 90s. Towards the end, which the people retweeting it did not seem to notice, she turns to blame the people she spends much of her media career railing against: Muslims.

Some of what she says about racism being on the rise and that racists often claim that “they’re not allowed to talk about race” are true, although the reason there is less activism at all levels in society is because a lot of that work has been done, including laws banning racial discrimination and setting up government bodies to monitor different types of discrimination. When these groups were all bundled into one under the last Labour government (the Equalities Commission), the person appointed to head it was a middle-class Black man with an English name — a safe and acceptable minority; nothing foreign-sounding or unusual-looking — who had started telling the Establishment what it wanted to hear. But it’s all scene-setting for delivering her real point: that it’s all the Muslims’ fault:

I blame the minorities, too, for the vulnerable state we are in. Islamicist separatism and now Isis terrorism have turned good people off diversity. The anti-white prejudices within some Asian families are mortifying. Grooming gangs have destroyed young girls and also cohesion and mutual trust between the brown and white Britons.

What has “turned people off” is the press repeatedly bringing their attention to obscure activities of small groups of Muslims or individuals, and putting pictures of women in niqaab next to many of them. While a small number of British Muslims have gone to Syria or Iraq to fight for ISIS, the majority of prominent Muslims here have consistently opposed them, and appealed for the western hostages they have held to be released. Nobody knows or cares about the fact that Asian families sometimes harbour prejudices against whites, because they will not randomly attack white people in the street, unlike when it’s whites who are racist, and their prejudices may have something to do with living or trying to raise children (or being raised) surrounded by white racists. Us converts have to deal with that more than most white Brits; many of us have been refused marriages on grounds of “cultural compatibility” and other excuses. Yet most of us do not become racists.

As for grooming gangs, the majority of those who abuse women and girls are white men, as whites are the majority of the population and men are the (vast) majority of sex criminals. That the majority of men participating in a particular type of gang are Asian does not mean most Asians are involved in or sympathise with them, any more than the majority of Sicilians are involved in or sympathise with Cosa Nostra. It does not give whites at large the right to become bigots.

Alibhai-Brown is trying to point the finger of blame downwards, at a weaker group of people (Asians and particularly Muslims) rather than upwards, to the press that foster bigotry (and also pays her wages) and to the white population, in much the same way that when a group of children are punished because one or two act up, they are more likely to turn on that child than on their teachers. I know of a lady who complains that people give her dirty looks because she is a black woman with a child, and assume she is a “baby mama”, but she blames other black women for being baby mamas, not whites for being racist. Yasmin Alibhai-Brown is not really fighting racism, but just to persuade those with the power not to confuse the good Asians with the bad ones, i.e. the practising Muslims she despises, and rails against in her other newspaper articles and TV appearances (where she lectures people who were born here about “British values”, which she makes up as she goes along). So, anyone tempted to hold her up as a fighter against racism should understand that she defines racism quite narrowly, and that her solution is that all the “bad Muslims” should give up what makes them different, except for the cuisine and the prayer (when it’s convenient).

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