RACISM’S DOUBLE STANDARD – REVIEWED
“We’re all too terrified to do or even say the wrong thing; TV shows are banned, products are removed or renamed for fear of causing offence.”
The bulk of this post was written a while ago when a Different Angle was still a magazine. However, now with the extradition of hate preacher ‘Dr Hook’ otherwise known as Abu Hanza, I thought it might be an ideal time to dust of the thoughts expressed in the original article and reblog it with a new perspective since the departure of Hanza has refueled the whole ‘race’ argument albeit for perhaps somewhat misguided reasons.
Tensions in this case started 8 years ago when Hanza notoriously preached ‘hate’ at the Finsbury Park mosque. He’s also known to have celebrated the September 11th attacks of New York.
Hanza, who finally appeared in front of US courts on the 5th October on terror charges, was permitted to stay the in the UK for no less than 8 years, at the tax payer’s expense whilst awaiting the conclusion of a very long and protracted extradition case. The defence against extradition ultimately cited medical reasons but some of his case was based also based on his ‘breach of human rights to express freedom of speech’. Hanza’s lawyers also argued that the original case to extradite him was in part racially motivated.
When this case originally caught the public’s attention, it did not fail to spark controversy, now, 8 years later and in the wake of extremists departure from our country the controversy has been ignited.
This article also courted its own controversy when it was published over 3 years ago but then I guess that was Hanza quickly learned that when you live in a free society you have a basic right to free speech. Each and every one of us will have is or hers own opinion on matters that affect all of us. Here’s my perspective.
A few years ago now, the BNP’s (British National Party) made startling win in London (apparently through proportional representation), I remember that this win did a lot to stoke the racism fire. Whether or not the small gain was a message from the British public or something that was won by default, it didn’t appear to have much of an impact on the crazy practices such as street name changes, and the omission of baby Jesus from school nativities for fear of offending ethnic minorities.
There is an unambiguous double standard applied to racism that, like zombies, is universally accepted by most white people since it appears to be born out of historical guilt and nurtured by a relentless stream of editorials about institutional racism, commercial victimisation and ‘constructive discrimination’. To me, it’s this hypocritical practice, more than anything else, that is stealthily fuelling the fires of racism much more than any public rally because it is tapping into a common British myth; we don’t complain. “ Mustn’t grumble”, perhaps but the majority of us will allow an issue to fester instead. If a hotel room wasn’t to our satisfaction because it was unclean, the majority of us won’t bother complaining, we’ll simply go home and complain about it to friends, family and work colleagues rather than addressing the root of the problem and soliciting change for the greater good.
If we are all reaching for the somewhat oversimplified aim of coexisting in a multicultural society that shuns the oppression of minorities, observes equal rights for all and banishes to history the mere idea of an Aryan race, why is it that, in the UK alone, we’re forever spawning new groups and organisations, such as the NBPA (National Black Police Association), BlackEnterprise.com and the FBHO (Federation of Black Housing Organisation), to name a few. And it doesn’t stop and start in the UK but is endemic the world over with television stations like BET (Black Entertainment Channel) and a myriad of others who, in name alone, propagandise elitism, segregation; in so much as they devote themselves exclusively to their respective communities. I mean, can you imagine the uproar if somebody incorporated the WEC (White Entertainment Channel) or the NWPA (National White Police Association). Culturally, such ideas are inconceivable. However, ‘constructive racism’ is good and rife in many organisations so as to ensure a ‘balanced’ proportion of ethnicity. In my opinion, this practice alone stokes resentment because it’s freedom of choice and fairness here that is quite clearly being eroded. I used the term ‘fair’ loosely since this is most certainly subject to perspective. E.g. a white person may see the loss of a job to someone of ethnic minority as ‘unfair’ whilst someone of an ethnic minority might see the fact that they were denied the post because of their race as unfair. But then there’s a whole argument about that also which I won’t go into.
So, what’s wrong with any culture/group representing its interests? Absolutely nothing. After all, we can’t profess to pride ourselves with our multicultural beliefs if we don’t encourage diversity. The only problem is that we appear to be suffering from an acute case of indigenous self deprecation, it’s almost as if we are embarrassed to be British and terrified of championing our heritage, our culture, our country. What’s happened to the Great in Great Britain? Yes, pundits all over the land praised just how patriotic we’d all become during the Olympics but they then went on to say that it wouldn’t be long before re reverted back to type by suffering once more from a severe case of patriotic low self-esteem. Most will argue that they are patriotic they just don’t feel the need to chant it on a daily basis.
Th reality is that the ‘Great’ in Great Britain has been scared off. We’re all too terrified to do or even say the wrong thing; TV shows are banned, products are removed or renamed for fear of causing offence. The worse thing is that most of these somewhat hysterical knee-jerk reactions are not the brain child of any minority group but of some misguided fool. The effect is the same; we aren’t all equal after all. Some of us are so different that a whole way of life needs to be unravelled to cater for the few of us that are ‘special’ and easily offended.
Yet, you need only listen to today’s hip hop to hear human beings refer to each other as “bitches” and “niggers” (and yes, I nearly wrote ‘N’ instead). But hang on a minute; I thought we were trying to eradicate such words from our modern lexicon? Well, aren’t we? Apparently not, apparently the ‘N’ word is only offensive if uttered by a ‘white’ person but it’s fine if spoken by a black person. Last night, a friend of mine who happens to be a philosopher explained her belief that the reason why black people talk and compose lyrics about the famous N word is part of their quest to re-appropriate a word that indicative of their identity, a word that was hijacked by ‘the oppressors’ for many years. And I believe there is an argument to that. However, I also believe in leading by example. I’m not sure that rapping about a word that has clearly negative connotations in today’s society is a good way of eradicating the emotive subject. Hell, I just had to say the word at a dinner party last night and I’m sure the eyebrows of my own friends lifted! And now as I write this, I imagine some of you will be choking on your breakfast!
I’m not a BNP member, never have been and never plan to be although, to some, parts of this article will probably read like I am, but I do understand and even support some aspects of what the party is trying to achieve…hold up.. hold up… let me explain that, more, I do agree with its commitment to safeguard our culture, our heritage so that it’s not diluted by the guilt of our historic wrongs and the quest to make it right by embracing a multicultural society. I do not support their radical approach to certain issues since they are not compatible with who we are as a people. Furthermore, it’s my opinion that the BNP’s somewhat fanatical stance has turned it into the pariah in an already culturally paranoid society, to the point where membership alone means you are a racist.
It will take a major image makeover and policy review to make the party attractive to the few ‘practising’ patriots whose support will be crucial to its ability to make a difference since, as a people, we often encourage change but don’t embrace fundamentalism. I hope they recognise this and act accordingly since they could be the only thing that stands between further erosion of our national identity and the ultimate demise of what it means to be British.
Have a relaxing Sunday. 🙂
Part of this article originally published in Issue 2 of a Different Angle Magazine