David Cameron’s ‘Little Brown’ Muslim Upstart Sayeeda Warsi
IN an article entitled “The message? Muslims are not wanted”, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown reacts to David Cameron’s speech on multi-culturalism:
But sweeping, indiscriminate execration of any collective is abhorrent and must be confronted. Warsi did that, knowing her words would infuriate right-wing Tories who can’t stand the brown little upstart.
All right-wing Tories notice Warsi’s skin first? Do left wingers notice it second? Does anyone not notice it at all? It’s multi-culturalism that makes what you are stand out. Tolerance enables you to fit in.
She tells readers that all right-wing Tories see only a “little brown upstart” when they view Tory Party chairwoman “Sayeeda Warsi” – Brown chooses not to use the title Baroness Warsi, perhaps to avoid the risk of making the brown woman appear to be one of the establishment.
Yasmin Alibhai-Brown is an intelligent and honest commentator. And she knows the power of language. As Howard Jacobson wrote of her article on the Jewish collective and Israel:
As a Jew I wish to say that I am made equally distraught by the inadvertent rhetoric of her distress. “Some 600 or so Israelis have been murdered by Palestinians,” she reminds us, wishing to be even-handed. “That is unequivocally condemned by me. But 2,000 or more Palestinians have been massacred by the overwhelming force of the Israeli army.” Note the “but”, which if it does not exactly make her “unequivocally” equivocal again, points to qualitative, no less than quantitive, difference in the deaths. Not just 2,000 as against 600, but “massacred” as against “murdered”, and massacred by an overwhelming force, as though there is nothing overwhelming about a bomb in a suicide bomber’s pocket, and as though it is not a massacre when it goes off on a crowded school bus.
She carries on to talk of Germany and Britain:
Racism is rife in both countries; in both nations, millions of their own natives rigidly hold on to their languages and cultures. Think of those Germans who go abroad on holiday and stay in walled-off camps where only German is spoken. Countless Britons are similarly against integration with the people of unfamiliar countries they visit or migrate to.
Britons – Christians, Muslim, whites, browns and blacks – band together when holidaying abroad, retiring to the sun or working.
Or by “native” is Yasmin Alibhai-Brown speaking of another “collective”..?