Anorak | The elite use Diane Abbott racist comments to divide and conquer the white working class

The elite use Diane Abbott racist comments to divide and conquer the white working class

by | 5th, January 2012

DIANE Abbott MP says white people “love to play divide and rule“. Abbott says this on twitter dying a chat with freelance journalist Bim Adewunmi about black teenager Stephen Lawrence and his racist murderers Gary Dobson, David Norris and whoever else still to be brought to book. She say whites are using a “tactic as old as colonialism“. Is this because black people were always united? Or is it because white people are all racists? The media and her enemies says Diane Abbott needs to explain. Outraged of twitter – that place where fair-minded, right-minded people demand that Emma West be raped and murdered – sense a new target for their hate and intolerance.

(Just as you wonder how worse it can get for Abbott, George #Galloway says on twitter: “Diane has been my friend for 25 years.” Ouch!)

Abbott say her comment has been “taken out of context”.

Tory MP Nadhim Zahawi says the context is that Abbott is a bigot:

“A healthy society should not tolerate any form of racism. DAbott should apologise and resign or EdM must sack her. DAbbott of all people should lead by example. Must resign.”

For what? She should resign as an MP for saying what she thinks? And was it racist? Do whites feel threatened?

And exchange on Sky News ensues:

Sophy Ridge (Sky political reporter): “Can you understand the consternation that your tweet has created?”
Diane Abbott: “Well I was actually referring to the nature of 19th century European colonialism, but that’s a bit much to go into 140 characters”
SR: “But if you look at it out of context, saying ‘white people love to divide and rule’ is a pretty controversial remark if people don’t see it in context. Do you accept that it was not a wise thing to put out there?”
DA: “I think the tweet was taken out of context and some people have interpreted it maliciously”

Some of Diane Abbott’s best friends are 19th century European colonialists.

Ridge adds:

SR: “Well, explain to us then, and for our viewers who are talking about this and there’s a lot of Twitter activity going on, explain to us what you actually meant by it..?”

Abbott’s phone rings. Sophy Ridge, political correspondent at Sky News, says it was from the bland Ed Miliband (no, not that one).

Ridge: “He made it clear she had to apologise personally to him,the Labour party & anybody who was offended.”

A Labour party spokesman chimes:

“We disagree with Diane’s tweet. It is wrong to make sweeping generalisations about any race, creed, or culture. The Labour Party has always campaigned against such behaviour – and so has Diane Abbott.”

The Labour Party deplores all forms of bigotry. Does Tam Dyell know? Does the Labour PR machine?

Dorian Lynskey writes:

I can imagine a world in which Diane Abbott’s tweet that “White people love playing ‘divide and rule’ We should not play their game #tacticasoldascolonialism” would be racist. In this parallel universe Britain is dominated, politically and economically, by an unshakeable clique of black, working-class women and two black men have just been convicted, several years too late thanks to an institutionally racist black police force, of the murder of white teenager Stephen Lawrence. But in this world? Not really.

Indeed. The context is the murder of Stephen Lawrence. Abbott is no racist. She’s a fool. But a racist? Her words are clumsy. But the drive for conformity, for us all to think the right way mean that even a hint of doubt on Abbott means that she is told the leave decent society and that is not fit to be an MP. This is not right. This is the thought police. To couch Abbott’s words in the context of with the poison spouted by Dobson, Norris and their gang is ridiculous and self-righteous.

Is it always racism?

Adrian Hart argues in The Myth of Racist Kids: Anti-Racist Policy and the Regulation of School Life, notes:

“I observed a strange and concerning phenomenon: in modern cosmopolitan Britain, where race is becoming less and less relevant, and where children often have friends from many different ethnic groups, the dominant racialising influence on children is anti-racist policy itself. It is state anti-racist policy that is keeping the question of race alive at a time when many people – especially children – are living increasingly colour-blind lives.”

Lynskey adds:

What this absurd flap demonstrates is the desperate longing of some privileged people to wear the rags of victimhood. Any whiff of black-on-white racism, like misandry and heterophobia, is an excuse for these delicate souls to downplay the dominant prejudice and argue that there is a level playing field of bigotry or, on the crazier fringes, that there is a “war” on white people/men/straight people/motorists, etc. Coming so soon after the Lawrence verdict, Abbottgate is a nasty attempt to pretend that, hey, there’s racism on both sides now. A black man gets knifed to death by a white mob; a black MP writes a carelessly worded tweet about white people. It all evens out.

It’s the attitude of the people who declare it’s political correctness gone mad. Anyone who can recall when racism was the done thing in the 1970s and 1980s – when the police were open about their dislike of blacks; when the murder of a white policeman on the Broadwater Farm estate became a case of the police get=ting the black man – will know

Mick Hume writes:

But here is the thing. The truth is that the less overtly racist British society has become in recent times, the more the authorities have started preaching about the evils of racism and launching new crusades against it. What has altered most is the perception of racism. Where once it was society’s guilty secret, now there is a concerted effort to trawl for and publicise any hint of racially incorrect language or behaviour from the school playground to the football pitch. The less racism is in evidence, the more everything appears to have been racialised. Why?

Official anti-racism has become the beleaguered elites’ political weapon of choice. The old British Establishment used the traditional politics of nationalism, race and empire to assert its authority. Those days are long gone. Instead, today’s political and cultural elites have seized upon the new orthodoxy of official anti-racism to try to give them a sense of moral purpose. Official anti-racism has also become a tool both to demonise and to discipline the white working-class people whom the elites fear and loathe.

Back to Lynskey:

One common response was “Imagine if a white person had said something like this.” Well we’re back in the parallel universe. “If this was a white MP saying black people like dividing white people they’d be out in five minutes,” claimed the opportunistically quick-on-his-feet Tory MP Nadhim Zahawi. It would also make no sense whatsoever, because such a thing doesn’t happen in the real world. The meaning of a comment depends on the power dynamic that underpins it. If a black comedian makes a joke about white people, or a gay comedian about straight people, the audience knows that (a) they don’t mean everybody and (b) they are coming from an underdog position. They are punching up instead of down…

One group that her oversimplification did ignore, unfortunately, is the large number of white working-class people who are at the bottom of the social heap and don’t have the power to divide and rule anything. But they’re not the people falling over themselves to express their outrage. Well-positioned commentators like Guido Fawkes and Toby Young are, and they are deliberately misinterpreting her comment in order to score political points, with the (hopefully inadvertent) by-product of fostering racial tension among those who will only encounter it second- or third-hand. Because when a white person gets a chance to brand a black person racist, especially in the wake of the Lawrence verdict, they give themselves permission to pretend that privilege and power and the kind of deep-seated racism that ruins people’s lives are things that don’t exist anymore.

Intolerance will not be tolerated!

Tim Black:

This in-the-eye-of-the-beholder approach to racism was enshrined in the 1999 Macpherson Report into the police investigation of the murder of black teenager Stephen Lawrence. There, Macpherson provided a broad definition of racism as ‘unwitting racism’, a phenomenon that ‘can be seen or detected in processes, attitudes and behaviour which amount to discrimination through unwitting prejudice, ignorance, thoughtlessness and racist stereotyping which disadvantage minority ethnic people’. Racism, as Macpherson defined it, had little to with any conscious racist intention. Rather racism can be attributed to ‘any incident which is perceived to be racist by the victim or by any other person’.

It was a telling reformulation. Where once racism used to be a property of the acts of consciously racist agents – Paki-bashing, employment discrimination and so on – it is now the property of thoroughly unconscious actors.

This new outrage demeans the very thing it seeks to expose…

Posted: 5th, January 2012 | In: Key Posts, Politicians Comments (7) | TrackBack | Permalink