BY EFFIE DEANS
There were no black children in either my primary or secondary schools. Racist words were commonplace. When I moved to Edinburgh middle class students used racist words to describe shops run by people of Pakistani origin and takeaways run by people of Chinese origin. We didn’t do this in a hostile fashion. It was simply the language of the time. A form of abbreviation. No doubt we should get down on one knee and repent of our sins.
But which of us of any origin has never said a word that is based on prejudice? Which of us has never in anger used someone else’s characteristic to insult them? Have you never described Donald Trump as a “stupid American”? Have you never described someone from England as arrogant, or someone from Germany as efficient, someone from Italy as loquacious?
But Britain has improved. I work in a place where there are people from all over the world. I have never once witnessed any racism towards anyone in my university. Not only that I have never heard of a single racist incident. If a member of staff were shown to be in the least bit racist, if a single racist word was used in private to describe a student or a fellow member of staff, that person would be instantly dismissed.
There may be prejudice that is unconscious, but we have training courses to eliminate this. There may be unkind thoughts, but I have never heard someone called an unpleasant name in the street. I have never even heard of someone being given a poor mark because of where they come from. Quite the reverse.
I don’t know London well. I am not black. I can only describe what is in my experience. We have laws that make discrimination illegal. People are punished more severely if they commit a crime and the victim perceives it as motivated by racism. There need be no evidence at all beyond the perception. We have done our best to create a society that is welcoming, and we have largely succeeded.
Racism exists between all races. The idea that only white people can be racist, is of course itself a racist idea. To treat black people as being incapable of racism is to treat them as if they were not moral beings. But someone who is not a moral being is not human at all. This is the foundation of slavery. The founding fathers of the United States could say all men were created equal while themselves owning slaves because they did not consider slaves to be moral beings capable of doing right and wrong. It follows logically from the word “all” that they did not consider slaves to be men.
But although racism exists in all countries and prejudice is part of the human condition organisations like Black Lives Matter and their followers are uninterested in lessening prejudice where it exists today. They are uninterested in eradicating modern slavery. They are uninterested also in blaming people who were involved in slavery in the past who were not white. There were black slave traders, there were Arab slave traders, one of whom may have been the most famous Arab who ever lived, but only White Slavers Matter.
Black Lives Matter is not about improving Britain. It is not even about making life better for black people who live here. It is quite simply an attack on white people for the reason that we are white. It is therefore racist.
It doesn’t matter what we do. If we remove one statue, tomorrow they will demand another. If we apologise for our past sins, tomorrow they will demand reparations. Britain is being trolled. I learned a long time ago that the only way to deal with trolls is to cease feeding them. Block them instantly. If you don’t there will be no more monuments left.
If it is right to remove Cecil Rhodes’s statue, then it is clearly intolerable that his tainted money should be used to fund scholarships. Oxford University must give it away to the Cat and Dog home or else give it back to the Rhodes family.
But which British firm that existed in the 1930s made no money from trade with Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union. Must we look at every donation and every investment in terms of whether it gained a penny from the evil of others. This again is feeding a troll. Such an audit could only be made by God.
Black Lives Matter wants to destroy Britain. It wants to destroy our statues. It wants to destroy our buildings our democracy and our free market economics. It wants to make our laws racist so that different standards apply to black people and white people. This goal has partially been achieved by putting race at the heart of hate crime legislation, such that the word of a black person who perceives racism is worth more than that of a white person. Racist legislation was previously called Apartheid.
The ultimate aim of Black Lives Matter is to give black people a get out of jail card and to make black people incapable of doing wrong. No black person is ever justifiably stopped by the police. No violence committed by a black person at a demonstration or otherwise may be condemned. It doesn’t matter if a black person resists arrest or even if he threatens the policeman arresting him, it is never justified to arrest him.
Whatever a black person does is always the fault of a white person. Whatever ill happens to black people in society is always because of white racism. Black people have no responsibility themselves. If they do poorly in school, it is because of white oppression. If they are single mothers it has nothing to with black men, it is to do with Britain. If they are involved in gangs, or drugs or knives it is not because of their own choices it is because of racism.
This is to treat black people in exactly the same way as the founding fathers of the USA. It is to treat black people as if they were not moral beings. The attempt to blame white people for everything that has ever happened to black people and everything that ever will happen, is racist. It takes away the moral agency of black people, it treats them as less than human and is precisely the justification for slavery that Black Lives Matter is supposedly fighting against.
Black Lives Matter is a racist organisation. It is a troll. Stop feeding it.
The excellent Effie Deans writes at Lily of St. Leonard’s here.