Colin Cross had never believed himself to be “racist” but he knew that that is exactly how he would be regarded by many people in today’s modern society where “isms” and phobias framed much of the narrative around socio-religious issues. Colin was a simple man and he viewed racism (along with other ism’s, phobias etc) as a simple matter, he had never considered the use of epithets as racist, believing that deeds, and not words, showed peoples true feelings.
Recently his thoughts had turned to the tragic events in America. Policemen were shooting criminals and suspects and were in turn being shot by people unhappy about them shooting criminals and suspected criminals. Many of the people who were being shot by policemen were black, but not all of them. Many of the criminals in America were black, but not all of them. The people taking revenge on the police were definitely black. Apparently there was now an “action” group in America called “Black Lives Matter” which spent a great deal of time protesting about the unlawful killing of predominantly young black men by predominantly white and Hispanic police officers. Colin was of the opinion that the majority of lives (Black, Brown, White, Pink, Yellow) actually mattered, but what did he know?
Colin could see how, by listening to the MSM or by following social media, some people would believe that all these killings and revenge shootings were somehow racist. Maybe the fact that guns were so readily available in the US and that criminals were so ready to use them wasn’t the problem. Maybe it wasn’t about the fact that law enforcers in the US, more than possibly any other country in the world, lived in abject fear of being randomly murdered when going about their duty. Maybe it wasn’t about drugs, sexual violence, armed robbery or other criminality. Maybe it was, as Black Lives Matter and their SJW supporters claimed, all about race. This got Colin thinking about “ism’s”, how they had come to be defined (if at all), which groups controlled the definition and what impact that control had.
Colin settled himself in the back of the Vauxhall Vector, being a poor traveller he got the window seat, in the back of the car with him were his mam, his aunty Noreen and his cousin Elaina. In the front, on the wide bench seat, were his Uncle Bill, driving, his Nana and, in the middle, his cousin Stephen. Colin was almost sick with excitement; it was early in the summer of 1960 and 10 year old Colin and his family were taking the first trip of the year to a Derbyshire Well Dressing, which was always something special. Not so much for the well dressing itself but for the joy of getting out of the village. It was about going somewhere different, maybe Castleton and Winnats pass, maybe Matlock, definitely a picnic and the knowledge that, on the way back, there would be pop and crisps outside one of the many country pubs on route.
One of the highlights of any Sunday trip to Derbyshire was the drive through Attercliffe in Sheffield, one of the few areas in Britain at that time that was home to a West Indian community. On a Sunday you could guarantee that they would be out and about, usually heading home from church.
“Look at the darkies” said Bill, “don’t they look smart, in their Sunday best”? “Aye” replied Colin’s’ nana, “don’t the little ones look grand, like little golliwogs with their curly hair and their lovely colourful clothes”. Colin, Stephen and Elaina weren’t really listening; they were playing spot the white man, something that they often played during this journey. Colin’s mam said “I met a few West Indians during t’ war and just after, right nice folk and all, always singing and that, mostly wi’out a care in t’ world, I can’t imagine what made ‘ em want to come ‘ere”. “It’s for t’work” said Noreen, “they’re entitled an ‘all, being from Commonwealth and standing up for us in war and that”. In the quiet that followed this exchange the adults realised what the kids were up to. “Now then” said Nana “stop that now, just because folk have different coloured skin it doesn’t make ‘em any different to you and me”. Attercliffe negotiated, the journey continued to its predictable and happy conclusion.
The people in the car on that summer’s day in 1960 weren’t racist; they were a family of two 10 year old boys, a 7 year old girl and 3 adults who were reacting to their situation without prejudice or rancour. The words they used to describe the things they did and saw were not intended to hurt or denigrate.
There is a point to this story, it is easy to shout Racist, Islamaphobe, Misogynist ; it allows the person doing the shouting to claim the moral high ground, to stifle legitimate debate and to cast doubt on the legitimacy of counter argument.
Call a Texan policeman a racist for shooting a suspected armed robber, who he thinks is drawing a gun and you justify, or worse, encourage a revenge killing.
Call someone who kills in the name of a God or prophet an Islamist murderer and be hounded and denigrated for simply stating the obvious or not understanding the problem.
Call a woman out for using language that would be considered unacceptable when used by a man and be labelled misogynistic.
There is little doubt that amongst the millions of people on the planet there are very many that are intolerant of others but generally keep their council until roused by terrible acts. Many who actually hate others but are kept apart from them by borders and laws. There is also a growing number that would do other people great harm simply for not believing in or saying the “right” thing.
Witness the situation in America, where low paid law enforcement officers are put in life and death situations in a country where anything goes and, when they act rashly or possibly unlawfully their colleagues are seen as legitimate targets for revenge.
Witness the ongoing charade surrounding the spate of Islamist attacks carried out recently, all the perpetrators are “mentally ill”, they aren’t true Muslims because the drink or take drugs, they have no direct link to ISIL and therefore their motives are always questionable. Contrast with the attack of a seriously mentally ill man on Jo Cox, a man who had asked desperately for help but who was immediately condemned as a far-right extremist.
Witness the caterwauling female MP’s and so called journalists, so quick to virulently condemn men yet so much quicker to take offence at the slightest challenge to their misandry.
That the Left in our own country choose to focus their opprobrium on the most tolerant society in the world, the indigenous British people, while ignoring the most dangerous because it suits the narrative actually causes more problems than it solves.