7 June 2021 | OPINION

Let us start with some good news. It is now official – the UK is not institutionally racist. The Commission on Race & Ethnic Disparities released a report last month that finally put this matter to bed in the minds of all sensible people. The UK is not a racist country – debate now over.

The race-hustlers are not happy with the report. They see their power and financial income threatened by the truth, for the truth will set people free. Only one option available to them: attack and discredit the authors of the report. They tried, but the majority of people just smiled and saw through this performance. Race-hustlers will hustle; it is their nature.

We now need to go a step further and investigate whether racism exists at all in the UK. I mean white racism against black or brown people. It has become the norm in conversations around this topic that an acknowledgement that racism exists is stated. But does it? Where is the proof or evidence? Do we just accept it on faith?

Let’s have a look at a definition of the word on Wikipedia: a belief that groups of humans possess different behavioural traits corresponding to physical appearance and can be divided based on the superiority of one race over another. It may also mean prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against other people because they are of different ethnicity. Modern variants of racism are often based on social perceptions of biological differences between peoples.

I found many definitions of the word. It does not have a set definition and can be twisted to mean whatever you wish. The new progressive meaning is ‘prejudice combined with social and institutional power’. The new argument is that black people cannot be racist, for they do not have any institutional power. Obviously absurd.

Most white people’s definition is simple: ‘not liking a black or brown person because of their skin colour‘. It is as simple as that.

If racism towards black people exists today in the UK, why does black culture heavily influence our society? Music, fashion, slang, films and sports stars. If white people are racist, why do they imitate something that they dislike or do not value?

A century ago in America, we had examples of light-skinned black individuals pretending to be white. This gained them some advantages only available to white people. Many did so. But today, it is the opposite. Some white people pretend to be black to access benefits available only to non-white people. We have seen incidents of white academics stating that they are black to enhance their careers. Music artists do similar for financial gain. An American singer, Ariana Grande, has darkened her skin and changed her accent to move away from her ‘white girl’ image. British singer Rita Ora from The Voice has done similar; both her parents are from Albania – not Alabama.

Even US Presidential candidate Hilary Clinton changed her accent when addressing black voters. American Senator Elizabeth Warren had to apologise for claiming to be Native American. She had used this lie to benefit her advancement in several careers over decades. A DNA test stated that she had had a Native American ancestor probably 10 generations back. And let’s not forget that many of our young people dress and ‘act black’, for it is seen as ‘cool’ and rebellious. This phenomenon is so common that a new word has developed to describe such behaviour: blackfishing.
 
I do not remember reading about Nazis pretending to be Jewish for career advancement, or KKK members ‘blacking up’ so they could use the ‘coloured-only’ water fountains. There must be special benefits available to non-white people today in society. Otherwise, why are white people lying about who they fundamentally are? It now seems that being white may be a handicap.

Let me give you an example of a benefit of being black. Let us talk about the N-word. This is a word that cannot be used, spoken or referred to in full by anyone who is not black. It is a special word. A magical word. A black person can use it in a hit song, but a white person cannot sing it. This may be a silly example, but true.

Barclays, Deloitte and the BBC have all promised to recruit more black and brown people. They are not the only businesses stating this – many are. How do companies keep this promise? They do it by marking down white candidates during applications and interview selection. We used to have a word for this behaviour. If you want a better chance of getting a job at any of these companies, then it makes sense to pretend to be non-white. I have a family member who confided in me that she ticks the BAME and LBGT boxes on all job applications. She is straight and white.

Many victims of racism I have spoken to discuss being called hurtful names. Name-calling is anti-social behaviour. You fat bastard. You ginger bastard. You black bastard. What is the difference? I am asking an honest question. They are all insulting, nasty, hurtful. Why do we pick one phrase out and say this is the worst? Why is only one so serious that it needs reporting to the police? Why have we passed laws to tackle only one?

Have we not all called a loved one something nasty? We may have regretted it later, but in the heat of an argument, our emotions can get the better of us. When angry, we search for the most hurtful thing we say and then look for the reaction. We want to wound. We want them to feel our pain.

When children engage in name-calling, we tell them to ignore it – sticks and stones. We have nursery rhythms about this type of anti-social behaviour. It has always gone on and always will. But we know how to stop it – we ignore it.

Black football players currently are highlighting the abuse they receive online. All football players receive abuse online. Social media brings out the worst in people. The game is a modern version of tribal warfare. Fans are taught to hate the other side, even if they are not playing each other that day. Football hooliganism is the apex of such tribal anti-social behaviour. Many footballers are targeted for how they look. Luke Chadwick, formerly of Manchester United, suffered years of abuse. It affected his confidence and eventually ended his career early. Constantly being referred to as ugly had a negative effect on his mental health – it destroyed him. The mainstream press also engaged in this targeted bullying. If black players want the abuse to reduce online, then stop reacting to it. The more people openly discuss their hurt feelings, the more skin colour will be used as a weapon. The abuse is directed at black players from opposing teams, never at their players. Is this racism? Or just racist language? There is a difference. There is nothing anyone can do about this abuse online, except starving it of publicity. The ‘Beautiful Game’ has not helped itself recently by supporting a racist, Marxist organisation – just saying.

Question: A white man and a black man walk into a shop exactly at the same time for service. Who does the shopkeeper serve first? The white man first because the shopkeeper thinks white people are superior? The black man first because the shopkeeper does not trust black people to be unattended?

If you look long and hard enough, you can twist any encounter into a racist engagement. I feel this is what we have been doing for a long time in the UK. We use to call it ‘playing the race card’. The actor Sacha Baron Cohen highlighted this by creating a character with the catchphrase: ‘Is it coz I is black?’ I miss Ali G. I could relate to his take on urban youth culture. I never bonded with any of his other characters.

If you think everyone is racist, then when bad things happen, it is easy to jump to the conclusion that racism was the motive. You did not get promoted at work – racism. You see people whispering about you – racism. You do not get served in a pub quick enough – racism. You do not own your home – racism. Your life is a disappointment – racism.

This way of thinking is called a ‘victim mentality’. It can be a comfort blanket, for it allows you never to take personal responsibility for your life. Nothing can be your fault, for the world is ‘out to get you’. It is a solid gold excuse for your failures. The danger is that it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Resentment grows and you become a bitter and unpleasant person. This ends up being the reason why people do not like you, not the colour of your skin.

We allow people free choice in the UK to pursue whatever they wish and to live their best life. But with this right comes personal responsibility. People will make different choices, for they are different. Similar people will make similar choices. This is the reason why we have different outcomes for different groups. British Chinese and British Indian outperform every other group in the UK. They value a strong, stable family structure and education. White British working-class do not and are at the bottom of education and earning power. This is not anti-white racism, just a lack of personal responsibility by a group that is similar in nature.

Do you know anyone who has suffered from elbow cancer? Does elbow cancer exist? Is it worth worrying about? This is how I feel about white racism in the UK. It is elbow cancer – It is rare. Hardly anyone suffers from it, even though we are constantly finding moles, lumps and bumps.

But it is still a cancer and can be dangerous if left unchecked, for it may spread. We need to check the elbow now and again just to be safe. We should not start injecting ourselves because of experimental ‘theories’, on the off-chance, there may be a problem.

Do I think we have no white people in the UK who are racist? No, of course not. Every country and society has idiots and we are not immune. But if we are going to continue to talk about white racism as a huge problem, then we need to invent a new way to count the offenders, for I think they are so far and few in number that current systems are not up to the job.

Nick Buckley MBE has spent 2 decades working across the country to improve the lives of residents and young people. He spent a decade working for Manchester Council in the Crime & Disorder Team. He took redundancy and set up a charity called Mancunian Way to stop young people getting involved in crime. He also runs several homeless projects. Mancunian Way is a multi-award-winning charity, and he was awarded an MBE in 2019 for this work. He has recently become a contact for GB News as an expert on social issues. In 2021, he stood for Reform UK as the Mayoral candidate for Greater Manchester. To be part of his journey, join his community on LOCALS for access to unpublished articles, drafts and early viewing of articles and videos.

3 COMMENTS

  1. A few years ago my wife and I were heading toward the south coast on holiday. We called at the Asda of Cribbs Causeway for Breakfast and petrol. We queued at the cafeteria. The gentleman ahead of me in the queue was black as was the person behind me
    The server served the gentleman ahead of me, then ignored me. Giving both these gentleman huge portions of bacon. I then insisted that I be served next.
    The server then reluctanly gave me a very small Breakfast. At the check out I politely asked to speak to the cafe manager.
    The manager approached me at my table and I told her what had happened. She said it must have been a mistake. I then informed her that I thought it was because I was white. She assured me this wasn’t the case. I said to her it was blatantly obvious to me that the server was racist.
    The manager then handed me a tea bag to share between my wife and I as an apology.
    Could you imagine the furore if a black person had been treated the way I had.

  2. We rarely ever know if a person is racist. Even racists deny being racist for everyone knows it is not a good thing to be a racist.
    If we look for racism we will find it, as the article highlights.
    I have no idea if you were treated poorly because of your race, but you did receive poor service. And you complained which is the right thing to do.
    Thanks for reading!!!

  3. Its not Racism it’s differences, people are fed up of being called Racist at every turn. There will always be differences in all races.
    As with all races there are nice caring people and nasty horrible people. When Jewish people settled here they did not tell us how to live our lives or find a problem with our system,
    history, or faith they blended so well with all of us. I’m sure if many Brits lived abroad they too would comply with the culture they live in which is the way it should be. ‘Racism’ from any race is ignorance and it has taken a long time for all people to understand and accept. Criticising people for putting things on face book 10 years ago is silly and unecessary i am sure if we looked back on comments from other cultures towards white people in the past even between the 4 Countries in the British Isles we would see much disparity amongst them. People who keep using the ‘Racist’ card are doing nothing to enable people to live in harmony. We will always have differences of opinion and it’s offensive to be be racist but it’s equally offensive for people in their own Country to be constantly told they are Racist when so many try their very best to work towards equally for all.

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