Britain this week

Warning: this blog piece contains the author’s political views that some readers will find offensive.

 

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I am writing this mainly as a note to my future self, because I fear that when I reminisce about recent developments in a couple of years’ time, I might be tempted to think my memory is playing tricks on me.

Gavin and Stacey, a comedy TV show starring James Corden and a bunch of other dim but lovable characters, has caused offence by calling a black person… black, and a Chinese person, yep, you guessed it – Chinese, and is therefore pending review and a decision whether it should be taken off streaming channels for ever more.
The show attracted over 11 million viewers last Christmas, with no complaints. But fair enough, Christmas was a very long time ago.

Little Britain has already fallen, struck down by a mighty sword wielded by another crusader fighting racial injustice, that well-known scourge of our country in mid-2020.

Lord Baden-Powell’s statue on Bournemouth-Poole seafront is under threat of being torn down, because the founder of worldwide Scouting movement is now denounced as a homophobe and a Nazi sympathiser. Local Scouts are keeping guard on both sides of the statue overnight to prevent his removal.

Lady Antebellum changed their artistic name in case it offends people. This caused confusion in Britain, because the majority of people did not understand who it might offend and for what reasons; this might be a reflection on the quality of our education.

Statues of Winston Churchill in Parliament Square, George Washington outside the National Gallery, the war memorial Cenotaph in Whitehall have all been boarded up overnight to prevent their anticipated defacing and vandalism during upcoming Saturday afternoon BLM protest in Central London.

Breaking News. BLM have now cancelled their main event in Hyde Park, fearing the backlash from right wing groups. The way I see it, they cancelled, because with Churchill, Washington and several other statues sealed off, where is the fun in ‘peaceful protest’.

According to 2011 Census, 3% of people identified as Black/Black African/Black Caribbean in Britain. This week they are holding the rest of the British population ransom and demand that we re-write, revise and if necessary erase vast parts of our history.

Britain is not a racist country. Black people in Britain are not being discriminated against. The reason why they are ‘under-represented’ in all walks of life is because there are 3% of them in the country, there are only so many of them that can be visible everywhere, all the time.

White people in Britain have been trained, conditioned, and warned to be over-cautious not to think, say or do anything that might be perceived as remotely racist. This has had an effect on me too. I tense up every time I encounter a black person in my professional or private life. The first thought that rushes through my mind is, oh my God, what if I say something and they take it the wrong way and I cause offence.
I live in South London, where the ratio of black people to white people is significantly above national average. Whenever I sit next to a black person on a bus, I avoid eye contact, in case they don’t like the way I look at them. Yes, I am being paranoid about it. Or am I?

White teenagers in my part of London are used to being treated with contempt by their black peers. They are being excluded from black only friendship groups and laughed at for the way they pronounce plantain. They are being told, ‘you won’t understand this, because you are white’. Imagine if a white person said that to their black classmates, what outrage, what consequences that would cause. They would be lucky not to be permanently excluded from the school, because ‘we do not tolerate racism in our school’.

In the aftermath of Covid-19 pandemic, which is by no means over, the country is facing a host of burning issues we should expend our energies on. Toppling statues of founders of hospitals, 18th century philanthropists and builders of the industry, because a racist white cop unlawfully killed a black detainee in Minneapolis three weeks ago is not one of them.

 

 

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