Monday, March 26, 2007

Apologising for slavery...

There's a brace of pieces on the orgy of breast-beating about slavery over at spiked. As you would expect Mick Hume and co find the spectacle faintly nauseating and not a little bit racist. But it's not just the official 'anti-racist' line that is sickeningly racist in perpetuating victimhood, it's also the self-perpetuated wallowing in it from many black commentators.

As someone who grew up in the 70s in London, I can remember what real racism was like. Vicious, pervasive and oppressive. To pretend that we are still in the same place now is delusional. And to blame every ill suffered by black communities on enduring racism and the by-products of slavery is insulting to those who really suffered racism in the pas. It's also a convenient way of avoiding the hard questions about black culture that need to be addressed if things are ever going to change.

The fact is that crime and economic under-achievement are related to economic factors. Working class kids - white, Afro-Caribbean, Bangladeshi - do worse than their middle class counter-parts. Race is almost incidental when the norm is that working class kids (and their families) see little value in education or hard-work. The 'respect or else' culture is endemic to many communities, black and white, and it's bugger all to do with the heritage of slavery.

No comments: