Tories, right-wing commentators and Labour leaders have reacted to a tweet by Diane Abbott MP with mock outrage. Sanum Ghafoor takes a different view.
Dear white people offended by Diane Abbott's generalisation,
Now you know how we feel.
Did you hear the news? Diane Abbott hates white people. What, every single one of them? For the ignorant folk looking for something that isn’t quite there, yes she does indeed hate every one of them.
Of course Twitter isn’t the place to have a serious discussion about British history, and of course Diane shouldn’t have worded it as she did. But doesn't she have a point?
Half the people calling for her to resign probably don’t even know what colonialism is. Ermm... is that a new men’s cologne?
We all know she didn’t mean every single white person, but the hawk-like journalists swooping in for a tasty prey - and don’t forget our gloating Tory MPs - crave a bit of drama, a bit of action, a bit scandal. Plus, its always a bonus to watch someone squirm and apologize profusely - popcorn at the ready.
But there’s more to it than that. What better way to clear the headlines of the institutionally racist police than to shift the blame to a black MP. ‘You see! This is why we have a problem – these black people are RACIST TO US!’
Tory MP Nadhim Zahawi has said, with no apparent grasp of the realities of racism in our society, ‘If this was a white MP saying black people like dividing white people, they'd be out in five minutes.’
Well Nadhim, I wouldn’t say exactly five minutes. I’d say closer to 18 years. That’s how long it took to bring any sort of justice to Stephen Lawrence and his family.
Let’s not pretend there’s never been such a thing as white supremacy; you only have to open a history book to be corrected.
Take Papua New Guinea for example. White Europeans from 1884 onwards – and later Australian colonisers too – felt entitled to systematically exclude the many diverse indigenous groups from the wealth and resources of the colony. It was forbidden for a black man to have sex with a white woman, but of course, it was completely fine for white men to have sex with black women.
Regardless of how you may try to disguise it, colonialism was always a fundamentally racist enterprise. And racist attitudes, stereotypes and violence still run deep in many societies, including our own.
What is apparent in this ‘scandal’ are the blatant double standards embedded in our society. Many say that her generalization shouldn't be acceptable from someone in her position. She should publicly be hung! I mean, publicly apologize. Because its 2012 and we’re no longer racist to dark skinned people.
Yet when David Starkey went on national television and blamed black people, and the influence of black culture on white people, for criminality, was he forced to apologize? White men live to fight another battle against the blacks who are only after our plasma TVs, doughnuts and basmati rice!
One of the reasons I’m defending Diane is because I know what it’s like to have your tweets taken out of context. When I first started the hashtag #blamethemuslims in response to the Norway attacks, there were calls for my execution from some hardcore Twitter users behind their computer screens.
Of course, I wasn't blaming a religion for a terrorist attack. I mean, my name’s not Tommy Robinson is it? I was in fact doing the opposite and trying to say, ‘No, it’s not okay for you to automatically blame the muslims for everything that goes wrong because as much as Fox News, The Sun, Daily Mail etc like to say it is, it really isn’t.’ Unfortunately for me, Twitter doesn’t come with an irony font.
So go ahead and practice: call me a racist in the comments below. The End.