Sunny Hundal, of Pickled Politics and Asians in Media is distressed to find that the BNP is organising a march on 5 November “in his honour”.
[Link to the call for a demonstration on the BNP website here]
The background to the story is this. Sunny wrote an article which highlighted the foolishness of a campaign by Blink and Eastern Eye against the broadcast of a Channel 4 documentary which considered the targeting of young girls by pimps in Keighley. The pimps in question are British Pakistanis and the girls in question are white. At the time, Sunny wrote:
Why are we afraid to air our dirty laundry? I have argued before that this is an issue more about segregation, poverty and drugs than race. Paedophilia is not just an Asian issue. That however doesn’t make this any more right. There have been other documentaries on paedophilia, one specifically focused on the Catholic Church, so we can’t complain of being unfairly picked on.
Sunny Hundal returned to this theme earlier this month, when he discussed a Radio 5 Live documentary which covered the same issue, and the closing down of a special police unit to deal with the issues raised by the Channel 4 documentary.
The BNP has, predictably, sought to make the issue their own. In their call for a demonstration, they quote Sunny Hundal’s article.
There are two points to be made here.
The first is this. Sunny cannot be blamed for the use that racist groups make of his work. Nobody should refuse to report a story, for no better reason than that they fear that it will be spun by racists and woven into their paranoid millenial vision of a society fractured by racial warfare .
The second point is that we should not be surprised that the BNP has sought to acquire a patina of borrowed legitimacy by referencing Sunny’s work. Their motivation is transparent. By quoting Asians in Media, the BNP are hoping to dodge the charge of racism. We’ve seen this technique used by bigots before: it echoes Sacranie’s citation of an article by Leslie Bunder of Something Jewish to back his call for “broadening” Holocaust Memorial Day.
Sunny Hundal shouldn’t be embarrassed that the BNP have quoted him as an authority. It is a good thing that the political climate forces the BNP to pretend – even to its own members – that it isn’t a racist organisation.
Likewise, we shouldn’t be fooled by the BNP’s tissue thin pretence that it is part of mainstream politics. When racists dissemble, we should have the courage to call them what they really are.