Newspaper columnist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown disagrees with the Communities Secretary that racism in Britain is less widespread now than in the past:
Racism is still blighting lives; indeed things may be getting worse again. The danger of Denham’s comments is that now, fewer people will believe us when we complain.
Yesterday I had to remind listeners on the Jeremy Vine show that middle-class, talented, highly qualified black and Asian Britons were still out there jobless and hopeless, some driving cabs, all losing heart, because of this kind of discrimination.
Now, I’m not saying racism doesn’t exist any more or shouldn’t be opposed wherever it rears its nefarious head: but does Alibhai-Brown seriously believe she’s doing the anti-racist cause any good by ignoring the fact that being jobless in the middle of a recession isn’t automaticaly proof of racism? That plenty of white people might be out of a job as well? That plenty of white people are?
Here’s her killer argument though:
Me, I have always had to accept that I get less money and status than my white peers. That’s the deal, you live with it. Race matters.
Eew! You can almost taste the sense of entitlement, can’t you? I deserve more moolah and peer recognition than I’m currently getting – and the only reason I’m not currently enjoying more is the attitude of my atavistic employers.
If our double-barelled professional chatterer genuinely gets paid less than her white colleagues I’d like to suggest it might be less to do with the relative melanin content of skin and more to do with the fact that an averagely drug-addled sixteen year old could put together a better supported argument – and show less self-centredeness to boot.