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Stop laughing at the English Defence League

Stop laughing at the English Defence League

Three reasons why laughing at the EDL is counter-productive, and what we should do instead.

You've all seen the images doing the rounds on facebook of EDL members waving mis-spelt placards. Maybe you've liked or shared them on Facebook. I had the autotuned 'Muslamic Ray Guns' tune stuck in my head for ages even though it was politically problematic. While humour and ridicule can be an important political tool, much of the 'humour' in this vein is counter-productive to an effective anti-fascism.

The problem with the EDL is that they're a violent, nationalist street movement. Not that they have northern working class accents and can't spell.

1. Class hatred. The first problem here is the most obvious one: laughing at the EDL for poor spelling or regional accents is barely-veiled class hatred - in the wrong direction. I'm not sure when exactly the left joined in patronising the working class rather than identifying with them, but this fuels the EDL sentiment that white, working class people are the only ones it's still ok to hate in 'PC Britain'.

The concept of 'the white working class' is of course bullshit. The working class is the most diverse class. But sneering at accents, spelling and grammar cedes a whole demographic to the far right. Some of the grievances that feed into far right mobilisations are legitimate concerns around as housing, unemployment, the abandonment of former armed forces personel.

These are and should be issues of class mobilsation. This should not be the natural constituency for the far right. The EDL have attacked picket lines. EDL leader and small-businessman Stephen Yaxley-Lennon even goes by the psuedonym 'Tommy Robinson' to sound more working class. By laughing at the uneducated proles this territory is abandoned to the anti-working class politics of racist scapegoating of muslims and immigrants.

2. Ignoring liberal racism. The second problem with this kind of laughing is it cordens off explicit, inarticulate, uncouth racism and thus ignores smug, implied, articulate liberal racism. The latter is far more common. Professional controversialist Rod Liddle was forced to apologise for describing the Woolwich murder as the work of "black savages", but far fewer people saw the problem with the Guardian's front page which said the same thing to its genteel, educated audience with an image and decontextualised quote:

3. Not all racists are thick. Third is the little problem that not all racists are thick. Racism is not the product of inadequate education or reason. In fact, plenty of racists spout well-educated nonsense about genetics, or in the past, phrenology. Some of the canniest racists are in government. When Theresa May said the Woolwich stabbing was 'an attack on us all' she knew exactly what she was doing. If only there was some kind of 'league' to rally to the 'defence' of 'England'...

In this sense the EDL are the extra-parliamentary attack dogs of institutional racism, whistled into action when the government wants to pass represive legislation, or the right-wing press want to criticise the EDL as a way to paper over their daily hate-mongering and incitement. Laughing at mis-spelled placards underestimates the breadth and depth of the problem, and obscures the way it's intertwined with 'respectable' mainstream politics.

Some perspective
All that said, we shouldn't over-state the threat. While the EDL and friends spate of attacks on muslims and mosques has understandably created widespread fear, there's signs their sudden revival from infighting and near-collapse is not a complete ressurection. Nor will it necessarily be sustained. As a comrade wrote:

Ok so not getting complacent, but should probably have a bit of perspective on yesterday however shit it was. EDL had a perfect storm. Bank holiday, good weather, immediately following a "terror" attack hyped by the media. Held in central London, the easiest place to get to in the UK. Most figures are 1500-2000. Obviously this is shit, but without having any of this on their side, in Luton in 2011 they pulled 3000.

That said, at the time of Luton the EDL were keen, in public at least, to stress their allegedly non-racist opposition to extremist Islam. They even used the anti-racist slogan 'black and white unite'. Now, their leaders are openly saying "Islam is not a religion of peace… enough is enough..." and calling to "send the Black cunts home". So while the numbers haven't recovered their peak, they are no longer attempting to hide their racism and are certainly up for a fight.

Strategy?
Finally, some brief comments on strategy. I think what's needed is a two-track approach. Physical mobilisation to counter the immediate street threat, and class mobilisation to deny them a constituency in the longer term.

In terms of physical mobilisation,Brighton's anti-facsist mobilisations are those I'm most familiar with. The main element of the mobilisations was the refusal of the familiar split between secretive, small group direct action and mass, symbolic action. Rather the mobilisations created the space for mass direct action and community self-defence, where participants could engage in tactics they were most comfortable with. Streets were blocked and roaming fascists chased and confronted.

In terms of class mobilisation, there's some promising campaigning against the bedroom tax in Merseyside, and an increasingly urgent need to organise collectively around housing. Workplace organsing is also important in creating solidarity (it was heartening how many workmates turned out to oppose the March for England), while anti-raids work and migrant solidarity is also significant. This isn't a comprehensive list, I more want to pose the question to groups and individuals about what longer-term class-based organising involves, and stress it shouldn't be abandoned for the necessary short term street mobilisations.

There's a place for piss-taking and lulz, but let's save the class hatred for the class enemy.

South London Anti-Fascists are calling for a calling for a counter-mobilisation agains the BNP's march on Saturday. Get involved and contact them at southlondon-antifascists@aktivix.org

Posted By

Joseph Kay
May 29 2013 11:54

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  • The problem with the EDL is that they're a violent, nationalist street movement. Not that they have northern working class accents and can't spell.

Attached files

Comments

madashell
May 30 2013 12:33
Quote:
That's the thing - for this "class hatred" accusation to stick, the accused should be proved to not laugh at middle class bigots.

It's not just an issue of who is being laughed at, but what they are being laughed at for though. Laughing at working class racists for being poorly educated/uncultured/unemployed, as a lot of the SLATEDL stuff does (when it isn't attacking women for not being conventionally attractive), is problematic even if you take a moment to call Jeremy Clarkson a dick afterwards.

tbm
May 30 2013 15:27

Just so you know, you are accusing less than 10% of the UK population of perpetrating 40% of these types of crimes. That is totally absurd, unfounded, and racist.

Quote:
That's just not true at all. British-Asian men commit around 40% of child sex offences in the UK, and given that Asia is a hugely heterogeneous continent it is safe to assume that amongst certain British-Asian groups this disproportion becomes even larger. I will try dig up the statistics; not sure whether this is for all child sex abuse, or specifically grooming. I suspect the latter but either way it doesn't change what I'm arguing.

Yes, you are arguing TOTAL CRAP.

You've been reading to much BNP propoganda - please do go and do some research and "dig out these statistics"

Quote:
Quote:

" Psychological science did a study that found significant correlation between racism and low IQ test scores."

Let's not stoop to the level of racists in our own reasoning. This exact same structure of reasoning is used by racists to justify their racism. You can also find correlations between low IQ and certain races, classes, etc. It's clearly not a good way of determining whether a group is 'thick', or discrediting the views, status, etc. of those within the group.

BY YOUR OWN LOGIC You just called yourself a racist, argued "like a racist" and were racist in one terribly written paragraph.

Different races do not have different intrinsic intelligence or mental capacity. Many things affect test scores; If English isn't your first language, that will probably lower your scores. People who have high IQs are good at IQ tests, the more you practice, the better you get at IQ tests. Draw some conclusions from that about who is going to score well. Also consider the phrasing and style of the tests - anyone who confronts one for the first time will testify that they make little sense to start with.

I am so angry right now.

ARGH!

madashell
May 30 2013 16:02
tbm wrote:
Quote:
Quote:

" Psychological science did a study that found significant correlation between racism and low IQ test scores."

Let's not stoop to the level of racists in our own reasoning. This exact same structure of reasoning is used by racists to justify their racism. You can also find correlations between low IQ and certain races, classes, etc. It's clearly not a good way of determining whether a group is 'thick', or discrediting the views, status, etc. of those within the group.

BY YOUR OWN LOGIC You just called yourself a racist, argued "like a racist" and were racist in one terribly written paragraph.

Different races do not have different intrinsic intelligence or mental capacity. Many things affect test scores; If English isn't your first language, that will probably lower your scores. People who have high IQs are good at IQ tests, the more you practice, the better you get at IQ tests. Draw some conclusions from that about who is going to score well. Also consider the phrasing and style of the tests - anyone who confronts one for the first time will testify that they make little sense to start with.

I am so angry right now.

ARGH!

Isn't that exactly the point being made though, that IQ tests are biased towards privileged groups and are unreliable as a measure of some quantifiable, innate intelligence (as if such a thing even exists)?

tbm
May 30 2013 16:10

That article states that its an incredibly small sample.

"They worried that "findings were being overextended from a small, geographically concentrated sample to characterise an entire crime type". Even their most recent work studies just five cases."

The problem with small samples is this; it might be that everyone on this forum is an idiot (myself included) does that mean every forum user in the whole world is idiot?

Probably.

Check these Rhetological Fallacies out -
http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/rhetological-fallac...

Good times.

tbm
May 30 2013 16:21

madashell,

My response was to "mons", above, who was claiming all kinds of things about Asian Men, IQs and I don't know what else!

Yes, we agree, IQ tests are pointless and certainly don't give data reliable or unbiased enough to condemn an entire race with.

Steven.
May 30 2013 17:56
Dave Coull wrote:
I'm white. I'm working class. I left school at the age of fifteen, way back in June 1956, fifty seven years ago. Most of my working life, I worked on building sites, as a bricklayer. I'll be seventy two in a couple of months. I know how to spell. I agree we shouldn't laugh at the EDL on class grounds, because that would amount to abandoning large sections of my own class to the far right. However, I do NOT agree that we should never laugh at them at all. Are you kidding? My reaction when I saw the sign that reads "Never submit to Aslan" was spontaneous laughter. Then, when I stopped laughing, I suggested that, if we're going to try to keep Narnians out of the country, we'll have to put border guards on the Wardrobe.

I agree with this.

I also agree that it is fair enough to criticise them having poor English, when they are attacking people for not speaking good enough English.

I also think it is fair enough to point out to racist to say that races they don't like have lower IQs to respond that racists have lower IQs. And of course that IQ is totally meaningless as it is a culturally biased measure of how good you are at culturally biased IQ tests.

That said, I agree with the article to some extent as we shouldn't just laugh at them, but laughing at them has a big part to play in creating a culture of widespread opposition both to racist groups and to racist views as a whole.

Just one small example, my girlfriend got a text out of the blue last night from a work colleague who had previously never even said anything about politics, let alone anything vaguely left-wing containing the link to the Muslamic ray guns interview.

Slagging people off for being uneducated is not on: but pointing out the stupidity and lack of any sort of logical basis for the prejudiced ideas of the EDL is totally fair enough in my view.

Steven.
May 30 2013 18:08
mons wrote:
Err you posted something which actually backs up what I said.

err actually no it doesn't. What it states is that with sexual offences as a whole, Asian perpetrators are basically in proportion to their numbers. And with the specific offence of child grooming:

Quote:
“Caution should be taken in drawing conclusions about ethnicity due to the relatively small number of areas where agencies have been proactive around this particular type of crime. We do not draw national conclusions about ethnicity from the data available at this time because it is too inconsistent.”

so you can't make overall generalisations about this. And you doing so is entirely counter-productive.

And of course if the overall number of Asian sex offenders is proportionate with a number of Asians in general, if there is a disproportionately high number of Asian men convicted of grooming then it means there is a disproportionately low number of Asian men convicted of other types of sexual offence. So it's not a valid point to use to demonise Asians. "I can't stand these Muslim groomers, give me a good old white kiddie fiddler any day…"

You could probably find loads of random crimes that have a disproportionately high number of people convicted from a particular ethnic group, but what would be a politically pointless exercise.

Not to mention it is very much off topic to this article, which is about whether people should laugh at the EDL or not. If you want to start separate discussion about this topic please feel free to do so in the forums.

madashell
May 30 2013 18:16
tbm wrote:
madashell,

My response was to "mons", above, who was claiming all kinds of things about Asian Men, IQs and I don't know what else!

Yes, we agree, IQ tests are pointless and certainly don't give data reliable or unbiased enough to condemn an entire race with.

Yeah, but I think that was mons' point too, that using IQ tests for political point scoring against the far right just mirrors their use of the same tests to promote racism.

NannerNannerNan...
May 30 2013 20:34

Hey I've got a silly question - where does the whole "child grooming" thing come from? Here in the states, we all despise the poor so much that any minority group that is disproportionately poor gets all sorts of shit heaped on them whereas minority groups that are relatively "successful" get praised a whole ton (asians and jews, and even then only to spite blacks and hispanics. I've seen hispanics praised just to spite black people it's crazy.)

Some people are ready to call black people lazy and inherently criminal and leeches and whatever, but child groomers? That just doesn't even make any logical sense. The fact that mons is fixating on that in particular shows how seriously prevalent this trope is, so what's up with that? Did somebody write a book about it that got talked up in Daily Mail and The Telegraph or something?

mons
May 30 2013 21:14

Nanner:
I think people in general are fixating on it, despite the fact it only forms a significant minority of child sex abuse, because a spate of highly publicised cases that have come to light recently. The reason I am is because I think it is a good example of something relevant to this article; the left, including anarchists, making all sorts of unsubstantiated claims that fly in the face of the limited evidence that does exist, which further cements the divide between the experience of most people in the UK, and the claims and views of politically correct activists. It is only tangentially related, fair play, so I won't comment anymore on it on this thread despite getting some really frustrating, hyperbolic and illogical responses.

tbm:
I don't know whether you just failed to read that whole argument or are being purposefully misleading, I genuinely don't. But quoting the bit saying the stats are only based on 5 cases is a crazily inaccurate thing to do! Please if you're reading this, read the actual article - calling tbm selective is far too generous. I have to say I don't understand most of the rest of what you're saying, but I think madashell has cleared up the point I was making about IQ's.

Steven:
Thanks for actually responding genuinely. You ignored what I said was the most important evidence though; the extent to which all the scraps of evidence corroborate with each other. Don't you think that's meaningful? Certainly to assert as most others have that there is no correlation is clearly irrational. Granted, you concede that it could be that Asian men (and more specifically, British-Pakistani) are over-represented in child grooming cases.

So - fair enough - you conclude they are therefore under-represented in other sex abuse crimes. That logically follows and I agree. There is no evidence to suggest Asian men are disproportionately over-represented in sex abuse crimes in general, and I have not suggested there is. And yes, it's not a valid reason for 'demonising Asians'! There is loads of Islamaphobia as well as other racism (not all Asians are Muslim of course...) still pervasive towards Asians in this country, obviously I don't want Asians to be demonised.

However, you then state

Quote:
You could probably find loads of random crimes that have a disproportionately high number of people convicted from a particular ethnic group, but what would be a politically pointless exercise.

which misses my point entirely, which is also maybe why you think my point is so irrelevant to the article. When people - against the evidence, however partial and fragmented - claim that there is no correlation between, for example, British-Pakistani men and child grooming this is nothing more than a dogmatic, unsubstantiated assertion of a politically correct ideology. It's true that pointing out these correlations has no political value in itself. But when these sentiments are rife amongst the public, making the irrational claim to the contrary only serves to alienate most people, of all races, from politico-types. An understandable reaction to these lefty politico claims would be to project a wider liberal, politically correct agenda onto society. Those who have those kinds of views will have their views validated. Those who, wrongly, feel that there is a white working class that is being ignored by this supposed politically correct conspiracy will also become further entrenched in their prejudice, and their views will become more palatable to many others. I have seen this happen in response to some of the more absurdly blindly pc responses to the Oxford case in particular. And I am opposed to this because I do not want moronic racist ideas to spread; not because I am spreading them!

radicalgraffiti
May 30 2013 22:08
mons wrote:
Quote:
The channel 4 documentary said that as a percentage of their UK population, white males are still more likely to commit sexual offences against children.

That's just not true at all. British-Asian men commit around 40% of child sex offences in the UK,

this is wrong,

mons wrote:
Err you posted something which actually backs up what I said. In the statistics from that fullfact.org thing you posted it appears that 28% of offenders in child grooming cases come from Asian backgrounds. That number jumps to 46% if you just take the cases where the racial identity was not withheld; more than the 40% I cited.

Thats not how statistics work, you simple can't take the unknowns out as if they don't matter. the 38% unknown could be distributed in any fashion. 46% of convicted offenders for whom we have data doesn't even remotely justify the claim that 40% of child sex offences are committed be asians

Also the report this dater comes from says at the start that it doesn' refer to all child sexual abuse, or even all of the type it focuses on.*

Quote:
the data submitted refers only to the ‘localised grooming’ model of
child sexual exploitation and does not include online
grooming, trafficking of children into the uK, peer-on-peer abuse or other forms of sexual exploitation. it has proven
impossible, however, to neatly segment localised grooming from other forms due to the complexities and overlap within the offending behaviour. this assessment cannot be seen as fully representative of the nature and scale of child sexual exploitation in the u.K.,
or, indeed, of the ‘localised grooming’ model. Data relating to child
sexual exploitation is often partial and incomplete, concealed in secondary indicator data, or simply unrecorded. in many cases, agencies do not have any data on child sexual exploitation.
indications from service providers suggest that because victims frequently do not recognise that they are being exploited and do not disclose abuse, there is significant unidentified and unmet need. Where police, children’s services and voluntary sector agencies have worked together, coordinated by the LsCBs, to identify and address child sexual exploitation, a significant number of cases have come to light. However, very few cases are known in areas where agencies do not routinely engage victims and collect data.
agencies which do not proactively look for child sexual exploitation will as a result fail to identify it. as a result, the majority of incidents of child sexual exploitation in the uK are unrecognised and unknown.

* i also notice the fullfact website has misunderstood the date ( and aparently don't know how to make tables) the state that Among the group providing complete details, 38 per cent were white, 26 per cent Asian (almost all of whom were of Pakistani origin) despite the fact that that there date shows only 30 out of 248 people in the Asian category

mons
May 30 2013 22:56

(sorry to reply again like a stroppy toddler but nothing upsets me more than people disagreeing me online and I have an exam tomorrow morning so what else am I going to do...)

radicalgraffiti:
I said I suspected it was just for child grooming cases, and then clarified that was the case in my next post. So don't quote me out of context, it really pisses me off cos it reflects dogma not actually discussing things! The aim of an argument where you misquote people is to win that argument, not to discuss things genuinely, so those arguments are utterly pointless.

No, you can't take the unknowns out, you're right. Of course not; but neither of the statistical claims I made did that. I gave the proportion of men convicted where their racial identity is known as 28%, but merely relying on that would wrongly imply that 28% of those convicted for child grooming are Asian. So it's best supplemented by the second statistic I cited, that 46% of those convictions where we know the racial identity were of Asian men. Neither of those figures is fool-proof, never mind the limited statistical evidence it was based on, etc. But it's not wrong to cite either of those figures, so long as you explain what they represent. It would be wrong to present it as either 28 or 46% of those convicted were Asian men, but I didn't, I gave both statistics which gives a better picture than just citing the misleading 28% figure.

I didn't understand your final clarification at first, but I think I get it now. You're saying that when they say that almost all of the Asian convictions were of British-Pakistani men, they are only basing that on the small minority of cases where origins beyond just Asian were given. Yeah, fair play, that is bad logic on their part but has no bearing on what we're talking about.

radicalgraffiti
May 31 2013 01:27
mons wrote:
(sorry to reply again like a stroppy toddler but nothing upsets me more than people disagreeing me online and I have an exam tomorrow morning so what else am I going to do...)

radicalgraffiti:
I said I suspected it was just for child grooming cases, and then clarified that was the case in my next post. So don't quote me out of context, it really pisses me off cos it reflects dogma not actually discussing things! The aim of an argument where you misquote people is to win that argument, not to discuss things genuinely, so those arguments are utterly pointless.

No, you can't take the unknowns out, you're right. Of course not; but neither of the statistical claims I made did that. I gave the proportion of men convicted where their racial identity is known as 28%, but merely relying on that would wrongly imply that 28% of those convicted for child grooming are Asian. So it's best supplemented by the second statistic I cited, that 46% of those convictions where we know the racial identity were of Asian men. Neither of those figures is fool-proof, never mind the limited statistical evidence it was based on, etc. But it's not wrong to cite either of those figures, so long as you explain what they represent. It would be wrong to present it as either 28 or 46% of those convicted were Asian men, but I didn't, I gave both statistics which gives a better picture than just citing the misleading 28% figure.

no, you tryed to us it to justify your original claim which was just plain wrong, you did not do anything to explain what the statistics actually meant, you seem, to be trying to find a way of presenting things so as t make the proportion of Asians involved in child sex offences appear as high as possible, even if it means being dishonest in your presentation of statistics.

mons wrote:

I didn't understand your final clarification at first, but I think I get it now. You're saying that when they say that almost all of the Asian convictions were of British-Pakistani men, they are only basing that on the small minority of cases where origins beyond just Asian were given. Yeah, fair play, that is bad logic on their part but has no bearing on what we're talking about.

its either gross stupidity or deliberately misleading, i put it as a stared note because i noticed it while looking at that source, but no one had tried to directly us it so far.

Hereward
May 31 2013 13:55

Guys, I have a simple solution to these arguments.

On the one hand we have mons, who, rightly, sees something strange in the media's coverage of certain events. On the other hand we have mons' opponents who, again arguably rightly, see something that makes them uncomfortable in mons' attempts to communicate what he finds strange. This is because mons, unfortunately, does not see the simplicity of the issue and is not making a clear argument, so his posts end up coming across as trying to 'say something' about the Muslim or Pakistani community (i.e. boosting racist discourse etc).

The issue is in fact incredibly simple, and we can solve it simply by remaining true to the knowledge and values that we on the left already have. The fact is that the muslim/pakistani community is no better or worse than any other community in England. A simple statement that everybody can agree with. Of course, as it is a normal community, composed of normal human beings, all the vices and faults that all the other human beings in the world are subject to are also present in this community.

So far so obvious, right? Well, not according to the left wing. Because there is a certain terrible human fault which the left wing press, and certain aspects of left wing ideology as a whole, completely refuses to mention with regard to for instance individuals in the Muslim community. This is the fault of racism. The left wing press, and to an extent even the centre and right wing press, refuses to use the term in relation to anybody who is not white.

Do I know for certain that certain of the crimes that have been mentioned were racist? No. Is it highly likely, considering that in some of the cases ALL of the perpetrators were pakistani/north african muslim, and ALL of the victims white? Yes. Is it very strange and very remarkable that the media have completely refused to raise the possibility of racism being at work? Yes, and this inequality in discourse is important for two reasons. One, people are noticing it, and are angry about it. This strengthens the right wing. A simple universalizing of anti-racist discourse is needed. When we universalize anti-racist discourse, as being able to consider anybody from any 'race' as perpetrator or victim, people will see justice done in language, and the right wing will lose a big crutch. Meanwhile we will still be able to combat the huge majority of racism that exists in the 'traditional' sense (from white people to others). All this involves is the simple logical following of our already-existing beliefs in the equality of humans and the evils of racism.

Two, I do not believe there is a weird 'conspiracy' about this. I believe that this inequality of discourse exists for social and historical reasons, and, when analysed, reveals things that we must understand, about how western cultures and peoples see themselves (or refuse to see themselves). I have written about this at greater length in an essay I have uploaded to Libcom, read it here:

http://www.libcom.org/library/hidden-struggle-critique-development-radic...

jef costello
May 31 2013 20:03

I think Steven is right that just laughing at them is not enough, they need to be countered, rather than dismissed. Sometimes this is hard and often pointless. When I was younger a friend of mine took a heavy drift to the right and after we had stopped being friends ended up standing as a BNP councillor. I argued repeatedly with him about it, pointed out the inconsistencies in his arguments, showed him how it didn't make sense on his terms or mine and laughed at the ridiculousness of it. It doesn't seem to have made any difference but it was still worth it. At lot of the time his response, which I've heard a lot since from everyone from teabaggers to EDL was "I don't care". People need somewhere to place their anger and it isn't hard to demonise a group you don't feel you belong to.
In terms of grooming cases then I don't think mons is as bad as some of these responses make out. There are a few points to make clear, sexual exploitation of young women is widespread and even if this particular model of exploitation is more common from a particular community it doesn't mean that they are the danger to be afraid of (which I don't think mons was arguing) and even if their behaviour is motivated by racism that is neither here nor there. I do think there are issues within the communities with roots in Pakistan with regard to the treatment of women, but I don't think that a small group of men creates a structural problem to fear. I would be annoyed if someone told their kids to be wary of me because 'white males commit the vast majority of racially motivated crimes and their continuing support of extremist parties shows a structural inability to not be racist.'
To be honest if you live in the area you probably did get to know of these guys and 8 guys (or however many° is a large number to be committing these crimes but it doesn't necessarily reflect a community. It reflects the fact that people often do have more friends within their own race as well as the fact that a few of them were related. This was a sustained, and from the sounds of it profitable project of exploitation, it's hardly surprising that they did it with people that they knew and trusted.
I used to work in a school on Cowley Road and the main difference in terms of exploitation was that Asian girls were not usually allowed out as much, those who were had similar difficulties, white girls who had more protective homes (in that sense) were safer from this type of grooming. Race also comes into it, and I remember this from school, in that a lot of communities would protect 'their' women, who were often not allowed out as much, while then men could do as they pleased. As a white boy I could go out with a white girl, if I went out with a black girl I would have had the piss taken out of me and if I'd gone out with a turkish girl I would have had my head kicked in. More recent immigrant groups tend to be tighter knit and this can extend across generations and this leads some crimes to only be committed outside the community, while others (such as protection rackets run by various turkish and kurdish groups in Tottenham) target the group that they are from.
Ultimately, in my confused way I am trying to say that exploitation is based on weakness and opportunity more than anything else. There are structural problems in society and different groups are affected by them and manifest them differently but it is very difficult to move from a particular case to a an entire group.

madashell
Jun 1 2013 16:56

The COEP report that Full Fact are getting a lot of their information on makes for interesting (if pretty depressing) reading.

Quote:
In many cases, agencies do not have any data on child sexual exploitation. Indications from service providers suggest that because victims frequently do not recognise that they are being exploited and do not disclose abuse, there is significant unidentified and unmet need.

Where police, children’s services and voluntary sector agencies have worked together, coordinated by the LSCBs, to identify and address child sexual exploitation, a significant number of cases have come to light. However, very few cases are known in areas where agencies do not routinely engage victims and collect data. Agencies which do not proactively look for child sexual exploitation will as a result fail to identify it. As a result, the majority of incidents of child sexual exploitation in the UK are unrecognised and unknown.

Still reading it, but there doesn't seem to be any breakdown of which areas are looking at this seriously. Could be that we're seeing more Asian men prosecuted for grooming because there's a push to investigate grooming in areas with large Asian populations. With data this limited, extreme caution is needed before drawing any conclusions about the wider population.

madashell
Jun 1 2013 17:09
Hereward wrote:
the media have completely refused to raise the possibility of racism being at work

Sorry, but this is straightforwardly not true. If you'd taken two seconds to use Google you might have found this article on the extremely popular website of a national newspaper in which it is suggested that:

  • The gang were able to operate for so long because the police were afraid of being seen to be racist
  • Grooming is a "race issue"
  • British Pakistani men view white women as fair game for exploitation.

Which is basically the BNP/EDL line on the Rochdale grooming case.

Also, anti-white racism is not a thing, never has been, never will be.

wojtek
Jun 1 2013 17:20
Quote:
Also, anti-white racism is not a thing, never has been, never will be.

This is nonsense.

Noah Fence
Jun 1 2013 17:51
Quote:
Also, anti-white racism is not a thing, never has been, never will be.

Could you explain this please? If you can convince me I will be very impressed and even more surprised.

madashell
Jun 1 2013 18:43
Webby wrote:
Quote:
Also, anti-white racism is not a thing, never has been, never will be.

Could you explain this please? If you can convince me I will be very impressed and even more surprised.

The whole notion is a nonsense, the low level prejudice with basically no serious consequences experienced by a small number of white people is simply not comparable with the systematic discrimination and violence of racism. White people do not face oppression as white people, honestly the only people who seriously think that we do are racists and people who are trying to pander to racists.

wojtek
Jun 1 2013 19:01

Nobody said it was comparable, but failing to recognise its existence and confront its adherents gives a free pass to groups such as the EDL and the BNP who then successfully talk about 'Communistic' political correctness, British (read white) people being second-class citizens, etc.

Noah Fence
Jun 1 2013 19:02

The whole notion is a nonsense, the low level prejudice with basically no serious consequences experienced by a small number of white people is simply not comparable with the systematic discrimination and violence of racism. White people do not face oppression as white people, honestly the only people who seriously think that we do are racists and people who are trying to pander to racists.

Ok, I see your point, but prejudice is prejudice and in isolation anyone experiencing prejudice feels isolated and vulnerable. That shouldn't be belittled just because the individual isn't a member of a more seriously oppressed group.
Also, surely it depends on your location on this planet - are you suggesting that there is nowhere in the entire world that white people aren't an oppressed minority. I don't know myself as I am neither well educated or well travelled but it seems unlikely to be the case.
Lastly, you state that there 'never will be' anti white racism. Hmmm, any other titbits for us from the future?

madashell
Jun 1 2013 19:37
wojtek wrote:
Nobody said it was comparable, but failing to recognise its existence and confront its adherents gives a free pass to groups such as the EDL and the BNP who then successfully talk about 'Communistic' political correctness, British (read white) people being second-class citizens, etc.

Who are we at risk of alienating besides headbanging racists? The tens of white people who are scarred for life every decade by somebody calling them a cracker?

What do you think anti-white racism actually involves? How does it function? Who is being targeted? How does it affect them?

madashell
Jun 1 2013 19:42
Webby wrote:
Ok, I see your point, but prejudice is prejudice and in isolation anyone experiencing prejudice feels isolated and vulnerable. That shouldn't be belittled just because the individual isn't a member of a more seriously oppressed group.

I've yet to hear of any complaint of anti-white racism that wasn't either not actually about race at all or an example of some racist idiot crying because things didn't go their way.

Quote:
Lastly, you state that there 'never will be' anti white racism. Hmmm, any other titbits for us from the future?

I foresee the continued political failure of lefties who try to recruit people by patronisingly pandering to their worst and most moronic prejudices.

wojtek
Jun 1 2013 20:10

madashell wrote:

Quote:
Quote:
Nobody said it was comparable, but failing to recognise its existence and confront its adherents gives a free pass to groups such as the EDL and the BNP who then successfully talk about 'Communistic' political correctness, British (read white) people being second-class citizens, etc.

Who are we at risk of alienating besides headbanging racists?

Well if you allow the far-right a monopoly on opposing anti-white racism, or in this instance radical islam, then quite a few people, people who wouldn't otherwise give them the time of day. There's been this discussion on libcom before.

madashell
Jun 1 2013 20:37
wojtek wrote:
Well if you allow the far-right a monopoly on opposing anti-white racism, or in this instance radical islam, then quite a few people, people who wouldn't otherwise give them the time of day. There's been this discussion on libcom before.

Who said anything about radical Islam? It's a deeply reactionary movement that we need to criticise, sure, but I don't see what it has to do with supposed anti-white racism.

The Diane Abbot thing is an argument for another day, don't want to derail the thread (suffice to say I don't think her comments were racist in any meaningful sense).

Edit: What is anti-white racism, anyway? Give me an example.

madashell
Jun 1 2013 21:06

The things I usually hear being called anti-white racism are:

  • A white person not getting a job they want - not racism
  • Grooming - still no strong evidence that it's a race issue at all
  • Actual racially motivated violence against white people because they're white (as opposed to because they're, say, Jewish or travellers) - rare as rocking horse shit

So basically we have things that aren't racism and things that are so incredibly rare that the overwhelming majority of white working class people have never actually experienced them. The latter we aren't going to alienate many people with our stance on (unless it's actually pro-racially motivated violence, nobody's going to like that) because it effects such a tiny number of people, the former we can speak to without resorting to calling it racism, because it's not racism.

Which isn't to say that it isn't a terrible thing when anybody is violently attacked for no good reason, just that you're potentially talking about things that very, very rarely happen and I don't think they're a serious concern for many white, working class people at all.

wojtek
Jun 1 2013 21:18
Quote:
Edit: What is anti-white racism, anyway? Give me an example.

I suppose ideology speaking it is but not limited to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_supremacy but to be relevant it's the odd attack on white people that the BNP like to focus on, eg. Rhea Page.

madashell
Jun 1 2013 22:35
wojtek wrote:
I suppose ideology speaking it is but not limited to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_supremacy

Those guys are pretty marginal though, they're mostly just reacting against racism and going too far the other way (coupled with some pretty fucked up conspiracy theories). I'd honestly be seriously shocked if the attackers of Rhea Page had ever had any contact with US style black nationalists, for instance.

Quote:
but to be relevant it's the odd attack on white people that the BNP like to focus on, eg. Rhea Page.

I'd say the major difference with that stuff is that we're talking about extremely rare, isolated instances. I agree that what happened to Rhea Page was pretty fucking horrible, but I don't see the relevance of it to revolutionary politics or even to the vast majority of people's lives.

martinh
Jun 2 2013 10:03

OK, first off, I'm talking about the UK and more specifically outer London. Anyone who thinks there is no anti-white racism on a global scale is daft.

If you ignore class, there is no anti white racism. Include class and it becomes something else. Schools and council services have loads of projects set up to deal with the effects of racism. My kids' school has a parent group (for the middle class/educated) and a black parents group. There are structural reasons why they need to go the extra mile to involve non white parents, but those structural reasons are as much to do with class as ethnicity. So, white working class parents don't get the extra attention needed to get them involved.
Look at youth work and intervention from the authorities, albeit this is being cut back hard now. Again targeted at black kids. There are specific reasons why black kids need the extra support, lacking the sort of support networks that the middle classes take for granted. But a white working class kid who also lacks those support networks is unlikely to get any help.

Structural? Yes.
Racism? Yes.
Ignored by the left? Yes.

And we wonder why so many white working class kids look towards the far right.