Fear and hatred on the streets of Luton
Anger that "hate speech" by whites can get you arrested in Britain but hate speech from Muslims is OK. Britain's politicized police have a lot to answer for
When troops returning from Iraq marched through Luton, all hell broke loose. Muslims protested, white residents rioted and the Sikh mayor was viciously attacked. Can this multicultural community ever find peace — or is this eruption of long-simmering tensions a sign of even worse to come?
Later that day, after the soldiers’ parade had dispersed, Kier was walking across St George’s Square in his England shirt — “Eng-er-land! Eng-er-land! Eng-er-land!” the crowd had been chanting at the protesters. Kier was still feeling wound up by what he had just witnessed back by the Arndale. He had a cousin in the army, a family friend who had been killed in action. Bloody Muslim extremists, Kier was thinking to himself. How dare they!
Then he saw the mayor crossing the square, walking high and proud in his robe and chains. He was Asian. So far as Kier was concerned, he was a Muslim too, and it was all his fault. He was the head of the council; the council had given permission for the extremists to make their protest. F*** it, Kier thought. Kier ran up to him and fly-kicked him in the back. Councillor Lakhbir Singh, the mayor of Luton, a Sikh by faith, not in fact a Muslim at all, stumbled and fell forward, putting out his hands to stop himself falling. Kier turned around and, before the police could do anything, he ran through them and was away.
It would be farcical if it were not so sad and unpleasant, that brief moment in the life of modern, multicultural Britain. A Sikh in a turban had been mistaken for a Muslim by a white youth too ignorant to know any better, and apparently too angry to express himself other than with a kick.
The incident had been caught on camera, but it took the police a while to catch up with Kier. He was finally arrested six weeks later, outside Luton Town Football Club, which is slap bang in the middle of Bury Park, the predominantly Muslim area of the town. Kier McElroy, a white youth aged 18, had been attending a reserves match against Peterborough United.
In the weeks preceding Kier’s arrest, for some unexplained reason, the assault on the mayor was kept a secret and the mayor himself kept under wraps. He would not talk to me for this article, and I only found out about the attack through a contact in the town after Kier had been charged.
“It’s political correctness, innit,” Kier told me, after being released from custody. “We feel we’re being treated differently. They won’t nick the Asian lads, will they?” “We”, of course, were the white lads. Luton has been sharply divided along racial lines by recent events. Many of the town’s white youth are restless and incensed, and those other extremists, of the far right — the National Front (NF) and the British National Party (BNP) — are circling like vultures. Not for the first time, many of the town’s 30,000 or more Muslims are fearful of the backlash provoked, as they would see it, by the actions of the few Islamic extremists, or “troublemakers”, as I often heard them called....
Everyone was blaming everyone else. The whites blamed the authorities for letting it happen and the police for not doing anything about it — why didn’t they arrest them? The moderate Muslims blamed the extremists, the extremists blamed the moderate Muslims for not having the courage of their convictions; the authorities blamed the media for its inflammatory coverage of the parade and the intemperate language it tended to use when writing about Muslims...
Sayful had no hesitation in seeking to protest at the soldiers’ homecoming parade. He also says he knew that people would be upset by the protests and tried to have a low-key presence, out of harm’s way.
The police had agreed with the group that they would meet in the town at 12.30. The police would examine their placards and agree a place for them to stand, just away from the march past, where they would barely be noticed.
Things began to go wrong when the group did not arrive in town together, but became separated on the journey from Bury Park, so that while half of them took up the agreed position, by the Don Millers bakery, the delayed group got caught on the outside of the procession route and could not immediately be walked through to join the others. This second group were held in position by the police at the back of the town hall, at the top of Gordon Street, much closer to the march past.
Still, a journalist I spoke to who filmed along the whole route did not at first notice the protesters or capture them on film. It was only when he got down to St George’s Square — where the mayor was saying the soldiers should not be blamed for the war in Iraq — that the cameraman heard trouble and went back around the town hall to find out what was going on. According to the police, the split in the protest group had prevented them from properly examining their placards: “Anglian soldiers butchers of Basra”. “Anglian soldiers criminals, murderers, terrorists”. “Anglian soldiers go to hell”. “British government, terrorist government”. “Muslims rise against British oppression”.
Of course, half the country was against the war in Iraq, white, Asian, black, Muslims, Christians alike. But those placards, as no doubt intended, were provocative statements against the soldiers and their friends and families who had turned out to see the march. White people, young and old, male and female, who were there for the march past were incensed by the protesters’ placards and their shouting. “Anglian soldiers, baby killers!” was one call that particularly upset the soldiers and some of the several thousand people who were there to see them, though most would have been oblivious to the protests at the time. To the protesters, a regiment that had fired a total of 36,000 rounds in Iraq ought to share responsibility for the many civilian casualties — mothers and children among them — in that country. The army and its supporters would argue that the protesters should take their grievances to the government, which had promoted the war, and leave alone the soldiers, who had merely been following orders. But this was not good enough for Sayful Islam. “Would we excuse the Nazi soldiers who carried out atrocities because they were just obeying orders?”
The divisional commander of Luton, Chief Superintendent Andy Frost, would later think long and hard about the decisions taken before and during the day. Should he have banned or arrested the protesters? Well, they had turned out before with their banners and their megaphone — at the Luton Faith Walk and the Holocaust Memorial Day — and there had never been any real threat to public order. “Normally they turn up, start off their protest against the war, most people ignore them, and everyone moves on.” Next time, mind you, he might think differently.
Prince defeats ugly modern architecture
He is a true "tribunus plebis" in such matters. I congratulate him -- JR
The Prince of Wales has forced a Qatari development firm to withdraw its application for a controversial £3 billion housing project at the Chelsea Barracks site in West London. The Prince, a famously outspoken critic of modern architecture, had criticised Lord Rogers of Riverside’s design for Britain’s most expensive housing development as “unsympathetic” and “unsubtle”. He also wrote to the Emir of Qatar to voice his concerns at the plans for the glass and steel complex opposite the Royal Hospital in Chelsea.
Yesterday, less than a week before the application was due to go before the planning committee of Westminster Council, the site’s owner Qatari Diar, a property company, withdrew the application.
Lord Rogers, who designed the Millennium Dome in East London and the Pompidou Centre in Paris, blamed the Prince for the project’s collapse. The architect told The Times: “After two and a half years of extensive consultation with the local community and statutory consultees, and the publication of an exceptionally complimentary report on the Chelsea Barracks application from planning officers at Westminster City Council, it is extremely disappointing that this application has been withdrawn in response to Prince Charles’s views less than a week before the council was due to consider it.”
The leader of Westminster Council, Colin Barrow, said the Prince acted as a lightning rod for objections and encouraged others to come forward. He said: “I think the Prince of Wales gave voice to some misgivings that many people had about the architecture. It enabled people to say things that they were otherwise reluctant to say. Many more people came out against the architecture after that.”
More than 450 complaints were received by the council from residents concerned about the scale of the project, which would have included 548 flats, a hotel, two restaurants and a sports centre on the 12.8-acre site.
Qatari Diar bought the site for nearly £1 billion in January last year, and will now be seeking new designs. One architect who submitted a sketch in the initial competition was traditionalist Quinlan Terry. His design was recommended by the Prince of Wales as a preferable alternative. Prince Charles’s Foundation for the Built Environment will be consulted over new submissions.
The Plan for Government-Funded Socialist Media in America
Back in the 1970s, I learned what journalism was all about when I studied from Curtis MacDougall's classic textbook, Interpretative Reporting. I understood then that a massive shift had taken place from objective news reporting to interpretative and advocacy journalism. Curtis MacDougall and his textbook trained several generations of journalists, and we are seeing the results
MacDougall taught at Northwestern University, where he was a journalism educator and political activist. He ran on the Communist-controlled Progressive Party ticket. His son, Kent, also a journalist, came out as a Marxist, after working at the Los Angeles Times and Wall Street Journal, and he then became a professor at the University of California at Berkeley.
We have just obtained Curtis MacDougall's 319-page FBI file, showing he was on the "security index" of the FBI and under surveillance because of his affiliation with many communist fronts. As early as 1950, an informant was telling the FBI that MacDougall was guilty of "pro-Communist teaching" and that he followed the Communist Party line.
MacDougall's Interpretative Reporting textbook criticized the media for being too soft on Senator Joe McCarthy. It was the perfect primer for a generation of liberal journalists and taught journalists to think that anyone opposed to communism or socialism was an extremist. No wonder "McCarthyism" has become a dirty word and still serves to squelch solid reporting into such matters as influence through Communist Party member Frank Marshall Davis on President Obama himself.
Last fall I debated media bias on eight college campuses, and surveyed the left-wing textbooks and other books used in journalism and communications courses. One, Media Control, is by Noam Chomsky, a leading member of the Communist Party spin-off, the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism. Another popular book in journalism classes is What Liberal Media?, by Eric Alterman, who contends that liberal media bias is a myth.
One of my debating opponents, Jeff Cohen, founder of Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, now teaches journalism at Ithaca College and runs the Park Center for Independent Media, where he just gave out an "Izzy Award," named after the identified communist and Soviet agent I.F. Stone, to Salon.com blogger Glenn Greenwald and Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! Bill Moyers promptly had Greenwald and Goodman on his Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) show.
In terms of media, our only hope is not so much highlighting the errors and omissions of the other side, but in getting our own story out. The problem is the other side has billions of dollars in federal-and big liberal foundation- money.
Through AIM we urged reductions of the budget of the Corporation for Public Broad-casting; we failed, the CPB is requesting $483 million for Fiscal Year 2011. CPB funds 356 public TV stations through the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and 860 public radio stations through National Public Radio (NPR). The funding was only at $340 million when Bush took office.
In addition to National Public Radio, the "progressives" also can tap the Pacifica Network, consisting of five stations owned by the Pacifica Foundation, one associate station, and close to 150 affiliated stations. The Pacifica Foundation, which gets about $1.4 million a year in federal money, puts about $46,000 into Democracy Now!, hosted by Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez. This radio/TV show itself got $150,000 from Bill Moyers' Schumann Center for Media and Democracy. Goodman says her show is airing on over 750 stations and has a bigger audience than Larry King on CNN or the MSNBC cable channel. Her Democracy Now Productions! ran on a $2.4 million budget in 2007.
Meanwhile, the Ford Foundation is a major underwriter of the Center for Social Media of American University, a project headed by left-wing activist Patricia Aufderheide, who says that "Taxpayer funds are crucial..." to creating new "public media." This group got money under a $50 million Ford Foundation program to create and strengthen "public media."
This is the direction many of the "progressive" groups are going. In fact, a socialist-oriented "media reform" group with ties to the Obama Administration has called for new federal programs and the spending of tens of billions of dollars to keep journalists employed at liberal media outlets and to put them to work in new "public media."
The group, which calls itself Free Press, is urging "an alternative media infrastructure, one that is insulated from the commercial pressures that brought us to our current crisis."
However, Free Press, at this May 14 summit, didn't say one word about the well-documented liberal bias that has contributed to the decline in readers and viewers for traditional media outlets and has enabled the rise of the Fox News Channel, conservative talk radio, and the Internet. Instead, Josh Silver of Free Press attacked the "bellowing ideologues" on the air and declared that "The entire dial is empty of local news in many communities."
This was a tip-off that, in order to take conservative radio hosts off the air, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will be flooded with complaints that "local news" has been shortchanged by stations airing conservative personalities with national programs.
Free Press, whose June 2008 "media reform" conference in Minneapolis turned into a virtual Obama for President campaign rally, is in a position to provide those complaints to the FCC. It claims nearly half-a-million supporters and a staff of 30, mostly in Washington, D.C.
As part of the proposed new "media infrastructure," Free Press is calling for a $50 billion "Public Media Trust Fund" to underwrite the creation of new jobs for journalists and the use of the existing federal AmeriCorps program "to include journalistic activities as part of its mission" in the form of "journalism positions" and "journalism projects." AmeriCorps is a federally-funded national and community service agency.
The group is also urging a direct federal bailout of liberal media institutions, declaring that "The Department of Labor could design a program aimed at keeping reporters employed at existing news organizations or at new outlets." Free Press explains, "If the government were to subsidize 5,000 reporters at $50,000 per year, the cost would be $250 million annually, a relatively modest sum given the billions coming out of Washington."
In addition to the $50-billion "Public Media Trust Fund," another one of the proposals from the Free Press group is a $50-million "government-seeded innovation fund for journalism," described by Craig Aaron of Free Press as "a taxpayer-supported venture capital firm that invests in new journalism models."
The socialist nature of the proposals should not be surprising. Aaron is one of two Free Press staffers who have been employed by the socialist magazine In These Times and previously worked at Ralph Nader's Congress Watch. The group's policy director, Ben Scott, has been an aide to Senator Bernie Sanders, an openly declared socialist who has criticized the media for covering both sides of the global warming debate.
All of the controversial recommendations are included in the new 285-page book, Changing Media: Public Interest Policies for the Digital Age, officially released at the May 14 Free Press summit held at the Newseum, a museum dedicated to the journalism profession.
Although Free Press didn't want to examine the problem of liberal bias contributing to the decline of traditional media, the Newseum's fifth floor, the News History Gallery, includes a film about liberal media bias.
The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), which is already subsidized by the U.S. taxpayer through the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (which itself gets $400 million a year in federal payments), wasn't good enough for acting Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Michael Copps, who delivered a keynote speech.
He declared that we need a PBSS-"a Public Broad-casting System on Steroids"-based on the extraction of more dollars from hard-pressed American taxpayers. "That can't be done on the cheap, and we'll hear laments that there's not a lot of extra cash floating around these days," Copps said. "But other nations find ways to support such things."
Targeting Talk Radio
Copps ruled out the FCC bringing back the so-called Fairness Doctrine, which enabled bureaucrats during the Kennedy and Johnson Administrations to mute or silence on-air conservative personalities. "The Fairness Doctrine is long gone and it's not coming back-as much as some conspiracy theorists see it lurking behind every corner," he said. However, he did say that the FCC would force broadcasters to sell media properties to approved women and minority groups. He called this "equal opportunity" and "diversity."
At the same time, Copps said that the FCC will have "to get serious about defining broadcasters' public interest obligations and reinvigorating our license renewal process." He said broadcasters need to be held to "clear standards that can be fairly but vigorously enforced" and should have to renew their licenses every three years, instead of every eight.
Under such a scheme, "progressive" groups could thwart a license renewal by claiming that a local radio station was airing too much conservative programming.
Restoring America's Marriages
by Harry R. Jackson, Jr.
Last week marked a nadir in the battle for biblical marriage. Two huge events occurred. First, former VP Dick Cheney voiced his support for same-sex marriage. Second, New Hampshire became the sixth state in the Union to legalize gay marriage. Despite these two events, nationalizing same-sex marriage is absolutely not inevitable. Gay marriage proponents are only too aware that the recent California Supreme Court ruling that the 2008 Proposition 8 victory will stand guarantees that a fresh round of marriage amendments, initiatives, and referendums will undoubtedly be levied in the states that have scored temporary victories for same-sex marriage.
I must admit that Cheney’s defection from his party’s long-term stance on marriage was especially disappointing. His open admission of his transition to same-sex marriage advocacy - which places him left of President Obama - seemed especially hypocritical in light of his second term ascension to power on the wings of the same sex-marriage controversy. Perhaps this admission explains why the Bush administration ran out of steam on the issue shortly after their 2004 victory. Numerous pro-family groups who have supported the GOP for years are questioning where their values will find a new political home.
While these groups meditate on the political ramifications of recent marriage regulations and decisions, new alliances are being formed and millions of nameless and faceless Americans will soon join the struggle to affirm biblical marriage. The New Hampshire legislature muddied the waters in the marriage debate by attempting to throw the religious community a bone, declaring that conservative ministers would not be forced to perform same-sex marriages.
Despite the New Hampshire governor’s attempt to paint this as a compromise position, the religious services exemption is tantamount to giving pro “biblical” marriage proponents the sleeves out of one’s vest. In most cases openly gay people will not seek out conservative ministers to perform their weddings. Only activists seeking a precedent setting case would even entertain coercing a biblically faithful minister.
Knowledgeable pro-traditional marriage advocates understand that the real danger lies with the unintended consequences of gay marriage on the next generation. Redefining marriage, redefines family, the redefinition of family changes the definition of parenting, the definition of parenting changes the dynamics of education. As a result, in the state of Massachusetts, eight-year olds are reading Heather has Two Mommies. To make things worse, their parents cannot opt out of these classes.
In California five-year olds are asked to become gay “Allies” and they can join such a club, which meets during breaks in their elementary classrooms. These kinds of ill-advised social experiments may produce a host of unexpected consequences. If gay marriage is allowed, the nation will soon begin to experience more and more degradation of the nuclear family - resulting in fewer kids being raised by both a mom and a dad. There have been no studies that suggest that any other marriage arrangement beats the power of having one mom and one dad investing in their own biological children.
What will the landscape of America look like if same-sex marriage is legalized across our nation? According to the writings of Dr. Stanley Kurtz, nations who have gone this way see a dramatic increase in out of wedlock births, long-term singleness, and other symptoms of the devaluation of the institution. If the American family loses the presence of its birth dad in the home, there will be several huge consequences.
Consider these statistics. Over half of Americans studied in a survey in 2001 by Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government believe that the high number of single-parent families is a major cause of poverty. Studies also reveal that most Americans believe that welfare programs encourage single-parent families and teenage pregnancy.
Malcolm D. Williams in 1997, used a sample of 1,610 10-13 year-olds in a study. He found that children who learn to share significant ideas with their fathers had fewer behavior problems and developed stronger cognitive abilities than their peers.
Similar results were found in a 1995 study of 254 black adolescents living with both of their biological parents. Ninety-six percent of these boys said their fathers were their role models. In this study, only 44 percent of black adolescents who were not living with their fathers said their fathers were their role models.
The Journal of Family Psychology in 2000 reported a study of 116 African American students ages 10-13. The boys with married parents were found to have much higher levels of self esteem and a better sense of personal power and self-control compared to single-mother homes.
Repeatedly, scholarly studies focused on adolescence show that early onset of puberty in girls is a major problem. It is associated with negative psychological, social, and health problems. Depression, alcohol consumption, and higher teenage pregnancy rates are some of the results. An eight year study of girls and their families showed that a father’s presence in the home, with appropriate involvement in his children’s lives, contributed to later pubertal timing of the daughters in the seventh grade.
These studies and scores of others suggest what most Americans have always known: that both boys and girls, are deeply affected in both biological and psychological ways by the presence of their fathers. We have emphasized the father half of the biblical duo called “parents,” assuming the mother is intact within the family setting.
In conclusion, let me cite the fact that even former Vice President Al Gore sees the need for strong fathers to remain in the nuclear family. In June 2000 he said, “Don’t ever doubt the impact that fathers have on children. Children with strongly committed fathers learn about trust early on. They learn about trust with their hearts. They learn they are wanted, that they have value, and that they can afford to be secure and confident and set their sights high.”
Most gay activists do not seem to understand that two mommies or two daddies cannot replace the balance of one mother and one father. Despite the incredible adaptability of children, our entire culture should advocate for family structures which promote the most positive environments of our next generations.
Let’s set our sights high. Let’s not fall victim to the inevitability argument of our opposition. We need simply need an army of bi-partisan leaders to strategize, organize, and prioritize the protection of marriage!
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.