Monday, October 03, 2016

Leftist racism is getting worse

The BBC was at the centre of a damaging diversity row last night after one of its top radio stars was sacked for being 'white and male'.

Bafta award-winning comedian Jon Holmes was axed from The Now Show – the hit Radio 4 programme he has appeared on for 18 years – when bosses told him 'we're recasting it with more women and diversity'.

Last night, leading figures from the world of entertainment and across the political spectrum reacted with fury to the BBC instigating a policy in which it was now choosing performers based on their gender or skin colour, instead of their talent.

Mr Holmes revealed that since his sacking he has heard from other stars who have been rejected by broadcasting bosses because of 'positive discrimination'. He told how one woman presenter was given a job only later to be told 'we can't have you, because you are too white and middle class'.

Another performer was considered 'perfect' for a role but could not be employed because bosses had been told to cast someone Asian, he said.

In an article for The Mail on Sunday, below, Mr Holmes said he accepted the need for diversity but asked: 'Should I, as a white man (through no fault of my own), be fired from my job because I am a white man?'

Damningly for the BBC, he revealed that even bosses responsible for setting up the Corporation's diversity policies had got in touch with him to say that political correctness 'had all got out of hand'.

One executive admitted: 'It was never about sacking people who already do the job and simply replacing them to tick a box.'

Reacting to the toxic revelations, racial equality campaigner Trevor Phillips said the removal of Mr Holmes to make way for minority performers showed the BBC 'don't believe black or Asian people are as good as white people'.

And actress Maureen Lipman, meanwhile, called for the sacking of the executive responsible for Mr Holmes's removal.

Tory MP Conor Burns blamed the BBC's idea of diversity on its 'Notting Hill-set world view' and said it was 'ironic' the row came in the same week ex-Labour Cabinet Minister James Purnell was given the job of Director of Radio, despite being 'another middle class white man'.

Mr Holmes has been a writer and performer on The Now Show since it was first broadcast in 1997. The programme, with a weekly audience of two million, is presented by Outnumbered's Hugh Dennis with his comedy partner Steve Punt.

Mr Holmes, 47, was left stunned by the phone call a few days ago from a female producer who told him in an 'awkward conversation' that he was being sacked. He said: 'She said, 'I'm afraid for the next series we are not inviting you back'.'

He later revealed his sacking in a tweet in which he joked: 'And I didn't even punch a producer,' a reference to the reason behind Jeremy Clarkson's sacking by the BBC from Top Gear.

Holmes's axing follows the BBC's April announcement of new diversity targets to ensure that women will make up half of its staff by 2020, including on screen, on air and in leadership roles. The Corporation is also aiming to increase the proportion of its workforce from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds to 15 per cent by the same date, while lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people should by then make up eight per cent of the staff.

But Mr Phillips – former chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission – branded the decision to drop Mr Holmes on the grounds of positive discrimination 'idiotic'.
It's unbelievable - we're talking about a person who has done some of the best work on radio 

He said: 'They are misunderstanding what the point of the diversity drive was about. This sounds like somebody who is basically climbing their way up the greasy ladder and they think hiring black and Asian talent is part of what they have got to do to look good.

'But they don't genuinely believe black or Asian people are as good as white people.'

Ms Lipman added: 'We are talking about someone who has done some of the best work on radio. It sounds unbelievable but if someone has sacked him for not doing anything wrong, they should be sacked for being crass.

'If diversity really is an issue, than perhaps someone could be appointed to work alongside Jon and learn his skills.'

Mr Holmes has won two Baftas, eight Sony awards and two British Comedy awards. He co-created Radio 4's Dead Ringers, which later transferred to BBC Two, and has been a co-writer of the Horrible Histories series for BBC One.

Racial equality campaigner Trevor Phillips criticised the move, while actress Maureen Lipman called for the sacking of the executive responsible for Mr Holmes's removal

Leading gay activist and human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell was also against the decision to sack the star. He said: 'Perhaps rather than giving Jon the boot, the BBC could reduce his input and give some of his slots to women and black comedians. That would satisfy everybody.'

The BBC has been at the centre of 'diversity' rows in the past. In 2001, its then director-general Greg Dyke provoked a storm for declaring the Corporation was 'hideously white'.

Ten years later, former BBC presenter Miriam O'Reilly won a case for age discrimination against the Corporation after she was dropped from BBC One's rural affairs show, Countryfile.

In 2014, then director of BBC Television Danny Cohen said the Corporation could no longer accept all-male panels on comedy series.

Since the edict, there has almost invariably been a woman comedian on shows such as Have I Got News For You, QI and Mock The Week.

A BBC spokesman thanked Mr Holmes for his 'excellent and memorable' contributions, adding: 'Our comedy shows are constantly evolving and it is time to create opportunities for new regulars as the show returns this autumn.'


Mohammed is at it again

Arabic-speaking man, 20, took selfies with 14-year-old girl in park 'before pushing her against a tree and sexually assaulting her'

Mohammed Alfrouh, 20, forced one of his victims against a tree in Leazes Park, Newcastle before groping her, the city's crown court has been told.

After his first alleged victim managed to get away, Alfrouh is said to have joined two of his friends in an attack on her 14-year-old school friend.

The court had previously heard how the Arabic-speaking men used Google Translate to communicate with their alleged victims.

The shocking allegations came to light when a recording of an interview the complainant gave to police was played to a jury today.

The girl said a group of men had approached them in May this year as the girls were by the see-saw and asked if they could 'play with them'.

The girls went back to the park the following day after school and saw the same group of men, who then followed them.

Alfrouh got her in a 'tight squeeze', put his sunglasses on her head and asked for a selfie, the jury heard.

The complainant said in her interview: 'I was a bit uncomfortable on the selfies. He pushed [me] on the tree, held [me] against it.

She said Alfrouh kissed her and groped her, adding: 'I was saying "Stop it. Get off [me]". He put his hand on my mouth.'

As he tried to undress, she managed to get away and ran to a bus stop in the city centre, she said.

There she met her friend who told police she was sexually assaulted by three men behind the hut.

The girl told the detective her friend was comforted by a woman at the bus stop, saying she had been 'raped' and that she was 'crying her eyes out'.

The girl claimed the three defendants then walked past them at the bus stop, laughing.

Alfrouh's barrister Sue Hirst cross examined the girl today and accused her of changing her story.

Miss Hirst asked why she was smiling in the selfies, which Alfrouh took on his Samsung Galaxy phone.

The girl replied: 'Because he had his arm round us, I couldn't do much. I didn't want to have an unhappy face in it.'

Miss Hirst said: 'You were quite happy to have those photos taken, weren't you?'

The girl replied: 'No.'

Miss Hirst said the girl claimed the attack happened in an area of the park 'potentially in full view of anyone who walked past', and added: 'This didn't happen did it?'

The schoolgirl replied: 'Yes, it did.'

Alfrouh, 20, of no fixed address, denies three counts of sexual assault.

Omar Badreddin, 18, of Kenton Bar, and Mohammed Allakkoud, 18, of Newcastle, deny a single charge of sexual assault, said to have been on the other girl behind the hut. The trial continues.


Massachusetts Supreme Court Says It’s Perfectly Legitimate for Black Men to Flee Police

Has it really come to this? On the heels of dramatic disagreement between the two major party presidential candidates about how to react to ongoing tension between the police and the African-American community, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts has unanimously concluded that a black man fleeing from a police officer investigating criminal activity is indicative of—nothing at all.

In the wake of recent shootings of African-American civilians by police officers in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Charlotte, North Carolina, followed by violent protests in Charlotte, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump had dramatically different reactions.

Clinton laid the blame on “systemic racism” and “implicit bias” and called for more community policing. Trump was equally troubled by these events, but called for more extensive use of stop-and-frisk tactics in high-crime areas. He speculated that perhaps the officer involved in the Tulsa shooting had “choked” when faced with a tense situation.

In the meantime, in a unanimous opinion issued on Tuesday, the Supreme Court of Massachusetts gave implicit approval for black men to run when the police ask to speak to them.

The facts in Commonwealth v. Jimmy Warren are pretty straightforward. Sometime after 9 p.m. on Dec. 18, 2011, in the Roxbury section of Boston (a high-crime area), a teenager entered his bedroom and saw a black male wearing a “red hoodie” jumping out the window. When he went to the window, he saw two more black men, one in a “black hoodie” and the other in dark clothes, running away.

The thieves had taken a backpack, a computer, and five baseball hats. The victim relayed the information to Officer Luis Anjos, who drove around the neighborhood for approximately 15 minutes looking for anyone who matched the victim’s admittedly vague description.

Because it was a cold night, Anjos did not encounter any pedestrians until he came upon Jimmy Warren and another black male. Both were wearing dark clothing, and one of them was wearing a hoodie.

Anjos decided to conduct a “field interrogation observation” (FIO), police jargon for a consensual encounter in which the officer asks someone what they are up to, and the person remains free to leave at any time. Anjos asked the two males to “wait a minute,” and they made eye contact with him before jogging away into a park.

The Massachusetts Supreme Court’s opinion will only serve to exacerbate racial tension and will handcuff the police in their attempts to rein in the crime epidemic that many of our inner cities are currently experiencing.

Anjos radioed what happened to his station and was overheard by two other officers in the neighborhood, who saw the two men coming out of the other side of the park. One of the officers said, “Hey fellas,” and one of the two men—Warren—ran back into the park. The officer observed Warren clutching the right side of his pants (consistent with carrying a gun in his pocket) as he ignored repeated requests to stop.

Following a brief chase, one of the officers drew his weapon and, after a struggle, arrested Warren. The officers found a gun near where Warren was apprehended, and he was subsequently charged and convicted of unlawful possession of a firearm.

Prior to trial, Warren moved to exclude the firearm as evidence, claiming that its discovery was the result of an illegal stop because the police lacked “reasonable suspicion”—the applicable legal standard under the Fourth Amendment to justify an investigatory stop—to stop him in connection with the breaking and entering that had occurred roughly a half-hour earlier.

The trial court denied the motion, but the Supreme Court of Massachusetts held that the motion should have been granted. In doing so the court noted, correctly, that an investigatory stop cannot be based on a mere hunch. However, the court acknowledged, “a combination of factors that are each innocent of themselves may, when taken together, amount to the requisite reasonable belief that a person has, is, or will commit a particular crime.”

The court noted, again correctly, that the victim’s description of the perpetrators was extremely vague. Besides, since the victim was not sure where the thieves went, and since nearly 30 minutes had elapsed, it was hard to connect the location where Anjos first spotted Warren to the crime Anjos was investigating.

Based on those facts alone, the officers would not have reasonable suspicion to tie Warren to the crime. Warren would have been well within his rights to tell the officer that he didn’t want to speak to him and to walk away. Yet that is not what Warren did.

Instead, Warren made eye contact with the officer and then hightailed it out of there, grabbing for his right pants pocket in the process. Would that be enough to justify an investigatory stop? Not according to the Massachusetts Supreme Court, which stated, “Where a suspect is under no obligation to respond to a police officer’s inquiry, we are of the view that flight to avoid that contact should be given little, if any, weight as a factor probative of reasonable suspicion.”

Noting that African-Americans are involved in a higher percentage of police-civilian encounters relative to their percentage of the city’s population, the court cited a study by the American Civil Liberties Union and an older internal study by the Boston Police Department.

According to Boston Police Commissioner Bill Evans, the latter study did not indicate any bias by the Boston police who were, and are, targeting high-crime areas. It is sadly a fact that violent crime rates are much higher in communities of color in and around the Boston area.

The court stated:

The finding that black males in Boston are disproportionately and repeatedly targeted for FIO encounters suggests a reason for flight totally unrelated to consciousness of guilt. Such an individual, when approached by the police, might just as easily be motivated by the desire to avoid the recurring indignity of being racially profiled as by the desire to hide criminal activity.

So what is a police officer to do when he wants to ask someone a question, and the person simply runs away? Well, according to the Massachusetts Supreme Court, if the person doing the running is African-American and the officer does not have solid evidence tying that person to a crime, the answer is: nothing.

As has been noted, there is a lot of tension between police officers and many members of the African-American community. This is regrettable, to be sure, but asking the police to blink at reality and ignore what they see happening right in front of them is a bridge too far.

As far back as 1896, the U.S. Supreme Court in Allen v. United States stated that “the law is entirely well settled that the flight of the accused is competent evidence against him as having a tendency to establish his guilt.”

The natural and eminently reasonable reaction of police officers, indeed of most people, is that unprovoked flight by an individual who encounters a police officer strongly suggests that the fleeing individual is connected to criminal activity that has been or is about to be committed. At the very least, the inferences that can be drawn from such flight should be enough to establish reasonable suspicion to support an investigatory stop.

The Massachusetts Supreme Court’s opinion will only serve to exacerbate racial tension and will handcuff the police in their attempts to rein in the crime epidemic that many of our inner cities are currently experiencing.


Blasphemy Rights Day Is a Farce

By Bill Donohue

Friday is International Blasphemy Rights Day. On paper, its stated goal appears eminently worth defending: it is opposed to laws, such as those in Muslim-run nations, that punish the free speech rights of those who criticize religion.

For example, it says, "Sometimes religious militants make their own laws, deciding for themselves that expressions of dissent justify brutal killings, like the grisly murders of secularists in Bangladesh, or attacks on religious minorities in Pakistan."

No one could reasonably argue with this assessment. But upon closer examination, it is clear that those who sponsor this event are not friends of liberty: they are rabidly opposed to religion, harboring a special hatred of Catholicism. In short, the whole project is a farce.

The Center for Inquiry is the force behind International Blasphemy Rights Day. It was once a respectable organization, but that ended in 2010 when its founder, philosopher Paul Kurtz, was forced out by a new board of directors. Led by Ronald A. Lindsay, the new board was comprised of militant, religion-hating, atheists. Kurtz died two years later.

When he was a young man, Kurtz studied under Sidney Hook, the brilliant New York University political philosopher whose intellectual migration traveled from Marxist to neo-conservative. I, too, studied under Hook, though more than two decades after Kurtz did. Hook had a tremendous effect on me (though not on my religious convictions), and to this day I remember him with affection. Both of these men were atheists, but neither was a hater. In fact, they both hated the religion haters.

Kurtz founded several secular humanist organizations, and was the editor of "The Humanist," an organ of the American Humanist Association. He insisted on putting a positive face on atheism while simultaneously adhering to a religion-friendly line. Unfortunately, over time American atheists became increasingly extreme, and so, too, did those drawn to organizations such as the Center for Inquiry.

By the time Kurtz was forced to resign, he had had it with what he called the "angry atheists." He was referring to the "new atheists," writers such as Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins. He properly called them "dogmatic" and atheist "fundamentalists," men whose malice toward religion was deeply offensive.

In 2010, just before Kurtz left the Center for Inquiry, he witnessed the first International Blasphemy Day. He was not happy with what happened. With good reason, he objected to a "Free Expression Cartoon Contest": top prize was given to a bishop ogling altar boys.

Two days before the event, I wrote a news release slamming it for its scheduled foray trashing Catholicism.

"Artist Dana Ellyn will wander to Washington, D.C. to show her masterpiece, 'Jesus Does His Nails,' a portrait of Jesus polishing a nail jammed into his hand. In Los Angeles, there will be a film about a gay molesting priest and another about a boy who is so angry about being sent to bed that he asks God to kill his parents."

One person who loved these displays of bigotry was PZ Meyers. He correctly said that the day was established to "mock and insult religion without fear of murder, violence, and reprisal." The University of Minnesota professor is known for intentionally desecrating a consecrated Host with a rusty nail.

In recent years, the participants at these Blasphemy Rights Day events have been better behaved—owing to the backlash—but the fundamental problem remains. The Center for Inquiry believes that "free speech is the foundation on which other liberties rest." Wrong. Freedom of religion is the foundational liberty, but to admit that would undercut its mission.

To demonstrate how committed the Center for Inquiry is to hate speech, consider that it will soon be home to the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science. Dawkins is to Catholics what the Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan is to blacks. A few months ago, he said, "I'm all for offending people's religion. I think it should be offended at every opportunity."



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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


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