Monday, August 28, 2017

UK: Sarah Champion and the silencing of debate

Chilling any discussion about Muslim pedophile gangs is an insult to victims

This week, Sarah Champion, Labour MP for Rotherham, resigned as shadow minister for women and equalities. Why? Because she wrote an article in the Sun last week raising questions about Pakistani grooming gangs.

It was the headline to Champion’s piece that caused most controversy: ‘British Pakistani men ARE raping and exploiting white girls… and it’s time we faced up to it.’ Critics of Champion said she was making a racist generalisation about the Pakistani community. Champion later claimed the opening paragraphs of her piece had been ‘stripped of nuance’ by the Sun’s editors, though the Sun says her people checked the piece twice and said it ‘looked great’.

Let’s get one thing straight: Champion is not a racist. Aside from the questionable headline, her article made an important point. She was writing about two things: the independent inquiry into the scale of abuse of women in the Rotherham area, and the conviction of 17 men in Newcastle under Operation Sanctuary. The inquiry, commissioned by Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council, revealed that 1,400 girls and young women had been abused in the area over a period of six years, and that ‘the majority of known perpetrators were of Pakistani heritage, including the five men convicted in 2010’. The men convicted in Operation Sanctuary were from a mix of backgrounds: Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Indian, Iraqi, Iranian and Turkish.

Champion, as MP for the area, had been party to discussions about the abuse cases in Rotherham and Rochdale, and had worked to change the law on grooming in response to police negligence. She is familiar with this subject and how contentious it is. The inquiry Champion wrote about said that both police and social services had wilfully ignored data and failed to protect vulnerable girls — and one of the reasons this happened is because the issues of race and religion were seen as too sensitive for open, frank discussion.

Champion’s resignation sends out a clear message: discussing the significance of race or religion in these cases is frowned upon. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the resignation was Champion’s decision. But she really only started to receive criticism after her piece was quoted in a Sun column by Trevor Kavanagh this week — a column which attracted the ire of many MPs for its critical comments on Islam. It wasn’t Champion’s original argument that got her into trouble: it was the fact that they were later cited as part of a criticism of Islam. Criticising Islam is a no-no today.

‘You cannot blame an entire community, an entire nation or an entire ethnic community’, Corbyn said in response to Champion’s resignation. She didn’t do that, and outside of the crazier sections of the alt-right, nobody does that. It seems quite clear that Champion’s resignation wasn’t voluntary; she seems to have been pushed out for saying unacceptable things.

The abuse scandals in Rotherham, Rochdale and Newcastle are ugly and deeply complex. As Luke Gittos has argued on spiked, to focus on one element, including the perpetrator’s religion or ethnicity, ignores other factors that led to thousands of young working-class girls being repeatedly abused. The inquiry Champion mentioned pointed out that, in the UK, ‘the greatest numbers of perpetrators of CSE [child sexual exploitation] are white men’. But it also said that, in the Rotherham area, race and religion are a significant factor in such cases. ‘The majority of perpetrators were described as “Asian” by victims, yet throughout the entire period, councillors did not engage directly with the Pakistani heritage community to discuss how best they could jointly address the issue.’

Champion herself pointed out that the ‘irony of all of this is that, by not dealing with the ethnicity of the abusers as a fact, political correctness has actually made the situation about race’. The first miscarriage of justice happened when the authorities in the area failed to deal with the full facts of the case. To carry on in this vein, by silencing any uncomfortable discussion about race or religion, as has happened with Champion, adds to this miscarriage and is a further insult to the victims.

No one is arguing that all Pakistani men, or all Muslim men, are child abusers or rapists — that would be absolutely absurd. Parts of Champion’s article did sail dangerously close to making such an accusation, and people should of course feel free to criticise her: that’s free speech. But in resigning over her ‘extremely poor choice of words’, Champion has proven one of the points she and others have been trying to make: that discussing the ethnic or religious make-up of these grooming gangs is pretty much forbidden in polite society.

The silencing of discussion is worrying. It sets a dangerous precedent, possibly discouraging other vulnerable working-class girls from coming forward if they are abused. It tells them they will cause controversy and embarrassment if they speak up about their experiences. But it also demeans Muslim and Pakistani communities, through suggesting they cannot handle scrutiny or debate about some of their community members’ behaviour. This clearly isn’t the case: Muslim leaders and members of the Rotherham Pakistani community publicly condemned the actions of the perpetrators and have welcomed dialogue.

By chilling discussion, we deny ourselves the ability to consider all aspects of these cases. Maybe the fact that these men are Muslim and had a tendency to view white working-class women as ‘trash’ had something to do with their actions – maybe it didn’t. Only open debate will let us find out, and will ensure that where there are problems between communities, we can try to do something about them.


From the BBC school of history... why everything is Britain's fault

Everything is your fault. But there’s no need to say sorry, because the BBC is busy apologising on your behalf.

Barely a week goes by without its guilt-ridden liberals blaming Britain for all the world’s woes. Self-loathing is their hobby — it makes them feel better.

Film-maker Gurinder Chadha, brought up in Southall, London, was at pains throughout India’s Partition: The Forgotten Story (BBC2) to emphasise that Britain alone was responsible for millions of deaths and decades of conflict following the separation of Pakistan in 1947.

She returned to this theme repeatedly, even though all her evidence contradicted the claim. Whenever the facts indicated that the sundering of India was due to ego clashes between its leaders or the aftermath of World War II, Gurinder nodded grimly and blamed Britain.

She especially accused Sir Winston Churchill, who she said despised Hindus. He was the epitome of the British Establishment, she sneered — though anyone who knows the first thing about Churchill will realise he was an outsider in every society.

As fake doctor Cath Hardacre (Jodie Whittaker) confessed that she had stolen another woman’s identity in Trust Me (BBC1), we saw her face multiplied into three, through the prism of a glass lamp. Nicely done.

The British Raj deliberately promoted hatred between Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus, she claimed, in a policy of ‘divide and rule’. But to prove her point she travelled to Delhi and Calcutta, two of the most multi-cultural cities on Earth — a living legacy of British policies for a united India.

Unforgiveably, she claimed that when rioting broke out in Calcutta in 1946, the British government could have stopped the violence ‘like that’ — snapping her fingers. The hundreds of deaths were ‘a real victory for Divide and Rule’, she jeered.

Yet moments earlier, Gurinder had been explaining that this country with its vast population was uncontrollable, and that the Raj was hopelessly undermanned.

The historians she interviewed were just as biased. One claimed that the British ‘scuttled the ship of India and swam away like rats’. That’s very moderate language!

Her family history seemed to fuel her anger: her Sikh mother and aunts were forced to flee Kashmir following partition.

Her Aunt Balwant said with tearful poetry: ‘People write in golden and silver words, but this history is written in blood.’ But the family sought refuge in London and found it. Britain welcomed them and saved their lives.

Pakistan, on the other hand, still refuses to give Gurinder a visa, even to film this programme.

If the Beeb blames Britain for everything, the Yesterday channel’s documentaries, made mainly for the U.S., seem barely aware that we exist. Impossible Engineering (Yesterday) felt it had to point out that Bristol and Coventry are in England.

Perhaps because they are aware that the show will mostly be watched by Americans, the writers also make sure that any complicated concepts are explained by animated cartoon characters.

I feel much more knowledgable about the economics of mass production, now that I’ve seen Impossible Engineering’s doodles of knights in armour and blacksmiths.


White liberal arrested on terrorism charges after attack on black Trump supporter

A white liberal activist has been arrested after punching a man for being a black Trump supporter, then bragging about it on Twitter.

Laguna, California police arrested 20-year-old Richard Losey Tuesday evening for Sunday’s videotaped assault.

Losey is charged with battery, and with making terrorist threats.

The Trump supporter, R.C. Maxwell, was surrounded by a liberal mob Sunday, who targeted him for his beliefs and skin color. Some in the crowd called him a “sellout” before Losey stepped in and began a KKK-style beating.

Losey then got on Twitter to brag and laugh about punching a black man.

“I did what I had to do. He ran and left us alone when his input wasn’t wanted. We all told him to leave and he didn’t. He had it coming,” Losey said, doing his best impression of a neo-Nazi.

“Please arrest me lmao,” he then taunted.

So that’s what police did.

Maxwell knows that, as a black conservative, he is a target for media hatred and liberal violence.

“If the optics were completely different and I was a black lives matter supporter and I was attacked on the Trump side of a protest I would be in the spotlight on CNN right now,” Maxwell told local station Fox 11. “I went over to the left side to see if I could engage them with dialogue and I was instantly encircled by the so called anti fascists.”

“I think the fact that I’m a black conservative causes a lot of problems for the left side because there’s no way they can really resolve that according to their narrative of what they think trump supporters are, so I think that was a bit triggering to the other side,” Maxwell said. “I was getting lots of specific comments like you’re a sellout, you’re an Uncle Tom.”


Segregation lives on

Sag Harbor Hills and the neighboring districts of Ninevah Beach and Azurest are unique among beach communities in the Hamptons, the collection of affluent towns on the eastern end of New York’s Long Island long known for attracting wealthy summer residents.

Founded in the village of Sag Harbor after World War II, in an era of deep segregation in the United States, they were home to a robust African-American population. Developers offered parcels of land in parched areas of the village for just a few hundred dollars or more. Working-class black families purchased much of the land, eventually creating several communities linked by dirt roads along Route 114.

Though their roots are working class, these neighborhoods of modest ranch houses and bungalows today are a haven for middle-class and upper-middle-class black families, populated by doctors and lawyers, artists and academics. They rank as the oldest African-American developments in the Hamptons and are among a handful of beach communities in the United States with African-American roots, including Oak Bluffs on Martha’s Vineyard.

The racial makeup of the districts kept home prices down for decades with many white buyers choosing to live in other parts of the village.

Yet that is changing as home prices in the Hamptons continue to rise, says Dianne McMillan Brannen, a broker with Douglas Elliman who has lived in Ninevah for more than 25 years. “Investors are being lured to these areas now and are looking for bargains,” she says. She estimates that about a dozen homes sold to investors last summer, up from four or five the previous year.

Sag Harbor is not alone. Across the country, some historically black beach communities that have long escaped major property development and an influx of real estate investors are increasingly fending off both.

As values soar in surrounding locations, pricing out many second-home buyers, historically black beach enclaves from American Beach near Jacksonville, Fla., to South Carolina’s rural Sea Islands are seeing sharp increases in development and new home buyers.

Like gentrification debates raging in largely urban areas across the nation, the increase in new money, along with a generational shift, is sparking concerns in some historically black beach communities about the possible loss of their culture and identity.

“The irony is that many of these places were deemed undesirable when African-Americans first moved there,” says historian Andrew W. Kahrl, author of “The Land Was Ours: How Black Beaches Became White Wealth in the Coastal South.” “Some of these areas are gold mines today, but those luxury resorts in parts of coastal Georgia, South Carolina, and around the Chesapeake were havens for African-American life and culture.”

Historically black beach communities date back as far as the 1930s in a handful of coastal areas across the United States. Many sprang up during segregation when blacks were either barred from whites-only beaches or simply unwelcome. While most were in the South, many took shape in the Northeast and Upper Midwest, evolving into beachheads for thriving economic and social life for African-Americans.

Audrey Davis grew up spending her summers in Highland Beach, a historic African-American enclave near Annapolis, Md. The town was a haven for affluent black Washingtonians seeking refuge from segregation and drew many black intellectuals including Paul Robeson, Booker T. Washington, and Langston Hughes.

Her grandfather, teacher and author Arthur P. Davis, purchased the land in the 1940s and built the wooden, two-story home that her parents still own today. “It was actually made from reclaimed wood from a whites-only hotel across the street,” says Davis, who is director of the Alexandria Black History Museum in Virginia. “Our whole family would gather there in the summer because we cherished the sense of community.”

But, she says, there is not a month that goes by that her parents do not receive a letter or two in their mailbox asking if they would consider selling the house. Though the waterfront community is relatively small — about 100 year-round residents — there has been a gradual uptick in home sales the past few years. The once-remote location of Highland Beach is slowly growing more integrated, with about 20 white and five Hispanic residents making Highland Beach their home, according to census data.

African-American homeownership along South Carolina’s Sea Islands dates to 1865 when the Union army issued orders to give freed black men the island chain and abandoned rice plantations. Despite decades of decline, fueled by ravaging storms and overzealous development, a dwindling number of black families still live and work on the islands today.

Known as the Gullah, they are descendants of enslaved Africans who lived in the Lowcountry regions of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.

A firm population count of blacks on the Sea Islands is difficult to obtain. But as part of an application for protected status in 2005, the Gullah/Geechee estimated their total population in the Carolinas, Georgia, and northern Florida at 200,000, according to Marquetta Goodwine, cofounder of the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition.

Though much of the island chain in South Carolina has been declared a Cultural Heritage Corridor by the National Park Service, that has not stopped developers from chipping away at waterfront locations. Property projects large and small now dot many locations, and some locals fear it will eventually resemble Hilton Head, the upmarket waterfront resort in South Carolina that was once home to the Gullahs.

“They’re communicating with the developers, but when you have a multimillion-dollar development coming into an area, it’s always going to be an unequal conversation,” says Bernie Mazyck, president of the South Carolina Association of Community Development Corporations.

Oak Bluffs, a sliver of Martha’s Vineyard that is home to a lively African-American population, has long attracted wealthy second-home buyers. But the town holds a unique history for African-Americans.

Its harbor drew freed slaves and laborers in the 18th century, and white locals sold them land. The town eventually became a popular destination for freed blacks, who came to work in the fishing industries.

In the late 19th and 20th centuries, middle-class blacks began buying and renting summer homes in Oak Bluffs, eventually turning the town into a mecca for successful African-Americans. Martin Luther King Jr. vacationed in Oak Bluffs, as did Joe Louis, Harry Belafonte, and Dorothy West, a Harlem Renaissance writer. Barack Obama vacationed on the Vineyard every summer but one during the eight years of his presidency.

Oak Bluffs Beach, known as the Inkwell, is a famed stretch of sand some say was named by Harlem Renaissance writers who came to the Vineyard and found inspiration near the water and thus named the beach that was once segregated from the white beach.

Yet despite its history and oceanfront location, Oak Bluffs has not experienced the same kind of real estate squeeze as other historically black beach communities, says Richard Taylor, a real estate executive and director of the Center for Real Estate at Suffolk University in Boston. He is also the author of “Martha’s Vineyard: Race, Property, and the Power of Place.” He credits local officials, who have tightened already demanding rules on residential development to fend off new buyers’ dreams of building larger homes closer to the ocean.

And while the town has seen a fair share of new buyers — white and black — the Vineyard’s long history of celebrating African-American culture has kept it as a vibrant location for black homeowners, Taylor says. “We have film festivals and book clubs and churches all dedicated to the history and culture of African-American life,” says Taylor, who has owned a home in the East Chop section of Oak Bluffs since the 1970s.

In Sag Harbor, the influx of money underscores the challenges facing many historically black beaches. While home prices and the pace of sales are falling across the Hamptons, Sag Harbor is bucking the downward trend.

Last year, the median price of a house in the Hamptons fell 5.3 percent from 2015, while the number of sales was down 13.7 percent, according to appraiser Jonathan Miller. But Sag Harbor saw a 25 percent increase in the median home sale price in 2016 compared with a year earlier, rising from $1.2 million to $1.5 million.

Though homes in the historically black sections of Sag Harbor have not yet reached those sales levels, prices are rising, says Frank Wimberley, a 90-year-old artist who has kept a home in Sag Harbor Hills almost half his lifetime. Still active today, the abstract painter creates new works in a studio at the back of his modest beach bungalow.

“It’s worrisome because it’s beginning to feel like a takeover,” he says. “These areas were born when blacks were unwelcome in a lot of places. And for me and many longtime residents, they will always be places of special significance.”

Brannen, the broker with Douglas Elliman, is more blunt. “Rising home values are good, but eventually this part of Sag Harbor will look like just another upscale beach resort,” she says. “And I don’t think anyone wants that.”



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


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