Liberal Conspiracy: Why “calling out racism when you see it” doesn’t always work

The rallying cry that “we should call out racism when we see it” is an easy one to make on the Left.

It is up there with “Tories are heartless, evil bastards” and “we should set up a political party that really represents the working class” – in making us feel all fuzzy and perhaps even mobilised to take on the world. Especially when these days you can call out racism with just an ill-tempered and carefully worded tweet. Doing it when Nigel Farage is on BBC Question Time gets you bonus retweets.

But there are several problems with this cry, especially defining what exactly constitutes racism. Furthermore, such accusations don’t always help those its intended to.

You may think this is semantics and tactics, but its not. It has real impact.

A few years ago I was invited to a round-table on the imminent launch of British Future, and a group of American campaigners on immigration had come over. They issued a stark warning: “Most of what we’ve been saying about immigration for the last 40 years has backfired, and not worked for us.”

They explained that the pro-immigration lobby had spent millions of dollars and years of campaigning to defend immigration, but had failed until recently. I wrote earlier about what they said.

For many on the Left this sounds like ‘playing politics’ than taking a .principled position’. This sort of knee-jerk thinking has infected our body politic, with little regard for outcomes or whether the rhetoric helps the very people it is meant to.

I have two simple rules on race-related controversies:
1) Does being outraged over it help the cause? If not, its just empty posturing.

2) Criticise the action itself as ‘racist’ (if and when it happens) rather than offering up blanket accusations of racism.

This is the definitive word on talking about racism. HEED IT

In summary: if you’re going to go around saying “we should call out racism when we see it and anyone who disagrees with is an apologist” – you should ask whether you’re doing it to make yourself feel better or actually help victims of racism.

via Sunny Hundal Liberal Conspiracy http://ift.tt/1has9KG

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