Forty years ago, a colleague told me that he did not like black people. I asked him why, and he replied: ‘because they don’t wash’. Now obviously I realised the absurdity of this view. Such generalisations – the hallmark of racism – have nowadays been banished from respectable society. At least, they have on the Right; for a genetic mutation of same weed has now taken root on the Left – and it is growing rapidly. I wish to explain why this is so.
To attract support, the Left must continually stoke a culture of victimhood. ‘You are oppressed’, they say. ‘Give us your vote, and we will fight for you’. But if any racial problems are ameliorated, then their supporters may drift away. They are not like a legitimate doctor, who will say: ‘you’re not ill, go away’. They are more like a quack doctor: you will never be ‘cured’; and the treatment will just continue for as long as you continue paying for it. This is why the Left see racism everywhere. They twist and distort, so that anything can be deemed racist. It is why the Left have switched from a legitimate usage of ‘racist’ to a shaming usage. They are the Grievance-Stoking Party. It is also why the politics of the Left are so inimical and so enervating to ethnic minorities: the Left are not interested in addressing any real racism; they just want the votes.
A colossal irony is this: the Left see racism everywhere, except where it actually exists: that is, among themselves. Black people on the Right already know this. Readers might care to watch the testimonies of Larry Elder and Candice Owens: their videos are available in the usual places. The vile racist abuse they receive comes not from the Right, but from the Left. They are called Uncle Toms or cocoanuts or race traitors or Oreo cookies. There are other, far uglier epithets that I will not record. Leftist racism is more advanced in the USA; but we now have it here, as our Home Secretary, Priti Patel, knows to her cost.
To explain racism of the Left we must enter the Leftist mind-set, which conceptualises the world as a battle between ‘Victim’ and ‘Oppressor’; or good and evil. There are several obvious victimhood groups: homosexuals oppressed by heterosexuals; women oppressed by men; and ethnic minorities oppressed by Caucasians. Priti Patel, a woman of Ugandan-Indian descent, is therefore an affront to the Left. They do not like to see a woman of her ethnicity on the Right: she threatens their Grievance-Stoking Machine; for she is sand in this machine’s lubricating system. There is an oppressed tribe for her in Leftist circles: and she is not in it. Does she not understand that she’s oppressed? People of her ethnicity are supposed to express the views appropriate to her victimhood tribe: that is, Leftist views.
A generation ago, racists used to point at Priti Patel and say, ‘You people are all like that.’ And today’s Leftists have their oppressed tribe, where ‘You people are all like that’. This is not the overt racism of the past: it is the covert racism of today’s Left; for group identity rather than individual identity is what matters. This betrayal of Martin Luther King’s wonderful legacy is both shameless and wicked. We now see that Leftism, stripped and pared to its core, is not only divisive, but also deeply racist. The Left are no longer bringing us together, but driving us apart. That is, Leftist politics promote tribalism.
Let us examine generalisations a little more. ‘You are a Yorkshireman, and therefore you like brass bands.’ The Left will generalise in a racist way when it suits them politically to do so: ‘You are a Jew; therefore you pose a threat to Palestinians.’ The British Left will also generalise in a way that is quasi-racist: ‘You are an American; therefore you are ignorant and stupid.’ Except Barrack Obama, that is. He is not stupid, because he is on the Left. But if he experienced an epiphany and switched to the Right, then the Left would throw all their racial slurs at him with gusto.
Unpersuaded readers might reflect on the Guardian, that ‘champion’ of antiracism. Their cartoonist habitually portrayed George W Bush with simian features; but we know what would happen, if any newspaper portrayed Barrack Obama similarly. When Serena Williams, a black sportswoman, was portrayed unflatteringly in a cartoon by The Herald Sun, the Left had an apoplectic fit, claiming the depiction was ‘racist’. On the other hand, when Priti Patel was portrayed unflatteringly – and in the Guardian – the Left accepted it without demure: she was only getting her just desserts. It was condign punishment for escaping the Left’s plantation.
To the Left, therefore, ‘racism’ is both sword and shield: it slashes and jabs at any disagreement (the Right, mainly); but also protects and shelters any agreement (the Left, mainly). In other words, racism to the Left is just a political tool: no more, no less. As I say, this ploy is used to obtain votes; it has nothing at all to do with helping any ethnic minorities; it just exploits them.
The Guardian, incidentally, is currently stoking racial grievance on an industrial scale: slavery in the distant past is the biggest cog of all in the Left’s Grievance-Stoking Machine. But the Guardian was founded by John Edward Taylor, a man with some rather iffy credentials himself. If Edward Colston must be toppled, then the racist Guardian should follow suit – and fall on its own sword. But of course it will not. The hypocrisy of the Left knows no bounds; the duplicity of the Left is endless. Anything to obtain power.
To become Home Secretary, Priti Patel required no quotas for women or ethnic minorities; and she flatly refuses to wallow in the Left’s self-righteous, virtue- signalling culture of victimhood and grievance. In this she has much in common with Margaret Thatcher – another hate figure on the Left. They had many reasons for hating her, but the germane one is this: her success proved that women are not oppressed by a sexist patriarchy; that is, she was also sand in the Left’s Grievance- Stoking Machine. Did Margaret Thatcher not know that she was oppressed? She became Prime Minister seemingly without realising so! Women are supposed to express the views appropriate to feminist victimhood: that is, Leftist views. But the Conservatives have now had two female leaders and two female Prime Ministers; whereas Labour has not had one, single female leader in its entire history – despite their women-only shortlists.
Meanwhile the Grievance-Stroking Machine of the Left goes on and on, running at full throttle, turbocharged and intercooled, wickedly exploiting the tragedy of George Floyd. It is why the Left continue to excuse away the despoliations of the angry crowd, very angry and very loud. The Left want the votes of the aggrieved; and they may get enough of them. We should fear a government of this type; for it would create and Orwellian society with a Ministry of Antiracism that stokes racism.
We owe a debt of thanks to Leftists of the old stripe: they fought the racism of the Right – and won. But in doing so, the Left have kicked away a cornerstone of their own existence. They are angry for precisely that reason: they have little left to do. They must manufacture more oppression; stoke ever-more grievance; if they are to justify their own existence. This is the purpose of their Grievance-Stoking Machine; for they cannot afford to let racism go away. But by stoking grievance they are driving us back into tribalism, in which we are judged by the colour of our skin, rather than the content of our character. Where we once had the ‘progressive’ Left; we now have the ‘regressive’ Left. The Left that fought the monster of racism, has in the process become another monster.