The racist tropes which casually depict those who are not white as “other” are by now so well-known as to be glaringly obvious to anyone with brain plugged in and a hole in their backside. And one of the most obvious racist tropes is that framing the target as “other”, as somehow not belonging. Despite this, the number of right-wing pundits prepared to lecture others that they should “be more grateful” to this country remains worryingly high.
The best-known recent example was the Mail’s Glenda Emeritus Amanda Platell (who is an immigrant) lecturing Stormzy on being grateful: “is it asking too much that he show a scintilla of gratitude to the country that offered his mother and him so much?” She wouldn’t have dreamed being such a witless hypocrite if her target had been white.
Nor, it seems, would Mid Bedfordshire’s MP (yes, it’s her again) Nadine Dorries, who has decided to have a go at Yasmin Alibhai-Brown - well, so many others in the less than well informed pundit class are doing, and perhaps she doesn’t want to miss out. What set the fragrant Nadine off was “Is it safe to be back on twitter? Have people- including royal wedding journalist junkies- run out of breath yet? Proof again that GB is an infantalized, escapist nation” from Ms Alibhai-Brown. Why? Don’t ask.
“Yasmin, why don’t you just try to be nice? Maybe appreciate just a little the country and the people you have chosen the live, work and benefit from all of your life” snapped Ms Dorries. Nailed-on racist trope - the “ungrateful outsider”. There is the white person saying “you, yes you, the brown person - be grateful for what we give you”.
Small wonder that the condemnation was immediate, typical being the response from Matt Kelly: “oh wow - @NadineDorries; know what you sound like here? And they wonder how #windrush could have happened”. His concern was shared by others.
Zoe Williams of the Guardian was one of those: “It is frankly unbelievable, the racist & misogynist (remember mike fabricant?) insults serving conservative MPs will throw at @y_alibhai”. And one pundit was markedly less subtle.
Ash Sarkar had seen it all before: “This is such a classic racist trope: the demand that one must suspend all critical faculties in the name of ‘gratitude’ in order to exist as a person of colour in this country”. She also ended with the ultimate expression of disgust.
Ms Alibhai-Brown had also seen it all before, and perhaps wearily replied “So this is the modern, diverse Tory party. To that over excited @NadineDorries I say, remember freedom of opinion? Or is that just for white Brits? And where will you send me back to? Does maverick @OborneTweets also have to go?” Quite.
What made it worse is that Ms Dorries just didn’t get it. “Seriously Yasmin, the last time you and I were together you apologised to me for being so ‘hateful.’ Below you to play the race card, you’re better than that. Have a nice day”. Wrong, wrong, wrong. The one playing the race card was the fragrant Nadine, not her target.
And don’t forget, they allowed her to become an MP. I’ll just leave that one there.