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Friday 12 March 2021

Racism - Press In Denial

As part of his Full Disclosure series for LBC, James O’Brien talked this week, in the wake of Oprah’s Haz and Megs interview, to actor David Harewood, whose surname derives from his ancestors having been sold as slaves and forced to work for the family of the Earls of Harewood. The discussion was instructive on the British media’s racism problem. The problem, as ever, is that the part of the media with the problem is not listening.

The debate on race is so much more advanced and progressive here in America, Britain is now looked on as this … outlier, this backward … place where discussions on race haven’t even begun. [Piers Morgan] is now the pin-up of … denialist, white male Britain … America is, for the first time … understanding ‘they don’t actually know what racism is … they don’t feel that they are guilty of it’ … when most Americans know it exists”.

There was more. “Because Britain put all its racism and slavery offshore, most Brits … have this strange notion of what racism is … it is extraordinary how, in Britain today, pointing out racism leaves you vulnerable to being called a racist. It is an extraordinary gymnastic trick the Brits pull to shut down all conversation on what is a very uncomfortable subject for them”. Examples of this behaviour are not hard to find.

White people calling “racist”, or more often “race baiter” on those who are not white, but who raise the subject of racism (pace Laurence Fox on Question Time). Brown and black Britons being denounced as “stupid” (see any discussion on Diane Abbott, for instance). Then we get to the press response to That Oprah Interview. And today’s headlines.

Deflection and projection are the names of today’s denial game, with the Mail, as ever in such matters, at peak righteousness. “WILLIAM BLASTS BACK AT RACE SLUR … Duke says Royal Family is NOT racist - and Queen and Charles support him … as he and Kate show what duty really means”. The Express is in the same area, with “HAUNTED BY RACE SLUR, WILLIAM STRIKES BACK”. How DARE anyone call the Royals racist!

Meanwhile, those objecting to racism denial are attacked as exponents of “Cancel Culture”, with Mail Online thundering “How the 'woke wing' of Fleet Street took over the Society of Editors and threw its boss under the bus for daring to defend the British press against Meghan's accusations of racism”. Defending the press - by lying. Badly.

This stance has been defended by proclaiming that FREEZE PEACH is under attack, that Cancel Culture is rampaging through society, and that Good Old Honest Debate is being shut down. But Ian Murray, former head man at the SoE, was not cancelled. He resigned. So did Piers Morgan, who was so comprehensively silenced he hasn’t shut up since.

As campaigning group Hacked Off put it, “So much wrong with this from [Mail Online]. Implicit denial of press racism. Chilling attacks on journalists & editors with the bravery to speak out. Anyone who stands up to press bullying is a target”. Meanwhile, the BBC’s clueless new DG Tim Davie has cancelled the Mash Report, in the delusional belief that those who won’t rest until the Corporation is no more will now cut him some slack.

Strangely, those baying about Cancel Culture have not raised a finger. The attacks on the Mash Report’s host Nish Kumar are nothing to do with racism, honestly. And please don’t force the press establishment to admit it has a problem. Perish the thought, eh?

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Anonymous said...

They'll have a hard time "explaining" away Phil the Greek, then:


Gulliver said...

The problem for the British press and the Tory Party they support is, if they suddenly start back tracking now on their past misdemeanors, how is this going to go down with the approx. 40% of people they've deliberately riled up into a mass of frothing, flag shagging , history denying 60 somethings who form the back bone of Tory support, who thus enable the continued Tory presence in government which suits the right wing press's ownership down to the ground?

We've seen what happens to anyone who has the temerity to oppose the current status quo (2015-2019) and if they can turn the most anti-racist politician into a borderline Heinrich Himmler in the eye's of their readers you can bet your house that this little hiccup won't stop them.

Anonymous said...

This is the least racist country in the world. That is why so many races want to come here. Remind me when we had slaves or segregation in this country.

Anonymous said...

@17.16 .... um ...no .... it’s only that our media have done such a good job of historically spreading sanctimonious bullshit around the world that people want to come here, but then the first thing they see from their dinghies is little hitler from age frothing from the cliff top with videocamera in hand, the second thing say see is the triangular silhouette of pristine Patel pointing them towards the awaiting sercokommando barracks, the third thing the see are silly fookers like you telling them “they’ll be no racism here” whilst lobbing Molotovs at them.