Doubtless more ‘isms’ will follow
Dear Sir, — I was very interested to read last week’s editorial on racism and though I totally agree that racism cannot be attributed to the attack that a lady launched on Laurence Fox, she is certainly guilty of classism or, what we used to call it way back, reverse snobbery.
I am aware of the claim that only white people can be racist and would like to dispel this claim by recounting the time when my wife and I lived in Smethwick in the 70s.
The side of the street on which we lived was 90% Bangladeshi and Pakistani and the other side of the street was mostly West Indians. The two sides hated each other to the point where they would not even allow their children to mix, pulling them off the street whenever they were found playing together.
Today we have no-go areas in many towns and cities where white people are scared to enter, where a white person will be followed by the residents of these areas and made to feel so uncomfortable that they have to leave.
I also consider it racism when a Pakistani man pimps white teenagers for sex because they think that all English females are tarts and deserve what they get.
As for anti-Semitism I find myself in the centre of this debate because while I have had many Jewish friends over the years, I have no time for Israel, a country that started its life as a hotbed of terrorists who attacked British soldiers and civilians in order to get what they wanted, and we and the USA enabled them, despite the deaths of our citizens. I am also aware that not all Jewish people outside Israel are greatly enamoured of them.
I also know a lot of Muslims who are perfectly decent, loving people but I detest Isis and Taliban members, so does hating terrorists of any denomination make me a racist or a partial racist, if such a term can be used. Likewise the Irish terrorists, where the likes of Tony Blair treated them much like we treated Ben Gurion, Menachem Begin and their cohorts.
Racism, sexism, ableism, classism, heterosexism, anti-Semitism and, of particular interest to me, ageism and doubtless there will be more isms to follow.
Last week my sister, who is coming up to 70 and still working as a hospital receptionist, was asked by two younger members of hospital staff, why she doesn’t give up work so that a younger person can have her job. An ageist remark or not, It’s open to interpretation. — Yours faithfully,
The notion of no-go areas for white people (generally a dog whistle term for “Muslim only areas”, though Mr Turner is clearly not an Islamaphobe) is hard to prove. Investigative website Bellingcat for example looked at three London Boroughs that were said to be no-go areas for whites. The combined three boroughs were approximately 30% Muslim — so 70% non-Muslim. The website wrote: “Every major religion is present in these three boroughs, with literally hundreds of churches and a number of synagogues easily found through a simple Google search. How this area can be ‘Muslim only’ when hundreds of thousands of non-Muslims live there and hundreds of thousands more commute to work in these areas is not explained.” Bellingcat pointed out that Newham contained one of the largest shopping malls in London, an international airport, and was the site of numerous Olympic venues. The borough of Tower Hamlets contained the Tower of London (hence its name), and Canary Wharf.