Sunday, January 21, 2018

The racism that dare not speak its name

I've been trying to imagine Henry Bolton fighting for his political life.

Or so the news says. Bolton is the leader of the "United Kingdom Independence Party" whose National Executive has been meeting today to consider a motion of no confidence in him.

What a miserable kind of political life to be fighting for.

I'm puzzled by it all. He's at risk of being censured because his ex-girlfriend tweeted racist remarks about some royal prince's mixed race fiancee.

But racism is what this party is all about. Everyone knows that. Why is it that they can't admit it?

Perhaps it's my upbringing that makes it so easy for me to imagine their mindset. And be so grateful it's not my own.

But I know if I was one of them I know I'd be upset at the prospect of a mixed race princess. Who was american.

My dad would be. He's my spirit guide for these things.

It's almost as if we're entering a new Victorian age where inconvenient truths and unacceptable feelings have to be silenced in the vain hope they will go away.

The trouble is they don't. Which is why in the end I can't support attempts to silence or no platform speakers like Germaine Greer, hateful as so many of their views are.

They have been seen in the light and exposed for the falsehoods they are.

Besides, people have tried to silence me enough times to show me how ineffective these attempts always are. I'm not going to be silenced. If anything, these attempts strengthen me.

People should be allowed to speak. Forbidden words should be spoken.

And then what pops up into my mind is a particularly vile epithet my dad used to use to describe mixed race people.

And immediately I know I must keep it silent.

Nothing is easy. And then I see that Bolton lost the vote of confidence. Unanimously.

He's the sixth leader they've got rid of in 16 months.

It's an occupational hazard, I guess, of founding your politics on nothing but hate. It can only function if you hate yourself. Or hate each other.

And then you do end up silencing your own unhappy self.
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