Black people are being left behind further in this stagnant economy


10:01 am - October 22nd 2012

by Diane Abbott MP    


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David Cameron will no doubt be tempted in to breathing a sigh of relief at the latest unemployment figures.

Unemployment is at 2.53m, high but falling marginally, and the coalition have taken this to mean the economic picture is improving and there is now hope for young people.

If you’re young and black however no such picture can even begin to be painted. 50% of young black men are unemployed and a recent TUC report in to youth unemployment shows that since that since this Tory-led government came in to power unemployment amongst young black men has risen faster than for any other group.

The next biggest rise has been for young black women. Earlier in the year I wrote of how being black in the job market means being the last to be hired and the first to be fired. This report shows the facts behind this reality.

Differences in employment by ethnicity are widening and as a country we are running out of excuses. More black people are going to university and, slowly, more are going to good universities.

I recently held an award ceremony celebrating the academic achievement of black youngsters, youngsters who have achieved fantastic grades. This is not about a lack of talent but a lack of opportunity.

The reality in communities in Hackney and cities such as London is that the public sector is a traditional employer, employing good people who would otherwise struggle to find a job with small and medium enterprises who are looking for the ‘right fit’.

With the cuts to public sector that are taking place those opportunities for young people are thinner on the ground. In the private sector it has always been more about who you know and having strong social networks. This often means an extended period as an unpaid intern, something which is not feasible for many. This means that in a city that is thriving not everyone can be given an opportunity, some are merely forced to look on as opportunity springs up around them.

The rise in unemployment for black women is very worrying. Black women, Caribbean women especially, are often recognised as being a success story, well integrated and with relatively high levels of employment especially when compared to their male equivalents.

Traditionally black Caribbean women have thrived in the public sector, thanks in part to transparent recruitment processes. Initially many, including my own mother, found work in the NHS as nurses. More recently many have found work in administrative roles.

There is an underlying narrative here of a failed generation, of young people never being given that first opportunity in the jobs market and of young black people being written off as unemployable.

Long-term youth unemployment is on the rise. In my constituency the number of 16-24 year-olds on Jobseekers Allowance for more than a year is up by 50% in 12 months. In some places the rise has been even more dramatic. Harlow has seen an increase of 2400% in long term JSA claimants.These are the people with scars on their backs in the hunt for a job.

These are young people sending hundreds of CV’s with not so much as an acknowledgement. It will be difficult to get them back in to the jobs market after having been out for so long. At the moment it seems if you are young and black in this country Cameron’s legacy looks to be about leaving you without hope and without opportunities either.

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About the author
Diane Abbott is the MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington.
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Story Filed Under: Blog ,Fight the cuts ,Race relations

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Reader comments


I recently discovered my general manager has a ‘whites only’ policy when it comes to hiring. Indeed there’s a very good chance that had I not already been working at the company prior to him starting then I wouldn’t have been able to get a job there should he have been able to suss out my sexuality. Yet apparently the country is going to the dogs because employee’s have too many rights etc.

“In the private sector it has always been more about who you know and having strong social networks”.
It may be for 1%, but not for the other 99% of us.

And don’t forget, that it’s the wealth generated by the private sector that funds the public sector. Be careful not to bite the hand that feeds you…

3. Chaise Guevara

The reasons given here are socioeconomic, so if I’m reading this right, this is the result of two separate problems:

1) Current government policy shows callousness towards young, poor people.
2) Young, poor people are disproportionately likely to be black.

Cameron is accountable for the first but not the second (which is down to a long history of prejudice). So we should probably split the two when criticizing the Coalition, rather than turning the first problem into a race issue. Seems more rational and avoids inadvertently creating a “divide and rule” situation: poor kids of all races are being screwed over by this government.

What was the previous Labour government’s record on this topic?

“It may be for 1%, but not for the other 99% of us.”

Actually the vast majority – 80% is the stat most used – of jobs never get advertised. So it becomes a case of who you know. Think of the amount of small businesses operated by father/son teams. It’s why job centre staff urge those who are unemployed to speak to friends/family, sign up for linked in etc and one of the reasons why unemployment can concentrate in particular areas.

6. Chaise Guevara

@ Planeshift

True, but the article implies that this is a disease of the private sector that the public sector doesn’t suffer. Seems unlikely, as knowing someone on the inside is useful regardless of the organisation in question.

So what is the writer’s explanation for the phenomenon she describes?

It cannot be the effect of racism otherwise unemployment rates would be similar for those of Asian and Oriental ethnicity. The only logical conclusion of what she is saying is that the problem must lie with the young black people themselves.

Are they to be considered less intelligent or lazier than young people of other ethnic backgrounds?

And what is the explanation for their relatively poor educational performance?

The point that Ms Abbott is making is that there is some causal relationship between poor employment rates and black skin colour- and that is, by definition, just plain racist. In my view, we need to stop collating statistics based on the colour of peoples skin because it should be seen as completely irrelevant in terms of anything else we are measuring.

Indeed, providing such statistics only provides unnecessary and irrelevant ammunition for those, like Diane Abbott, who are motivated to write this kind of vile, racist claptrap.

8. Chaise Guevara

@ 7 pagar

“The point that Ms Abbott is making is that there is some causal relationship between poor employment rates and black skin colour- and that is, by definition, just plain racist.”

That doesn’t follow. Racism on the part of employers would be a causal relationship; pointing that out would not be “racist”. And for that matter I don’t see the OP claiming that the relationship is causal rather than qualitative (although I agree it’s implied).

Can we please all stop screaming “RACIST!!!” at the drop of a hat? It derails sensible debate and undermines attempts to address actual racism.

@ Chaise

Racism on the part of employers would be a causal relationship; pointing that out would not be “racist”.

No.

As I pointed out @7, higher unemployment rates among young people of Black African and Black Carribean ethnicity cannot be blamed on “racism on the part of employers” because it is not mirrored in other ethnic groups.

If a BNP activist had written the above article with the slant that lazy black kids were using up a disproportionate level of benefits by refusing to work and just sitting around smoking cannabis and indulging in disproportionate levels of criminality, he would be criticised as racist.

Can we please all stop screaming “RACIST!!!” at the drop of a hat? It derails sensible debate and undermines attempts to address actual racism.

And I presume, in this scenario, you get to define what it “actually” is?

Chaise: “Can we please all stop screaming “RACIST!!!” at the drop of a hat? It derails sensible debate and undermines attempts to address actual racism.”

Excellent advice.

Try this from The Economist a few years back:

“Though white children in general do better than most minorities at school, poor ones come bottom of the league (see chart). Even black Caribbean boys, the subject of any number of initiatives, do better at GCSEs”
http://www.economist.com/world/britain/displaystory.cfm?story_id=14700670

There are similar reports on the BBC websites. The percentages of ethnic Chinese and Indian candidates in the GCSE exams who qualify for free school regularly come top of a league that attains 5 good GCSEs, including maths and English. It’s just not credible to keep attributing that to racism.

There is also evidence from the ONS that immigrants have been taking a growing share of low skill jobs – I can post the link.

11. Chaise Guevara

@ 9 pagar

“No.

As I pointed out @7, higher unemployment rates among young people of Black African and Black Carribean ethnicity cannot be blamed on “racism on the part of employers” because it is not mirrored in other ethnic groups.”

It’s a hypothetical, built to show the error in your claim that saying there is a casual relationship between race and employment is racist “by definition”. Say we lived in a country with high rates of anti-black racism and no racial equality law. You would expect black people to find it harder to get work in such a country. Would pointing this out be racist?

“If a BNP activist had written the above article with the slant that lazy black kids were using up a disproportionate level of benefits by refusing to work and just sitting around smoking cannabis and indulging in disproportionate levels of criminality, he would be criticised as racist.”

But Abbott isn’t talking about “lazy black kids”, so what’s your point?

“And I presume, in this scenario, you get to define what it “actually” is?”

We could start with “unfair discrimination against people based on race?” If you’ve got a problem with that definition, then by all means say so. Which definition are you using when you accuse Abbott of racism (on the basis of this article)?

12. Chaise Guevara

@ 10 Bob B

I remember that article. The message seems to be that employment status is largely influenced by socioeconomic factors; probably cultural ones as well (these being hard to disentangle).

@ Chaise

We could start with “unfair discrimination against people based on race?” If you’ve got a problem with that definition, then by all means say so. Which definition are you using when you accuse Abbott of racism (on the basis of this article)?

How about “assigning behavioural characteristics to individuals based on their ethnicity”.

Racism really has nothing to do with discrimination though it is, of course, possible for the one to follow from the other.

Abbott isn’t talking about “lazy black kids”, so what’s your point?

My point is the one I made @7

collating statistics based on the colour of peoples skin should be seen as completely irrelevant in terms of anything else we are measuring.

Chaise

This is a relating report from the BBC website:

“Government figures show only 15% of white working class boys in England got five good GCSEs including maths and English last year. . . Poorer pupils from Indian and Chinese backgrounds fared much better – with 36% and 52% making that grade respectively.”
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/7220683.stm

There are challenging issues about why ethnic Chinese and ethnic Indian candidates often come out top in the GCSE league tables. I’m reminded of a heated controversy about race and IQ tests in the 1970s involving Arthur Jensen and Hans Eysenck.

In Britain, Eysenck was accused of being a racist and was barracked by students at university lectures for reporting studies showing the mean scores of different ethnic groups were different. As I recall, ethnic Chinese came out relatively well in those tests compared with other ethnic groups, which rather discredited the claim that the studies were racist.

The debate then shifted to arguments about Nature (meaning genetic inheritance) versus Nuture (meaning upbrining and environmental factors) which seemed to converge on a conclusion that genetic factors were the more influential. However, that is now complicated by later research on “epigenetics” – try the entry in Wikipedia and other references on the web.

All that said, it isn’t surprising if employers take account of differences in educational attainment in making hiring decisions.

16. Chaise Guevara

@ pagar

“How about “assigning behavioural characteristics to individuals based on their ethnicity”.”

That seems an insufficient definition. Intelligence isn’t a behavioural characteristic, but saying “Asians are all really thick” would be racist, surely.

But let’s go by your definition for the moment. Where does Abbott do that in the OP, leading to you calling her racist?

“Racism really has nothing to do with discrimination though it is, of course, possible for the one to follow from the other.”

What is it, then? Your preferred definition is describing a form of prejudice, because for someone to be racist by that definition they have to assume someone would behave in a certain way based purely on skin colour.

“collating statistics based on the colour of peoples skin should be seen as completely irrelevant in terms of anything else we are measuring.”

So why the aside about a hypothetical person talking about “lazy black kids”?

And how come collating data is unacceptable, but you’re happy to use said data when you talk about the employment rate in “other ethnic groups” @9?

To be honest, this sounds like special pleading designed to allow you to reject data you don’t like.

17. Chaise Guevara

@ pagar

…And this all seems especially odd, given that I remember you previously arguing on the side of accepting reality even if that reality upsets people, in a context similar to this one.

FWIW it seems to me more likely that employers making hiring decisions will be more influenced by the prior work experience of job applicants, evidence of skills and educational attainment than race, although they will probably take account of how well job applicants would fit in with existing work teams.

I was impressed by this recent CBI report on: Learning to Grow, published in July:
http://www.cbi.org.uk/media-centre/press-releases/2012/06/further-progress-on-school-and-college-leaver-attainment-requires-radical-new-vision-cbi-pearson/

“The survey also finds that as the UK competes ever more for business and talent in global markets, employers are looking to up-skill their workforces. Over the next three to five years, employers expect to need more people with leadership and management skills (a balance of +67%) and other higher skills (+61%), whereas for lower-skilled workers, they expect to slightly cut numbers (-3%).

“While half of employers (a balance of +51%) are confident that they will fill their low-skilled vacancies, they are not confident of meeting their need for higher-skilled employees (-15%).”

That seems an insufficient definition. Intelligence isn’t a behavioural characteristic, but saying “Asians are all really thick” would be racist, surely.

OK Lets go for “behavioural or genetic characteristic”.

Where does Abbott do that in the OP, leading to you calling her racist?

By using group statistics based on ethnicity and relating them to individual behavioural circumstances.

how come collating data is unacceptable, but you’re happy to use said data when you talk about the employment rate in “other ethnic groups” @9?

It is reasonable to refer to the data, if it exists, even when arguing that it would be preferable that it did not.

Without the, in my view, irrelevant data, neither Abbott nor the BNP activist would be able to bend it to suit their personal agendas.

I would urge all people of all races never to opt in to the ethnicity element of data collection. I never have.

There are three main definitions of racism – there is the original one, coined by the black civil rights movement in the states which is ‘racism is race prejudice plus power’, then there is the white liberal version which is ‘racism is race prejudice’, and then there’s the white conservative version, which is ‘racism is anything that might conceivably offend a white person’.

Please note that in discussions regarding racism ‘white’ may not refer to ‘ethnicity: white’.

In the emerging New World Order, what if employers making hiring decisions required job applicants to have brain scans?

“The brains of teenage girls with behavioural disorders are different to those of their peers, UK researchers have found. . . . Previous work has found similar results in boys.”
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-20002093

Btw if it’s OK to distinguish between females and males in data collections, why isn’t OK to distinguish ethnicity?

I find your definitions of racism racist. How dare you suggest that I belong in any opinion group based on my skin colour, which just happens to be mid-Mediterranean white. Unless you we’re trying to be humorous, in which case it just wasn’t funny.

This whole racism thing is nonsense. Just ignore skin colour. If South London gangs choose to shoot each other, let’s just call them South London gangs. If religious fanatics commit crimes based on their religious beliefs, then we can refer to their chosen sect. Skin colour is again irrelevant.

23. Chaise Guevara

@ 19 pagar

“By using group statistics based on ethnicity and relating them to individual behavioural circumstances.”

Where?

“It is reasonable to refer to the data, if it exists, even when arguing that it would be preferable that it did not.”

Yes, I’m just having trouble making out the principle that allows one but not the other.

“Without the, in my view, irrelevant data, neither Abbott nor the BNP activist would be able to bend it to suit their personal agendas.”

But it’s not irrelevant. Without data such as this, we’d have trouble finding out levels of prejudice in the first place.

Say I do a study of employment rates by race – breaking your rule. Then I control for all other factors I can and find that the majority racial group finds it significantly easier to get work. This would at least suggest that prejudice against minorities is affecting employment chances – something to look into and deal with if confirmed.

Your rule would make it impossible to do this research in the first place. So we’d have no data to go on, making it harder to deal with problems such as this.

In a previous conversation, you made out that it would be immoral to withhold study data that showed substantial racial differences in average intelligence – even if the only motive was the knowledge that this data would inevitably be misapplied. Even with your “collate bad, reference good” distinction, I can’t see how you reconcile one view with the other.

24. Chaise Guevara

@ 20 Cylux

“Please note that in discussions regarding racism ‘white’ may not refer to ‘ethnicity: white’.”

What does it refer to?

What pagar’s saying is that he’s using ‘racism’ with a different meaning than everyone else in the thread.

It cannot be the effect of racism otherwise unemployment rates would be similar for those of Asian and Oriental ethnicity. The only logical conclusion of what she is saying is that the problem must lie with the young black people themselves.

So it’s impossible in pagar’s view for people to be prejudiced against blacks and in favour of people of other ethnicities.

Which seems odd.

Cylux: “Skin colour is again irrelevant.”

The fact is that the incidence of Sickle Cell Anaemia, a genetic condition, is not uniformly distributed across all ethnic groups:

“The majority of people with sickle cell disease are of African or Caribbean descent, although it also affects those from Asia, the Middle East and the eastern Mediterranean.”
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/sicklecell1.shtml

There are other diseases where the incidence is not uniformly distributed.

Interesting, it appears someone’s decided to reply to me, while impersonating me. Suppose that is the perils of t’internet.
Anyway:
Chaise @24
‘Ethnicity: white’ does not necessarily allow you into the ‘white’ club. A few decades ago ‘Ethnicity: white, nationality: Irish’ was enough to have you classed as equivalent to ‘black’. At least as far as accessing goods and services were concerned. David Starkey’s performance on newsnight during the riots is a good example of the values systems in-built in racism in action – by his reckoning (ethnically) white people had become black, by behaving in what must be a ‘non-white’ fashion, while David Lammy’s skin colour barred him from joining the white club, despite being apparently otherwise more than qualified.

@bob – neuroscience is one of those fields that is advancing so rapidly that taking one article is likely to risk taking it out of context.

One of the discoveries in recent years is the idea that the brain continues to create new neuron networks throughout most of our lives, which influence the way we think. Some even believe that you can can train your brain to think in certain ways, which is controling how the brain wires itself . Hence it isn’t suprising that teenagers who behave badly have different results from brain scans to those that don’t. However it would be unfair to say that this dooms them into a life of bad behaviour – the same teenagers will have brains acting differently in a few years if the study is repeated.

29. Chaise Guevara

@ 27 Cylux

“‘Ethnicity: white’ does not necessarily allow you into the ‘white’ club.”

OK, but then it’s clearer to say that “Ethnicity: white” is not enough to be considered “one of us” by racist whites.

I’m cagey about using “white” to mean both “actually white” and “anyone seen as part of the traditionally privileged group” for reasons I hope are obvious.

Diane,

Given that Labour have failed to protect employment rights while in government and failed to condemn further erosion of employment rights by the Country’s legal loan sharker, what is the solution?

Looking at Labour’s current ‘pronouncements’ on the current situation regarding the switch from full, long term to part, short term employment, they appear pretty positive towards it. In fact, during their last time in office they saw this type of ‘portfolio employment’ as a positive move.

Labour’s direction on unemployment has been a decidedly Right Wing one. Distancing themselves from anything that could be misconstrued as compassion for the unemployed, the disabled and young people. I remember an edition of that thing you do with Portillio and Neil where you where particularly scathing about ‘benefit culture’ and depicted children as the enemy.

So, given that ‘Labour’ will have to devise a free market, private sector, half wit appeasing ‘solution’, may I propose (in true devils advocate style) the following:

A cut in the minimum wage for black people.
A fast track for black people onto workfare, er empowerment.
A cut in benefit entitlement for black people as well.

Thus ensuring that young black people have all the incentives to take advantage of all the opportunities that the current labour market provides.

Planeshift: “the same teenagers will have brains acting differently in a few years if the study is repeated.”

Thanks for that illumination – and warning – about brain scans.

But we are still left with all sorts of unresolved issues in the Nature v Nurture debate and the cautionary implications of epigenetic research. What emerged from that was how later generations had been adversely affected by the near-starvation experiences of parents because of a bad harvest even though that had not affected the DNA inherited by the children.

We are still at an early stage in researching the implications of personal DNA profiling, which could be altogether more potent in analysing personality traits than brain scans. Suppose, in the New World Order, employers or prospective employers start to require access to personal DNA profiles?

32. Churm Rincewind

“More black people are going to university and, slowly, more are going to good universities.”

I wonder which ones she has in mind?

Pagar @ 9

higher unemployment rates among young people of Black African and Black Carribean ethnicity cannot be blamed on “racism on the part of employers” because it is not mirrored in other ethnic groups.

That is assuming that these ethnic group come from the same socio economic groups, doesn’t it? What if your grandfather came here to work in the NHS as a doctor and the same week another guy’s grandfather came to work in a car factory. Is it possible that those choices made by these two grandfathers would affect the employability of thir grandsons?

“Is it possible that those choices made by these two grandfathers would affect the employability of their grandsons?”

With Britain’s lamentable record on social mobility as compared with peer-group countries in western Europe, it is highly likely that the occupational status of grandfathers will affect the occupational status of their grandsons regardless of ethnicity factors. We can but reflect on how it was that their respective grandfathers came to work in Britain as a doctor or in a car factory.

This study, dating from 2004, has a detailed analysis of Regional Employment Profiles by Ethnicity:
http://www.migrantworkers.co.uk/docs/Ethnicity%20Profiles%20National.pdf

@7

“vile, racist claptrap”.

How is it “racist”? By the same token, would you say that the presenters on Loose Women are ‘sexist’ because they ‘bash’ men?

I could go on…

IQ scores are actually increasing, therefore humans are either becoming more intelligent, are getting better educated, well nourished, less anxious or there is some kind of congenital changes.

Analysing any social phenomena without reference to ‘class’ is unlikely to be informative – there are more Asian middle-class women becoming doctors than working-class Asian males or females.

@26
It has long been recognized that sickle cell anemia creates malaria resistance and is considered to have positive evolutionary outcomes in certain geographical locations which suffer high death rates from malaria.
@21
It is also a long established fact that suffering high levels of stress changes neural activity.

37. Chaise Guevara

@ 35 buddyhell

“By the same token, would you say that the presenters on Loose Women are ‘sexist’ because they ‘bash’ men?”

I’ve never watched Loose Women, but if they do habitually bash men as a gender then that would be sexist, yes.

Not sure how that relates to Abbott.

I have never seen this kind of discussion actually get anywhere. It’s a minefield and people are too ready (online) to think the worst of people. I had it just the other night on Harry’s Place when some pillock called me a racist.

First of all, Diane Abbott comes from a very dodgy school of politial thought (on the issue of race) … in my opinion. Analysing that way of thinking would take several threads of their own.
But if anyone ever listens to Dotun Adebayo on BBC London radio on a sunday evening, where the talk is about issues to do with black people and their lives in London, you might know what I mean. It’s about racism all the time. Everything about England is racist according to some of his guests on the show.
Dotun himself is a really great guy I find, but he does book some lame guests.

Or maybe his guests are indicative of black politics and thought. People who think that black children need to be schooled in their ”African” identity more, and taught about how once ”their people” had huge civilisations in Africa etc. That kind of view is pretty mainstream. Diane Abbott even hints at that in the OP where she mentions she ”held an award ceremony celebrating the academic achievement of black youngsters.”
You could ask why children are being separated out according to their skin colour.

She also mentions internships. You might ask why some much lesser jobs where you don’t need any qualifications are also not employing black people in proportion. Like the job I’ve just started – delivering fridges, cookers and TVs to people’s homes for a high street store. Nearly all the drivers are white working class – in Leeds.

And the one black guy there is a someone who just the other day I heard a ‘racist’ former south Yorkshire coal miner say was a ‘good bloke’. Because he’s so easy going and can mix with the white drivers and not worry about racism. I have even heard him joke with the others about the ”racist” black coffee machine which sometimes plays up and people lose their money in it. It’s like he doesn’t care or fear if some of the white guys are racists, he gets on with them anyway. And they seem to respond well to that – and end up getting on with him.
Or seem to anyway. It’s quite a complex issue.

I’ve also worked in a warehouse situation in London where a couple of young black lads seemed very reserved with me untill I ‘proved myself’ not to be a ”white van man” type racist.
That’s what I thought was going on anyway.
After that, things were OK and normal.

39. So Much for Subtlety

22. Cylux

I find your definitions of racism racist. How dare you suggest that I belong in any opinion group based on my skin colour, which just happens to be mid-Mediterranean white.

But presumably you would be fine with a Black person saying you must be racist because you are White, even mid-Mediterranean White, as that Black person does not have power?

This whole racism thing is nonsense. Just ignore skin colour. If South London gangs choose to shoot each other, let’s just call them South London gangs. If religious fanatics commit crimes based on their religious beliefs, then we can refer to their chosen sect. Skin colour is again irrelevant.

By all means. Except the minor point that skin colour may have a scientific validity. It may be linked with other traits. Bob mentioned sickle cell anaemia. But I am sure we can all think of others. The major point is that it is fine if you and me give up racism. The point is that Diane Abbott has not. Nor has the BME political class. Nor has British academia which is frankly utterly obsessed with race. So nice middle class white people can pretend they are not racist. Great. But as they are a declining section of the British public it is meaningless as the growing soon-to-be majority is very much interested in race.

The future of British politics is more racist, not less.

Being an ancient, I can recall a public debate back in the 1970s about whether to separately identify the ethnicity dimension in official data collections. At that time, I opposed it but the Runnymede Trust – with Dipak Nandy as its then director – argued strongly for it, largely on the grounds of what we have come to call “transparency”.

If there was a continuing argument about the extent of racial discrimination, it was essential to know what the real situation was, as best we could establish. The Runnymede Trust won that argument. Thereafter, official data collections, extending to the national census every 10 years, included the ethnicity dimension. In retrospect, I think the Runnymede Trust took the sensible line and I was wrong.

41. So Much for Subtlety

33. Jim

What if your grandfather came here to work in the NHS as a doctor and the same week another guy’s grandfather came to work in a car factory. Is it possible that those choices made by these two grandfathers would affect the employability of thir grandsons?

Sure. One of them could choose to marry a Chinese woman. The guy in the car factory would probably have a greater chance of his grandson being a doctor than the guy who is a doctor if he married an Afro-Caribbean or a South Asian Muslim.

34. Bob B

With Britain’s lamentable record on social mobility as compared with peer-group countries in western Europe, it is highly likely that the occupational status of grandfathers will affect the occupational status of their grandsons regardless of ethnicity factors.

That depends on their ethnicity. It is clearly not true for people of Chinese and non-Muslim South Asian origin. But it is for Afro-Caribbean and Muslim children.

Britain’s record on social mobility may be bad. Or on the other hand we may have lifted all those with a cultural predisposition to liking school out of the working class, leaving nothing but the underclass behind. It is noticable that Ms Abbott does not once mention the toxic yoof culture of young Black (and some White) men. As long as doing well in school is for muppets, da yoof ain’t going to do well in school.

Which leads me to this:

27. Cylux

David Starkey’s performance on newsnight during the riots is a good example of the values systems in-built in racism in action – by his reckoning (ethnically) white people had become black, by behaving in what must be a ‘non-white’ fashion

How does an argument about culture amount to racism? He may be wrong about the culture of Afro-Caribbean yoof, but saying that many of them have a toxic culture and that White yoof is copying them is not a racist statement. It is a culturalist one perhaps.

We’ve dissected Starkey on LC before. He makes money by being controversial on TV. He is not to be taken seriously, not least because he is then placed to press for another TV opportunity to respond to his many critics. In my local shopping centre the council has put up notices: Please don’t feed the pigeons.

On social mobility, some of those ethnic Asians who were expelled from Uganda and other East African countries in the 1970s settled in Britain and did very well. One such example is Keith Vaz. He was the minister for Europe in Blair’s first Labour government but stepped down in mysterious circumstances shortly before the election in 2001.

To return to the thread topic, these ONS data show unemployment rates for 16-24 years by ethnicity in the 4th quarter for 2011: White: 20.8pc; Mixed: 22.4pc; Asian: 26.7pc; Black 47.4pc; Total 21.9pc
Source: Labour Force Survey
http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/publications/re-reference-tables.html?edition=tcm%3A77-260216

It seems reasonable to investigate as to why the unemployment rate for black youth is so much higher than for other ethnicities. In that context, the claim of “racist discrimination” looks to be a completely inadequate explanation. Those who make that claim really do need to explain why racism has had so little differential impact on the unemployment rates of other ethnic minorities.

38,damon are you the saem damon who use to blog on billybragg,net

7 well said

37 pagar, yes Loose women would be sexist toards men

regarding the headline black people, then later on Abbott say’s young black emn in london so it’s not black people then, Diane is it, it’s some,

Whenever I come across Diane Abbott I’m reminded of the politics in The Wire. As Jim said @30, labour’s track record isn’t great. But this sort of article sends the right message to the voters in her constituency, so it’s alright then.

…are you the saem damon who use to blog on billybragg,net

Yes john reid, that was me. I got banned in the end, for making arguments very much like I just did.
Very clos to where Diane Abbott sits on the black political spectrum, is the idea that many young black people suffer from Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome.

If there is such a thing as that amongst British black youth then it can’t be ignored and should be talked about. If it exists it might be a reason why black young people aren’t so attractive to employers.

Personally, I think it’s a lot of BS, but it’s an idea that is reasonably mainstream within Diane Abbott’s orbit, so it should not be brushed under the carpet. It either exists or it doesn’t.
My opinion is that that kind of race politics (like that of Operation Black vote too) ends up being divisive and damaging. But saying this kind of thing will make you a lot of enemies on left/liberal talk boards and you can end up getting banned.

As I said, I’ve never seen a place where such a discussion can be had, without it breaking down into acrimony. It gets too far from the comfort zone.

46. Man on Clapham Omnibus

Interesting observations but no analysis so presumably no policies to counteract the trend in the private sector.Indeed maybe there are no policy areas here.
I believe research shows that when there is a surfeit of similarly qualified individuals then ascriptive criteria are called upon.It is possible that widespread stereotypes of black people serve as an important backdrop in the recruitment process. With regards to black people in the NHS the phrase cheap labour comes to mind.
To the extent that it always has been blacks out first, in last there is undoubtedly a charge of structural racism to be leveled.What maybe regarded on the ground as laziness etc is in fact the result of interpersonal conflict caused through a highly unequal society where blacks are traditionally at the bottom of the pile.In the same manner that the ruling class chooses to pillory the unemployed at a wider level particular monikers are ascribed to racial minorities which often through low aspiration become self reinforcing.
It is only when all workers act politically from the bottom up that things are likely to change. This is a case that only when a critical mass acts in concert will the equalization of our society begin to reassert itself on interpersonal relations.

42

Perhaps demographic spread might indicate whether the unemployment figures for black people are caused by concentrations in areas where there are a high percentage of black youth, or is it spread generally throughout the whole population.
If we look at unemployment within the EU, it shows that all young people in the 16 to 24 range suffer the highest percentage for unemployment.

48. Man on Clapham Omnibus

@43 Reid

I think its fair to say in any sociological context that categorising a social group will necessarily not include all potential members of that group. As in any statistical analysis there will be outliers. Perhaps you could post the evidence to suggest this isn’t a Nationwide issue.

To exemplify, when Tony Blair said that Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction could be made ready in 45 minutes I don’t suppose he meant all of them just a significant number of them to justify his claim.

49. the a&e charge nurse

‘The reality in communities in Hackney and cities such as London is that the public sector is a traditional employer, employing good people who would otherwise struggle to find a job with small and medium enterprises who are looking for the ‘right fit’ – I’m sure that’s right, perhaps that’s why principles are very quickly sacrificed on the alter of personal gain?

Or, as Michael Rosen says, “can I say thank you for having given socialists yet another reason not to waste any time in the Labour Party. Your decision to send your son to a private school helps those of us who say that New Labour is really about inequality. If you were a Tory, then what you’ve done would be a simple matter. Tories say they believe in the privilege that comes with either money or birth or both. The problem is that you’ve spent the last 20 years giving out the message that you’re opposed to it.
http://www.socialistreview.org.uk/article.php?articlenumber=8687

50. Man on Clapham Omnibus

@45

I think the idea of post traumatic slave syndrome has a lot going for it. Memories of the past are long and history necessarily informs the psyche of the victorious as well as the dispossessed. Black history is one of subjugation around the world, predominantly through economic exploitation by white populations. Given that exploitation is fundamentally capitalist and that exploitation continues it doesn’t really take a brain surgeon to realise that these patterns and the ideas that arise from them will continue to reinforce fundamental ideas of displacement etc. How these ideas are played out on a day to day basis are variable but sadly reinforced by the way many black people are continually treated in today’s society.

Does the UK have the equivalent of Roland Fryer (from the US) and his team?

http://www.edlabs.harvard.edu/

We are arguing from a position of ignorance.

At present we have two undoubtable facts.

First, black people are over-represented in the lower socio-economic classes.

Second, black youths are more likely to be unemplyed, even compared with other nonwhite groups.

We have no way of telling whether this is a race issue or a class issue, because I’ve not yet seen a 4-way breakdown of the figures covering both race and class and a handful of studies I’ve seen on other, but related, issues, show the race differences decreasing or vanishing when compensated for class.

there is some evidence that other racial groups do better, but it is not clear if the “family business” factor is dragging these figures up or not, and there is clear evidence that, uniquely amongst racial groups, Chinese children show no difference in attainment against class, and that non-mulsim Asians show a much smaller effect.

If anyone has the figures, let’s see them so we can argue from substance rather than shadow.

@ MOCO

Black history is one of subjugation around the world, predominantly through economic exploitation by white populations. Given that exploitation is fundamentally capitalist and that exploitation continues it doesn’t really take a brain surgeon to realise that these patterns and the ideas that arise from them will continue to reinforce fundamental ideas of displacement etc.

Doesn’t really explain the remarkable economic success of the Ugandan asians who were displaced to the UK in the early 70s, does it?

Whilst I agree that individuals can be subjected to negative historical and cultural influences during their upbringing, I do not accept that such factors cannot, and should not, be overcome.

Nor should such negative influences be celebrated, glorified or exaggerated, as you seem to want to do.

54. Man on Clapham Omnibus

@52

Ignorance? not entirely

Your two statements : –

1 We have no way of telling whether this is a race issue or a class issue

and

2. First, black people are over-represented in the lower socio-economic classes.

tends to suggest that being black and lower class is highly correlated.

Race is obviously a wider term but Abbot’s piece focuses on the Black community.

Instead of focusing on how especially oppressed black people are, we could probably find more illuminating insights from focusing on why the economies of some African countries are not only growing faster than others but are among the world’s fastest-growing economies:

Is it time to prepare for the African tiger economy? Six of the world’s 10 fastest-growing economies between 2001 and 2010 were in Africa, according to The Economist. The International Monetary Fund says that between 2011 and 2015, African countries will account for 7 of the top 10 spots.
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/01/opinion/sunday/africa-on-the-rise.html?_r=0

56. the a&e charge nurse

[54] ‘but Abbot’s piece focuses on the Black community’ – there is no such thing as ‘the black community’ in the same way as there is no such thing as ‘the white community’.

57. the a&e charge nurse

One study found – ‘Deprivation varies by home language, with pupils from Somali, Lingala and French-speaking homes having the highest levels of eligibility for free schools meals, while Igbo, Yoruba and Shona speakers live in financially better-off households. Moreover, as many as half of Somalis and Congolese live in the most deprived 20 per cent of local areas.
There is a commonly held assumption that ‘Black Africans’ do not face linguistic barriers but those who originate in countries such as Somalia and the Democratic Republic of Congo do face language difficulties in their education or in getting a job.
Employment, self-employment, unemployment and economic inactivity vary considerably by country of birth. The study found that Black Africans, especially Somalis, are paid less on average than white British people. Black Africans, especially those from southern Africa, are also heavily concentrated in the health and social care professions.
Pupils whose first language is English achieved the most passes at grades A* – C in their GCSEs, with those of Nigerian background achieving close to the national average, whereas pupils whose first language was Somali, French or Portuguese performed worst in education.
Dr Mitton found that Black Nigerians and Black Zimbabweans tend to speak English and fare relatively well, although they do have difficulty securing work at a level that is in line with their qualifications.
The study concludes that Somalis and Congolese need to be targeted with intensive support, including help with language skills, such as interpreting / translation and English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) training, while the government needs to work with employers and trade unions to improve the occupational status of ‘Black Africans’.
http://www.thenewblackmagazine.com/view.aspx?index=2551

58. the a&e charge nurse

@ A&E

there is no such thing as ‘the black community’

Exactly.

So who is Abbott complaining are being left behind and how is the group she is writing about defined?

Only by their skin colour- nothing else.

That’s what makes her a racist.

60. Man on Clapham Omnibus

@53 Pagar

Doesn’t really explain the remarkable economic success of the Ugandan asians who were displaced to the UK in the early 70s, does it?

No but this is entirely irrelevant for obvious reasons.

Whilst I agree that individuals can be subjected to negative historical and cultural influences during their upbringing, I do not accept that such factors cannot, and should not, be overcome.

Like the Irish and William of Orange. Is that something you think needs to be overcome? I would suggest that under certain circumstances these kind of collective memories run and run particularly if they are supported by personal/cultural experience. Remember, South African apartheid has just been overcome. American apartheid only a few decades ago followed by continuing and overt discrimination. So whether you want influences to be overcome is very much under the control of those who oppose ,those who advocate and the historical circumstances in which that dialog is supported or otherwise.

Nor should such negative influences be celebrated, glorified or exaggerated, as you seem to want to do.

They are clearly political currency simply because they exist and they are under discussion.Whether you regard their recognition as celebration is a position germane to you but not one I share.

61. Man on Clapham Omnibus

@56

conceptually ‘the black community’ is entirely valid

54. Man on Clapham Omnibus

I would agree that there is a strong correlation between black (West indian) and lower socio-economic class. However, this does not imply a casual explanation as the majority of their parents/grandparents started in this group, so the group is statistically skewed. There is some evidence that non-muslim Asians are getting into higher groups quicker, but that sample is likelwise biased by the ex-Ugandan Asians, and some evidence that this example spread to other Asians.

My real point is that the statistics are just not good enough to make conident decisions.

Dianne Abbott clearly believes that the issue is race, which would point to one set of solutions. The problem is, is if it not and is in fact class and/or education then another set of solutions is needed. Indeed, it could be Post Code: are employers automatically rejecting applicants from particular areas?

63. Chaise Guevara

@ 59 pagar

“Exactly.

So who is Abbott complaining are being left behind and how is the group she is writing about defined?”

Abbott didn’t mention the “black community” as far as I can see.

She’s talking about black people. Young black people to be specific. The “black community” does not exist; black people do.

“Only by their skin colour- nothing else.

That’s what makes her a racist.”

You still haven’t justified this. The closest you’ve got is a very questionable assertion that it’s a bad idea to collate racial data, but even if we agreed on that, it wouldn’t justify your accusation against this article. Pointing out trends is not racist.

(What DOES make Abbott a racist is her Twitter attack on white people – but that’s outside of the context of the article.)

64. Chaise Guevara

@ 61 MoCO

“conceptually ‘the black community’ is entirely valid”

Not sure what you mean by “conceptually” there, but talking about the “black community” is a bad fit for reality, and dangerously misleading. Black people do not form one unified community. A black man in Scotland is not in any meaningful way part of a community with a black woman in Cornwall.

It’s a term that leads to brush-tarring, and results in ridiculous comments like people saying that “the Muslim community” are responsible for 7/7, as if every Muslim in the UK gets together each Tuesday for a cup of tea and a chat. Please don’t use it.

65. Man on Clapham Omnibus

@59 Pagar

Perhaps you can explain the term racist to me and show why Abbott conforms to your definition

@45 – on Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome.
It could well exist to some degree, the thing to ask though is why. Who’s pushing it and giving young black people the idea that they have descended from a long line of oppression and that it may still be holding them back?
Black History Month and such things perhaps?
Diane Abbott and Operation Black Vote’s kind of politics?

There was this Spiked article from 2007 that I think exposed what some of the problem is. But will never be taken up on the left as it attacks some of the lazy mainstream views too much.

Chaining black youth to the victim culture
Are the commemorations of the abolition of the slave trade helping to foster fatalism amongst young black Britons?

http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php?/site/article/3002/

I also brought up and linked to that article with the ”nice” Billy Bragg fans who eventually banned me from their talk board. They just could not ”go there”. It seemed right wing and bordering on racist I was told.

@ MOCO

Perhaps you can explain the term racist to me and show why Abbott conforms to your definition

I defined racist above as “assigning behavioural or genetic characteristics to individuals based on their ethnicity”.

In the article, Abbott discussed the unemployment rate among young black men as if they were a homogeneous group when, in fact, there is no such thing. A third generation Jamaican youth, for example, has nothing in common with a young Nigerian immigrant in terms of community or background.

Indeed, having grown up and been educated in this country, he is likely to share more characteristics with his white school friends. As Chaise points out @64 “A black man in Scotland is not in any meaningful way part of a community with a black woman in Cornwall.”

Thus Abbott was assigning a “behavioural characteristic” (their high unemployment rate) to “young black people” based on nothing other than the colour of their skin.

That, according to the above definition, is racist.

MarkAustin,

If anyone has the figures, let’s see them so we can argue from substance rather than shadow.

Agreed. Don’t hold your breath though!

69. the a&e charge nurse

[68] I assume this is the TUC report that DA is referring to – the figures demonstrate marked disparity.
http://www.tuc.org.uk/tucfiles/408.pdf

‘The analysis looks at the labour market over the last decade, considering data from the years 2002, 2008, 2010 and 2012. The first quarter of the Labour Force Survey Jan-March is used for each comparison’.

And ……. ‘among ethnic minority groups, White young people have the lowest unemployment rates (20%), while Black groups have a rate that is more than twice as high (45%). When we look at the unemployment proportion (the proportion of all young people who are unemployed rather than just the proportion of young people who are economically active) White groups still do better than others, although the difference narrows (an unemployment proportion of 13% for White young people compared to 21% for Black young people). It is only on worklessness (the proportion of all young people who are not in education or employment) where White groups do not do best: 17% of young White people are in this position, compared to 15% of young people from Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi backgrounds. However, Black groups still do the worst, with 21% finding themselves out of both work and education’.

69: A&E Charge Nurse

Thanks for that link to the TUC report on Youth Unemployment and Ethnicity, which takes us about up todate. The emerging picture is pretty consistent but hasn’t really shed much illumination on reasons for the differentially high unemployment rate of black youth compared with other ethnic groups.

Does anyone know of a – hopefully recent – report on employment and occupations by ethnicity? The 2011 Census results should shed light.

What Diane Abbott does is the equivalent of suggesting that the reason that there are so few professional Asian origin footballers in Britain is because the game is so racist. ”What else could it be?” they could ask.

Black footballers are very over represented as footballers and people of Indian and Pakistani origin very under represented, for very different and more subtle reasons than white prejudices.
And the same goes in other professions.
In West Yorkshire towns, Pakistani origin men seem to dominate the taxi trade. In Leeds I’ve seen very few Afro-Caribbean taxi drivers. There must be reasons as to why that is. Similarly in the building trade. It’s a very hit and miss affair. Afro-Caribbeans are again conspicous by their absence, but Africans are completely over represented as security guards at building sites and warehouses.
And working as London traffic wardens too. How come there are so many?
In London, some taxi drivers have even called the African traffic wardens ”The Nigerian Army” – as they (are said by some) to harass the taxi drivers in central London and have even given them tickets when they’ve been using toilets that taxi drivers used for decades before without problems.

In today’s society the biggest discrimination you can land yourself with is not having a good CV. I’ve had problems that way myself recently. It’s all about your bloody CV. If you have a bad work history you are going to struggle to get a decent job.
If you wont do any job just to fill up the CV a bit, you are going to be discriminated against by employers, because that’s what they do. They PICK people out of a bunch of applicants.

It’s not all about internships as Diane Abbott says, it’s about having the ”right attitude” to work, and being a willing wage slave. If you aren’t, you will struggle.

Also, there are a hundred different ways we humans discriminate and hold prejudices. A lot of people might not want to hire a person that came across as a bit of a football yob for example. Even if they could do the job.
The same might happen with people who spoke with certain ”street” inflections in their accent, or had their hair a certain way. It is prejudice, and everyone does it. A pony tail or a hijab can get you discriminated against. As can tottoos and piercings.

I’m sure it’s much easier to get a taxi job in West Yorkshire if you’re of Pakistsni origin and know plenty of people in those Asian communities.

@62

Dianne Abbott clearly believes that the issue is race, which would point to one set of solutions. The problem is, is if it not and is in fact class and/or education then another set of solutions is needed. Indeed, it could be Post Code: are employers automatically rejecting applicants from particular areas?

I suspect the problem will be a good mixture of all of the above – race + class + education + area.

48 i see you rview but my point was that Diane abbott by implying that “Black peopele” suffer job descrimination when she mean syoung black men, doens’t take into account that when therse sort of statistics come out , they have also found that Young white men suffer in further education and with qualifications and you wouldn’t see A white people suffer in further education view due to race,

Damon, Re: Billy bragg.net My Labour party chair MickH use to blog there (i’m the secretary Inver bothered blogging) Gald you got somewhere to put stuff, I heard after Bragg was found to live in his mansiopn his fan based disapeared,

the view on billybragg.net was so narrow minded once they had things like we all agree Chariman Mao was a great bloke, when it coame to whether the Judian people front was more pure in it’s socialism that the Judien front of the people , it was just infighting for the sake of it,

I reckon they’ve all cleared off to Socialist unity now

74. So Much for Subtlety

50. Man on Clapham Omnibus

I think the idea of post traumatic slave syndrome has a lot going for it. Memories of the past are long and history necessarily informs the psyche of the victorious as well as the dispossessed.</i.

Oi vey. Memories of the past are not long. Not a single person in Britain remembers slavery. They have to be taught. They are not traumatised by slavery, but, if at all, by people who insist they remember it.

Black history is one of subjugation around the world, predominantly through economic exploitation by white populations.

Sorry but that is nonsense. African slaves formed dynasties in India. How is that subjugation?

How these ideas are played out on a day to day basis are variable but sadly reinforced by the way many black people are continually treated in today’s society.

Or to put it another way, if idiot Trots teach Afro-Caribbean children to hate Whites, to hate the path to success in a modern society, to expect to fail, then they will probably fail. Thus providing the rich and fertile underclass the Trots need and wait for their further Revolutionary plans. It has nothing to do with slavery or capitalism.

After all, pretty much every Chinese person in Britain is two or three generations removed from slavery. Doesn’t seem to bother them.

john preid, MickH seemed like a good bloke. The Billy Bragg fans weren’t as bad as you say that way, but were just unable to talk about things which went against their idology. It always seems to be like that with humans. Diane Abbott is the same and you can see it even in this opening post.
If you go right back and ask some basic very fundamental questions about the nature of people and culture it can unnerve people and they lash out.
So you could ask the question about the subtl aspects of a paralell black British culture.
For example, even in the way people speak. Black schoolgirls on a bus in London, often have a very distinctive way of speaking, and you can tell thay are black girs behind you without even looking.

What is that about? Why is there a seperate sub-culture like that? Which leads black people to prefer each other’s compamy, so that you see black-only social groups and there are many many black-only social spaces like night clubs and wine bars?

To get to understand why white employers discriminate the way they sem to, you’d really need to be getting into some of these psychological issues.
Everyone has ”issues” when it comes to race and identity it seems. And footballer Rio Ferdinand calling Ashley Cole a choc-ice is just an example of that. As is the support from black footballers for a new black footballers association. It’s not that they might not have legitimate concerns, it’s that SOME of their concerns might be unfounded or not be reasonable.

The higest ever ranking ethnic minority policeman un Britain (I think) left the force under accusations of racism and Islamophobia. He even accused the head of the Met of being a racist.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2008/nov/25/ian-blair-tarique-ghaffur-police

Personally I think a lot of it was in his head.
OR – that he was expecting too much. He was a practicing Muslim. In secular Britain that means he was a bit of an odd ball. In the same way the former haed of Manchester’s police was mockingly called ”God’s Cop” because he was a strong Christian.
Tony Blair got mocked for being religious. It’s tough luck I’d say if people think you are a bit of a religious nut if you are one.

Since I moved to Leeds a couple of months ago I’ve been looking very closely at the way the multi-cultural/racial situation works here. It is very different to London. Chapletown where there is a white minority is an odd place and has aspects of ghetto about it. You can’t get past why people discriminate unless you try to analyse the actual situation as it exists and has evolved. Now parts of east Leeds have become ”United Nations” type neighbourhoods, because it seems people have arrived from all over the world, and have moved into the most deprived areas because they are cheaper. And it changes the way the area just is. Where I live now there are a lot of East European Roma people. They like to hang out in some of the bettings shops on Harehills Lane. I’m sure some people are forming prejudices about them because of what they see. I probably am too. It’s hard not to. It’s what we humans are like. The black community in Chapeltown is quite distinctive in some ways to the reat of Leeds society. I’m sure that’s reflected in employment and unemployment statistics.

76. Chaise Guevara

@ 67 Pagar

“I defined racist above as “assigning behavioural or genetic characteristics to individuals based on their ethnicity”.

In the article, Abbott discussed the unemployment rate among young black men as if they were a homogeneous group when, in fact, there is no such thing. […]

Thus Abbott was assigning a “behavioural characteristic” (their high unemployment rate) to “young black people” based on nothing other than the colour of their skin.

That, according to the above definition, is racist.”

Um, no. Most obviously, you’ve dropped the bit about “individuals”. Abbott is talking about trends within a group, which is perfectly valid. To fit your definition of “racist” here, she’d have to say something like “That bloke there is black, so he must have no job”.

Secondly, unemployment is not necessarily a behavioural characteristic. It can be something you do to yourself, but it can also be something done to you.

Thirdly, she didn’t “assign” the high unemployment rate to them. The rate exists; she merely discussed it.

It really is annoying when people clutch at straws to fit each other up for bigotry, as a way of derailing the issue. We should deal with reality instead of condemning people for admitting it exists.

@76 Not to mention Pagar’s own definition only really works if you assume young black kids are choosing to be unemployed. T’otherwise it can’t be either a “behavioural or genetic characteristic”.

78. Chaise Guevara

@ 77 Cylux

Indeed. Wonder why he’s so desperate to falsely condemn the article?

@ Chaise

Abbott is talking about trends within a group, which is perfectly valid.

Q What group?

A People with black skins.

Q How is membership of the group defined?

A Only by their skin colour.

Q What is the relevance of such a definition?

A There is no relevance whatever.

Q How can you be sure?

A Because the only possible relevance could be if the reason for the high unemployment rate in that group was due to…. their skin colour (because that is the only characteristic they have in common).

Since we can statistically demonstrate (I wish we couldn’t) that other groups, who are supposedly the subjects of the same degree of racial discrimination, do not see the same spike in youth unemployment, we can be certain that is not the reason.

“It really is annoying when people clutch at straws to fit each other up for bigotry”

Q Wonder why he’s so desperate to falsely condemn the article?

A Because he’s a bigot?

In fairness, you’re not usually such a tosser.

@37

“I’ve never watched Loose Women, but if they do habitually bash men as a gender then that would be sexist, yes”.

In which case, you don’t understand what the word “sexism” means. Sexism is ideological and is constructed from and sustained by mythology. Similarly, criticising the state of Israel is not “anti-Semitism”. Perhaps you think it is?

@59

“So who is Abbott complaining are being left behind and how is the group she is writing about defined?

Only by their skin colour- nothing else.

That’s what makes her a racist”.

No, that doesn’t make her or what she said “racist”. How is she using her ‘power’ as black woman to oppress, erm, ‘white’ people?

I eagerly look forward to your reply. I could do with a laugh.

82. Man on Clapham Omnibus

74. So Much for Subtlety

It might have been possible to enter into a conversation with you until you came out with your deranged idea of a Trotsky inspired conspiracy.

Seriously what planet are you on because it certainly isn’t Earth.

Diane Abbott says that black people are being left behind. Possibly true. So why couldn’t someone like Mark Duggan, the guy shot by the police in Tottenham get a job in a West End hotel when hundreds of foreigners have done so? You can get the Victoria Line straight there. Yet places like Tottenham and Hackney have huge unemployment rates amongst sections of their young people. Surely it can’t be that hard to get a job in a hotel or resturant. Or Starbucks or Pret A Manger. Hundreds of thousands of immigrants have managed to get these kinds of jobs. Why can’t young black people get them in the same proportion?
It can’t be all down to racists working in the hiring department.

It’s probably down to attitude too. The jobs can suck.
But that has always been the case with crap jobs.
It’s exactly what many immigrants came to the UK to do decades ago. The chance to do a crap job, and have a life … where they might own a modest house by the end of it.
That’s no longer attractive to a lot of young British people who expect far more than that.

84. Man on Clapham Omnibus

79. pagar

Because the only possible relevance could be if the reason for the high unemployment rate in that group was due to…. their skin colour (because that is the only characteristic they have in common).

I think the whole point is that it isn’t the only thing they have in common. The black skin is I think your find also a proxy for a lot of other factors.

85. Man on Clapham Omnibus

83. damon

It’s exactly what many immigrants came to the UK to do decades ago. The chance to do a crap job, and have a life … where they might own a modest house by the end of it.

Black ones as is happens and I don’t think the idea was just to do a crap job but nonetheless that’s how its turned out. Poverty unfortunately can breed alienation and subcultures which don’t necessarily conform to the ideas you suggest.

I think your ideas are rather twee that at a time when the middle classes are losing their homes someone working part-time on minimum wage might own a modest house.

Might be able to buy one if you’re a drug dealer without
any qualifications though.

86. Man on Clapham Omnibus

79 Pagar

Love the question and answer session.

Tell me do you find yourself talking to people who aren’t there too?

@82: “deranged idea of a Trotsky inspired conspiracy.”

I don’t see anyone talking of a conspiracy. It’s an ideology, not a conspiracy.

88. Man on Clapham Omnibus

@64

Not sure what you mean by “conceptually” there, but talking about the “black community” is a bad fit for reality, and dangerously misleading. Black people do not form one unified community. A black man in Scotland is not in any meaningful way part of a community with a black woman in Cornwall.

I quite agree Chaise but it clearly has political currency which is why I said it is valid. Whether it is misleading depends on the context in which it is used. But I equally think rejecting such an idea can throw the baby out with the bath water. People often refer to the ‘middle class’ which I would suggest are not a homogeneous grouping but nonetheless can be a convenience for policy making. Similarly the research suggests that a disproportionate number of young black individuals are, for a whole raft of reasons,not being assimilated into the workforce. Redemptive policies may conveniently end up targeting a group even if the individuals are loosely connected.

I think the biggest danger is to treat individuals of any community as individuals. To do so lends currency to the idea that everyone is equal and the usual rants of ‘well the Chinese managed it’ which appears to be the starting point for a lot of the idiot comments we are currently seeing on this thread.

Q How can you be sure?

A Because the only possible relevance could be if the reason for the high unemployment rate in that group was due to…. their skin colour (because that is the only characteristic they have in common).

Since we can statistically demonstrate (I wish we couldn’t) that other groups, who are supposedly the subjects of the same degree of racial discrimination, do not see the same spike in youth unemployment, we can be certain that is not the reason.

What other groups are subjects of the same degree of racial discrimination?

90. Man on Clapham Omnibus

89

I am not sure. Do you have data?

91. Shatterface

A Because the only possible relevance could be if the reason for the high unemployment rate in that group was due to…. their skin colour (because that is the only characteristic they have in common).

Okay, I think I see your logic. Stephen Lawrence was murdered for being black, therefore being murdered by racists is a form of behaviour associated with black people. Why, oh why, do racists insist on drawing attention to the colour of Stephen Lawrence’s skin?

92. Chaise Guevara

@ 79 pagar

“Because the only possible relevance could be if the reason for the high unemployment rate in that group was due to…. their skin colour (because that is the only characteristic they have in common).”

No, it could be revealing about other correlations. Cause X makes people less likely to be employed; cause X is more common in black people. In this case, the use of studying the racial group is that it might help us identify cause X as a factor.

“Since we can statistically demonstrate (I wish we couldn’t) that other groups, who are supposedly the subjects of the same degree of racial discrimination, do not see the same spike in youth unemployment, we can be certain that is not the reason.”

No we can’t. What if black people happen to suffer more discrimination (or a more negative balance of discrimination) than other groups?

Although I for one suspect that this is more correlation than cause.

“Because he’s a bigot?

In fairness, you’re not usually such a tosser.”

Excuse me, but who’s the one trying to cram other people into the definition of “bigot” here? Oh right, that’d be you. I’m not even sure how you’d come to the conclusion that I was calling you a bigot.

For the record, my working theory (THEORY, not claim) is that you don’t like Abbott and wanted an excuse to have a go at her.

93. Chaise Guevara

@ 80 Buddyhell

“In which case, you don’t understand what the word “sexism” means. Sexism is ideological and is constructed from and sustained by mythology.”

Hooray, a semantic argument with someone who thinks that they have personal authority over a shared language.

“Similarly, criticising the state of Israel is not “anti-Semitism”. Perhaps you think it is?”

Why would I think that?

According to me and everyone else I know except a few wonks on the internet, sexism is prejudice based on gender. If the Loose Women people bash men purely for being men, they’re being “sexist” insofar as I’m familiar with the word being used.

If you’ve got a special preferred definition of “sexist” then by all means enjoy it (although I will point out that your definition seems suspiciously designed to excuse anti-male sexism), but you don’t get to “correct” me based on your personal modified lexicon.

And the Israel link is just surreal.

94. Chaise Guevara

@ 88 MoCO

“I quite agree Chaise but it clearly has political currency which is why I said it is valid.”

I think we should assign validity based on accuracy rather than political currency. Lies have political currency; are they valid?

“People often refer to the ‘middle class’ which I would suggest are not a homogeneous grouping but nonetheless can be a convenience for policy making.”

This may be down to personal inference, but I don’t think “class” carries the connotations of personal interconnection that “community” does. “Community” sounds like a bunch of people who all know each other.

Now, I can’t declare that the other meaning of “community” (a bunch of people with a connecting characteristic) is a wrong word, but the problem is that people conflate the two meanings, and that is not valid. Talk about the gay community, and you encourage people to blame Fred the Homosexual for the behaviour of Lily the Homosexual.

So it’s not that it’s wrong exactly, just that it’s a bad choice of term because others inevitably abuse it.

@ Chaise

No, it could be revealing about other correlations. Cause X makes people less likely to be employed; cause X is more common in black people. In this case, the use of studying the racial group is that it might help us identify cause X as a factor.

This is gobbledegook. What are you postulating cause X could be? They are people, not black people. They are THE SAME AS EVERYBODY ELSE AND TO ARGUE OTHERWISE IS……

What if black people happen to suffer more discrimination (or a more negative balance of discrimination) than other groups?

Don’t think that stands up, and I think you know it. The current bogeymen for bigots are Pakistani muslims.

For the record, my working theory (THEORY, not claim) is that you don’t like Abbott and wanted an excuse to have a go at her.

You’re right. She is lazy and particularly stupid (and I should point out that this view is uninfluenced by the colour of her skin).

@ Shatterface

Okay, I think I see your logic. Stephen Lawrence was murdered for being black, therefore being murdered by racists is a form of behaviour associated with black people. Why, oh why, do racists insist on drawing attention to the colour of Stephen Lawrence’s skin?

I don’t follow your logic.

It is anti-racists who insist on drawing attention to the colour of Stephen Lawrence’s skin (and they then conveniently ignore all the other black kids who are disproportionately victims of knife crime).

@ MOCO @88

I think the biggest danger is to treat individuals of any community as individuals.

quod erat demonstrandum

97. Chaise Guevara

@ pagar

“This is gobbledegook. What are you postulating cause X could be?”

It’s basic statistics. If you’re gonna dismiss that as “gobbledegook”, that’s up to you, but that just leaves you with no idea. I have EXPLAINED why I am postulating cause X, not gonna repeat myself.

“They are people, not black people.”

False dichotomy.

“They are THE SAME AS EVERYBODY ELSE AND TO ARGUE OTHERWISE IS……”

Depends what you mean by “the same”. As a group, we know them to have lower employment rates, so they (as a group) are not the “same” in that instance. To assume that stat applied to an individual of the group WOULD be racist, but I don’t see anyone doing that.

You’re not going to shame me into sharing your resistance to facts just by making incoherent claims of racism, btw, so you may as well stop trying.

“Don’t think that stands up, and I think you know it. The current bogeymen for bigots are Pakistani muslims.”

Are you saying that Pakistani muslims are bogeymen and other groups aren’t??? They are THE SAME AS EVERYBODY ELSE AND TO ARGUE OTHERWISE IS……

“You’re right. She is lazy and particularly stupid (and I should point out that this view is uninfluenced by the colour of her skin).”

Here we agree.

MoCO,

I am not sure. Do you have data?

Data for what? I’m not making a claim. I’m asking pagar about his claim.

Chapeltown library in Leeds have put up a display of books for Black History Month … including this one.

”When We Ruled”

When We Ruled is by far the best general work on the ancient and medieval history of Black people there has ever been.

This landmark publication, which is superbly illustrated with high quality photographs, maps and drawings, provides an extraordinary and cutting-edge synthesis of the archaeological data, the documentary evidence, and the historical linguistic research. It recounts the fascinating story of the origin and development of indigenous civilisations across the vast panorama of the African continent.

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2858266-when-we-ruled

It might be a very scholarly book, it’s just the title that seems a bit off to me. Is this the kind of thing we need to be teaching black children? All children?

100. To Much Competition

I think we should stop worrying about the differences between races and concentrate on being British. This type of talk is the reason why segregation is such a massive problem in this country. We are always comparing one another saying look at what they got, they get this job etc. Singling out Black,White, Asian people will only have a negative impact on peoples perceptions of one another and divide us. We need to look beyond the color of our skin and work together as citizens.

Personally growing up in London from a poor background. There is a lack of social mobility, businesses only care about making money. They don’t care if you are black white or Asian. All they care about is getting somebody in who will do a job for the cheapest possible price. As a young person these days you are not valued, the employers will tell you that if you slip up just once there are thousands more people like you who will come and take this job. This means you are constantly on edge, scared of being unemployed. You can’t build a future in Britain because you are just battling to get through it one day at a time. Even when you do well at the job, they can just make up some rubbish and fire you on the spot because maybe they just want to see a different person every morning.

It seems the lack of protection and nurturing for young people has all but disappeared. We are expected to turn this country around in the next 20 years but what change do we have if you won’t let us take the vital roles and they are going to people who have no allegiance to this country and just want to make a quick buck. It seems the standards across the board have dropped considerably because British people have become less demanding from businesses as consumers. They are to busy protecting what little they have and not working together for the greater good.

We are constantly told that we can’t dispute anything. But when you get a coffee from Starbucks and the lady can’t spell your name right, why should you not be disappointment when you know there are millions of unemployed British people who could be here serving you. We have got to the stage what we don’t even know what being British is anymore because we are to busy trying to make everyone else happy. People who are patriotic about there country are normally looked down upon and in many places you feel like a out cast for flying the British flag.

This get up and run approach has given people the perception that many British people are lazy, and they have imported workers from the EU and further a field. The jobs they take on are generally low paid, but these are the same important jobs which are being taken away from British people who can’t learn the valuable lesson of a hard days work. It’s about time the government stops protecting businesses to have this level of discrimination, where you can have businesses in a diverse city like London who only employ a 100% eastern European workforce. If everybody in that work force has children and brings there family over it increases the debt and then we are all screwed.

Surely with over 270 nationalities and 300 languages spoken this shouldn’t occur and everybody should be treated equally. These businesses are protected by silver spooned journalist who back up their statements in the media. It seems like nobody cares, people occasionally speak about doing something..getting British people into work but i don’t see them knocking on peoples doors and getting us in contact with businesses who are willing to take us on. All people seem to care about is economy, and things like being respectful,decent law abiding human beings get left behind.

@101 – That’s actually not an answer to the question he asked you.

What we need IMO, in addition to employment status data by ethnicity, is occupation data by ethnicity, not least because occupations are the basis of the social class categories used in Britain’s official statistics. My guess is that we will have to wait until the 2011 Census data are reported.

@ Cylux

“There are three main definitions of racism – there is the original one, coined by the black civil rights movement in the states which is ‘racism is race prejudice plus power’,…”

Still touting that old chestnut I see.

‘Racism’ derives from the French ‘racisme’ which was around as a term in the mid C19th, and what you sneeringly call the ‘liberal’ definition – in fact the dictionary definition for over a century – came from that. The ‘race prejudice plus power’ defintion is a much newer one, made at least in part to excuse racism by black people by defining it as logically impossible or highly improbable.

Now you are welcome to keep arguing for that revised definition of racism, though I don’t think you will find that many takers. But you have no right to try and falsify the history of the word itself and claim as ‘the original meaning’ something that is actually a much later version.

The above post needs correction.

I did come across a reference to ‘racisme’ as being from the mid-C19th, but according to another version it’s much newer – while still considerably older than the origin you suggest – and this seems to me more credible:

“racist
1932 as a noun, 1938 as an adjective, from race (n.2); racism is first attested 1936 (from Fr. racisme, 1935), originally in the context of Nazi theories. But they replaced earlier words, racialism (1907) and racialist (1917), both often used at first in a British or South African context.”

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/racist

Indeed anyone growing yup the 1970s and 1980s will probably recall some older people using the term ‘racialism’ while ‘racism’ was the newer version of it.

But in any case, your claim about the US civil rights movement producing the original definition of racism does not appear to have any other basis than faith on your part. Could you tell me where you came across it?

@105 if you’re going to quote dictionary definitions then you might as well include them:-
— n
1. the belief that races have distinctive cultural characteristics determined by hereditary factors and that this endows some races with an intrinsic superiority over others
2. abusive or aggressive behaviour towards members of another race on the basis of such a belief

so “this endows some races with an intrinsic superiority over others” + “abusive or aggressive behaviour towards members of another race on the basis of such a belief
Sounds pretty much like “race prejudice + power” to me.

107. Chaise Guevara

@ 106 Cylux

“Sounds pretty much like “race prejudice + power” to me.”

Don’t see why. You don’t need power to consider yourself superior, or to act aggressively.

I agree with Lamia: the “plus power” thing seems like a political manoeuvre to me, something cooked up to excuse racism against the perceived/actual strongest group. It’s special pleading, in other words.

I’ve seen similar mental gymnastics performed by a minority of feminists: the philosophy is that any behaviour that is unacceptable for a man to display to a woman is fine, or even desirable, with the genders flipped. Pure hypocrisy, and harmful to the cause as well.

You might argue that racism and sexism are generally more damaging to non-whites and women, respectively, as there’s a higher chance that they’ll be in a position to be seriously harmed by it. But that’s not the same as saying that the reverse is ok, or defining it out of existence.

You’re welcome to your preferred version of the word, but that doesn’t allow you to gainsay people who are using the word as it’s commonly used.

As for arguments hanging on dictionary definitions of words, I really believed Thomas Hobbes had put us straight about that:

“For words are wise men’s counters; they do but reckon by them: but they are the money of fools, that value them by the authority of an Aristotle, a Cicero, or a Thomas, or any other doctor whatsoever” [Leviathan (1660) Bk.1 Chp.4]
http://oregonstate.edu/instruct/phl302/texts/hobbes/leviathan-a.html#CHAPTERIV

And then there was guidance from Lewis Carroll (or Charles Dodgson) – if that is still acceptable in these times:

“When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”
“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master — that’s all.”
From: Alice Through the Looking Glass (chp. 5)

Don’t see why. You don’t need power to consider yourself superior, or to act aggressively.

Surely ‘You don’t need power to consider your race superior, or to act aggressively on the basis of that belief’. Anyway, as you say this debate is going nowhere, so I’ll just do a damon and link to a website that says pretty much what I would but more in depth and eloquently http://www.leninology.com/2010/08/racism-doesnt-cut-both-ways.html and leave it at that.

Cylux

We seem to be no nearer to finding answers as to why the unemployment rates for Black youth in Britain are so much higher than for other ethnic groups.

From time to time, other minority ethnic groups have also claimed to be victims of racist discrimination. We would be better placed to assess that claim if we had access to occupation data by ethnicity but on looking at the data for unemployment rates quoted @42, the unemployment rate for Black youth is hugely higher than for other ethnic groups and we have come up with no solid reason to account for so large a difference.

111. Imran Khan

With Keith ” Here guv wanna buy a passport” Vaz in trouble over unexplained large amounts of cash going through his bank accounts the class of 87 intake, or whenever it was, is now down to Ms Abbott.

Let us deal with the concept of Black. Ms Abbott would seem to be now accepting that it is people of African Caribbean origin which is a fair enough description. The only problem that she has with that is that for years she was a member of a group of race relations industry professionals which insisted that black was a ” political construct” which included everyone who wasn’t white.

This particular nonsense was the brainchild, I use the word loosely, of the late and very much unlamented Livingstone funded National Assembly Against Racism. This bunch of self appointed political leaders simply decided that I was black and then not only issued statements on my behalf but proceeded to pocket large amounts of public cash which then disappeared.

The public sector is simply a larger version of those groups. It is very largely a massive bloated kleptocracy which provides a lifetime salary and huge pensions for people who are otherwise unemployable.

It is the last stronghold of the unions which are riddled with former Trotskyists and Communists who see themselves as engaged in a permanent guerrilla of attrition against any attempts to bring accounting practices to curb their profligacy with our money.

The public sector isn’t under attack it is being pruned back to something like the level it should be. It should provide a basic level of service which should be defined by law and no more. The last days of the Livingstone GLA where an example of what these monstrosities had become with dozens over overstaffed departments engaged in outreaching and inclusion and diversity.

It is entirely correct that the public sector should be reduced and if that results in unemployment then so be it. The government either at local or national level has no right to fiddle the unemployment figures by expand the public payroll.

In more than thirty years of accountancy I have yet to prepare or audit the books of an African Caribbean owned company. Plenty of Asian, white and increasingly Eastern European but not black as Ms Abbott now seems to be defining the description. Is it being alleged that Companies House discriminates against black people and won’t let them start companies?

I haven’t seen a recent conference on the failure of black youths to gain educational qualifications, Ms Abbott managed to get public money to run them every year claiming that the whole thing was the failure of racist teachers. Perhaps it has finally dawned on her that the scam won’t work any more as people are aware that groups such as the Vietnamese, Chinese, Poles as well as other Eastern Europeans and now the nationalities arriving from South America are all out performing black young men.

Instead of indulging in a blame game, start to look at a culture which eulogizes guns, drugs and the denigration of women and then Ms Abbott might start to understand why black unemployment is so high.

112. Chaise Guevara

@ 109 Cylux

So there’s another person on the internets defending their hypocrisy when it comes to racism. What does that show, exactly?

This actually gets beyond semantics, because you wind up excusing actions in some people that you would condemn in others, based purely on the colour of their skin. So, cheesy as this sounds, following your preferred definition of “racist” will make people into racists. Also apologists.

113. Man on The Clapham omnibus

62. MarkAustin
I would agree that there is a strong correlation between black (West indian) and lower socio-economic class. However, this does not imply a casual explanation.

Absolutely agree. I think detailed research is required to highlight the causes of this. The act of employing someone is based at least on whether they are qualified to do the job as well as ascriptive factors. Research could be targeted on employer perceptions as well as educational achievement for starters.

114. Man on The Clapham omnibus

@96 Pagar

I think the biggest danger is to treat individuals of any community as individuals.

”quod erat demonstrandum”

ok so you gone from talking double dutch to latin but if you have a point heres the place to make it.

115. Man on The Clapham omnibus

@96 Pagar
@97 Chaise

“You’re right. She is lazy and particularly stupid (and I should point out that this view is uninfluenced by the colour of her skin).”

How do you know?

@ MOCO

I think the biggest danger is to treat individuals of any community as individuals.

So how would you suggest we treat them?

As pawns?

As ciphers?

As a tribe of coloured zombies lacking all free will and trapped in a glutinous mass of statistical analysis and by their cultural chains?

How do you know?

From her actions and utterances.

Imran’s take down @ 111 is pretty much spot on.

117. Chaise Guevara

@ 115 MoCO

“How do you know?”

Well, I don’t know that Pagar isn’t motivated by skin colour, but it would be severely out of character.

Regarding the comments on Abbott, I remember stuff about her falling asleep in a meeting, but TBH “lazy” isn’t what I’d have picked. She makes a lot of stupid and unpleasant comments, though.

I mean, when a politician makes racist comments on Twitter, what does that say about how bright they are?

On distinctive social differences between ethnic groups, Fig 16 in this study by the Social Issues Research Centre (2008) shows Black Caribbeans and Black Africans to have the largest percentage of lone parent familes of any ethnic group by a fair margin, while Indian single parents have the least:
https://www.education.gov.uk/publications/eOrderingDownload/Appendix-G_SIRC-report.pdf

Section 3.2.4 in this study has data on family income by ethnicity.

Table 15 of another research study on: Ethnicity and Family, using the Labour Force Survey for the period 2004-2008, comes up with a similar finding about the preponderance of Black Caribbean and Black African single parent families while Indian and Chinese ethnic groups have the least.
http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/uploaded_files/raceinbritain/ethnicity_and_family_report.pdf

Chart 8 of this brief (May 2012) on the Prison Population, prepared by the HoC Library, shows the breakdown in that population by ethnic groups. After ethnic Whites at 74.3pc (as compared with 88.8pc in the general population) the next largest ethnic group in the prison population is Black or Black British at 13.4pc (as compared with 2.7pc in the general population):
http://www.parliament.uk/briefing-papers/SN04334.pdf

At Leeds central bus station this morning at 6am, I saw about seven African guys waiting for buses going to work. The only reason people are in the bus station at that time is to go to early starting jobs.
And I saw no black British people. As in British born. You can usually tell an African person from a black person who has grown up in England.

So African immigrants are getting up before dawn, and going off to crap jobs, while British people (of all races) are down at the social claiming their unemployment benifits, telling their DSS worker that they can’t find a job.

122. Chaise Guevara

@ 121 damon

Big extrapolation from a small data set based on assumptions, that.

123. Imran Khan

Damon. Your observation of the make up of the bus queue would be of little value on its own but with a lot of other things factored in becomes an interesting statistic. I was particularly impressed by the figures for whites and British born blacks in prison. Once again the reasons given by the Mss Abbotts of the world for this seeming disparity is the fact that the whole world is racist against black British men.

There are signs of this gang/rap culture spreading outside of African Caribbean youths and infecting other cultures and communities. There has been a particularly horrendous series of trials in London over a gang murder at Victoria Station. There have now been seventeen people convicted of either murder or manslaughter of a young man in March last year.

In the Guardian report yesterday there were pictures of ten of those convicted of which six had obviously African names. This is a very disturbing trend and is one which is spreading to other communities even Asian ones.

Lastly, the most telling point in this discussion was made by someone above who pointed out that Ms Abbott put her son through a private school because the local ones in her constituency weren’t good enough. Did anyone see her demolition by Andrew Neill on, I think, The Daily Politics”?

124. Chaise Guevara

@ 123 Imran

“Lastly, the most telling point in this discussion was made by someone above who pointed out that Ms Abbott put her son through a private school because the local ones in her constituency weren’t good enough.”

Just to check, do we know this is the reason? Because it occurs that politician’s kids are high-risk targets for kidnappers or maniacs with a grudge, and I doubt state schools have the security to deal with that.

125. Man on Clapham Omnibus

120. Bob B

I think you have hit the nail on the head. I remember a study called the ‘home and the school’ (carried out in the 60’s) which found that measures of the quality of homelife was highly correlated with educational outcome. I would be interested if there was more current research looking into the interplay of ethnicity,poverty and culture.

126. Man on Clapham Omnibus

87. pjt

so why is it relevant to the current discussion

127. Man on Clapham Omnibus

116. pagar

No I was thinking more in the way statisticians treat social data. I would argue that phenomenological studies might not be that useful.

@ Chaise

it occurs that politician’s kids are high-risk targets for kidnappers or maniacs with a grudge, and I doubt state schools have the security to deal with that.

Many politicians kids go to state schools without any problem.

Here is Abbott’s own explanation.

‘I knew what could happen if my son went to the wrong school and got in with the wrong crowd. They are subjected to peer pressure and when that happens it’s very hard for a mother to save her son. Once a black boy is lost to the world of gangs it’s very hard to get them back.’

Actually, I have no problem with people doing the best for their children regardless of their political beliefs. Politics is about trying to change the world into what it should be but in reality they have to deal with it as it is so I am not charging hypocrisy here.

She is a stupid, self serving racist, though.

Imran reminded me of Andrew Neil’s memorable demolition job.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LxRqMJHG56A

129. Chaise Guevara

@ 128 Pagar

Thanks for the info, and I agree that’s it’s either not hypocrisy, or fully understandable hypocrisy. I’m against private schooling, but have no beef with parents that use these schools.

Cylux,

Do you know how to read a dictionary?

1. is the primary meaning, 2. is a less common meaning. You don’t put 1 and 2 together to make some overall dictionary meaning.

“so “this endows some races with an intrinsic superiority over others” + “abusive or aggressive behaviour towards members of another race on the basis of such a belief”

Sounds pretty much like “race prejudice + power” to me.”

Even there – leaving aside your false arithmetic – it does not necessarily = race prejudice + power, because as Chaise has pointed out, power is not a necessary component of abusive or agressive behaviour.

I notice you haven’t backed up your claim that the term ‘racism’ was first defined by the American civil Rights movement. I have shown its origins lie elsewhere. Unfortunately you don’t seem to have the grace to admit you were wrong.

“Anyway, as you say this debate is going nowhere, so I’ll just do a damon…”

Ah yes, the ‘fleeing in triumph’ tactic. Your claim about the origins of the word racism has been blown out of the water. Anyone can see that. Hopefully you have learned something and won’t be silly enough to attempt it again in future, but we shall see.

Chaise Guevara

Big extrapolation from a small data set based on assumptions, that.

I saw the same thing again this morning, as once you look for something like that, you see it everywhere.
A hugely disproportionate number of immigrant people are out getting the first buses of the day.
It was the case when I lived in Gernmany too. The earliest U-bahns were full of foreign workers.
Because factory and cleaning jobs start early.
My flipping shift starts early – 7am. There are loads of African guys catching early buses in Leeds. As well as east Europeans and people from loads of different countries.

Then go into the job/benefits centre hours later and see the difference. It’s like the cast of Shameless in there in Harehills job centre.

If jobs are only offering low wages, it’s hardly worth the effort to work for the bit of extra money you get compared to your dole plus housing benefit.

125 Man on Clapham Omnibus

The research studies by highly reputable agencies cited @118 – @120 were obtained by googling on “ethnicity” (which turns our to be a crucial key word in this context, not “race”, “racist” etc) plus various other key words such as “one parent”, “family”, “prison” etc. I really can’t claim credit and have to acknowledge that Imran Khan’s observations @111 prompted the searches.

What emerged is pretty sad. The social characteristics of “blacks”, as a group, are distinctively different from other ethnic minority groups and rather bleak.

What little data I came upon for household incomes could probably go towards making a case showing general economic discrimination against ethnic minority groups but I’d like the time to go through this research: Changing Patterns of Employment by Ethnic Groups and Migrant Workers
http://dera.ioe.ac.uk/6251/1/nat-changingpatternsofemploymentbyethnicgroupandformigrantworkers-re-may2006.pdf

It’s certainly no part of my assessment that there is no discrimination against ethnic minority groups.

Digging out and reading through the various relating research studies seems to me a far more fruitful, if challenging approach to the issues here than quoting dictionary definitions of: racist, racism etc.

Do you know how to read a dictionary?

1. is the primary meaning, 2. is a less common meaning. You don’t put 1 and 2 together to make some overall dictionary meaning.

Even when the second definition is just a continuation of the first? Or at least that’s what I took away from “on the basis of such a belief”.
Still, lets go with your assertion that “abusive or aggressive behaviour towards members of another race on the basis of such a belief” is an uncommon definition. This leaves us with “1. the belief that races have distinctive cultural characteristics determined by hereditary factors and that this endows some races with an intrinsic superiority over others”, so the question is ‘what is likely to casually engender a belief that the race one belongs to has an intrinsic superiority over others?’* A history of colonialism and world dominance for your race, or a history of being colonised?

Even there – leaving aside your false arithmetic – it does not necessarily = race prejudice + power, because as Chaise has pointed out, power is not a necessary component of abusive or agressive behaviour.

But by your very lips abusive or aggressive behaviour is part of the uncommon definition, so is not really an important part of determining when an action is racist or not. It can be thuggish, destructive, overwhelming, murder, but without that intrinsic belief of racial superiority it is not racism.
My argument is that in order for the intrinsic belief of racial superiority to manifest requires that your ‘race’ be powerful, to be culturally dominant, to be the rule makers everyone dances to. White people are not subject to racial oppression. Almost by definition, since the category of ‘whiteness’ has from its inception designated those who were not racialised, who were excluded from racist oppression. It has consistently been revised, such that people who escape racist oppression (Italian Americans, Irish, Jews, etc) are absorbed into ‘white’ society, while people who are notionally ‘white’ are regularly excluded from it (gypsies, Roma and Eastern European migrants, Serbs, etc). I’ve not even touched upon “that races have distinctive cultural characteristics determined by hereditary factors” either. What equivalents do white people have to ‘spear chuckers’, ‘curry eaters’ and ‘ragheads’?

Now you might interject with Black supremacist groups, in that they openly advocate the superiority of the Black race, and have even arbitrarily killed white people in the past – the problem there is that their existence can be explained as reaction to racism, as it is no coincidence that the Nation of Islam and Black Panthers formed in the run up to the civil rights movement where racial tensions and the sense of injustice was running high. (The nation of Islam practically stands up as an explicit rejection of ‘White Christian America’) As such, what is it that ultimately caused their existence?
(Obviously where they murder and commit assaults they should go to prison, for a long time, I merely regard this as an academic discussion regarding motivation.)

I notice you haven’t backed up your claim that the term ‘racism’ was first defined by the American civil Rights movement. I have shown its origins lie elsewhere. Unfortunately you don’t seem to have the grace to admit you were wrong.

I don’t regard it as important, I should perhaps been more careful and have said ‘if not before’, but as far as being a political concern that is actively fought against it is in that timescale.

*I’m presuming you don’t regard people who believe that a race other than their own has intrinsic superiority over theirs and others to be worth being concerned with, or should face some punishment.

Yawn

135. So Much for Subtlety

133. Cylux

My argument is that in order for the intrinsic belief of racial superiority to manifest requires that your ‘race’ be powerful, to be culturally dominant, to be the rule makers everyone dances to. White people are not subject to racial oppression. Almost by definition, since the category of ‘whiteness’ has from its inception designated those who were not racialised, who were excluded from racist oppression.

So the Whites of Southern Africa, in your opinion, are not and cannot be racially prejudiced? Because they do not hold power. Any more. The Whites of Zimbabwe and South Africa, not racist, right? Someone like Terr’blanche could not be racist twice over because not only was he not a product of a politically dominant community, he was not the product of an economically dominant one either – the economy being controlled by Anglos and not Boers like him.

And the Asians of Uganda? Not racist, right? The Korean shop owners of New York? Whatever Public Enemy et al say, not racist?

@135

Way to misrepresent Cylux’s post. Bravo.

I’d like you to tell me who ‘white’ people are being ‘oppressed’ by ‘black’ people in this country but I suspect you’ll just reply with a load of fact-free nonsense that allows you to claim some kind of spurious victimhood.

Furthermore, you delude yourself into thinking there have been massive societal changes in South Africa since the end of apartheid. Nothing could be further from the truth.

@123

“There are signs of this gang/rap culture spreading outside of African Caribbean youths and infecting other cultures and communities. There has been a particularly horrendous series of trials in London over a gang murder at Victoria Station. There have now been seventeen people convicted of either murder or manslaughter of a young man in March last year”.

I find it amusing the way you use the contamination metaphor here. Unwittingly, you have revealed rather a lot about your way of thinking. Well done.

But how is the murder at Victoria Station and rap music related? Talk about lazy thinking.

138. Chaise Guevara

@ 136 buddyhell

“I’d like you to tell me who ‘white’ people are being ‘oppressed’ by ‘black’ people in this country but I suspect you’ll just reply with a load of fact-free nonsense that allows you to claim some kind of spurious victimhood.”

Obviously there isn’t a culture of anti-white oppression in this country, but instances of anti-white racism exist, such as earlier comments by the author of the OP.

It’s hardly the biggest problem in our society, but some people on this thread are trying to define it out of existence: if you’ve suffered racism as a white person (and I have, as it happens, although it didn’t bother me much), it wasn’t really racist on account of you being white. Which is basically a racist way of approaching racism.

worse than being unemployed is when they invest vast amounts of £ tracking and profiling Black individuals. This helps them work out how to screen and block people from the jobs reserved for their own. screening comes in the form of fictitious job adverts,BME leadership development campaigns, recruitment drives that invite minorities to apply and the like. Beware.

I find it amusing the way you use the contamination metaphor here. Unwittingly, you have revealed rather a lot about your way of thinking. Well done.

But how is the murder at Victoria Station and rap music related? Talk about lazy thinking.

And this exchange shows up the pointlessness of internet boards. There is a negative black youth subculture that is behind killings like that at Victoria station, and the very reason that Diane Abbott gave for not wanting to send her son to a Hackney comprehensive. If you don’t like the way the post @123 was worded, that’s one thing, but to dismiss it as you did is just dishonest.
Rap music is often about a glorification of ghetto culture. It revels in it and is attractive to young people. Some take this music style FAR too seriously, and try to mimic it.
Which ends up looking like this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fjql5Qjd47I

This debate remains firmly stuck in a’race/ethnicity’ analysis and little is being said about class. Unlike the UK, there is a fast growing black middle-class in the USA, which appears to have started after the gains in civil rights after the 1960s, the question is, why does it happen in the US and not in the UK?

Maybe it’s part of a deep social structure associated with the class-system or perceptions of class (cultural attitude) or even both.

142. Chaise Guevara

@ steveb

Interesting question. Off the top of my head (and therefore quite possibly nonsense), I wonder if it has to do with how many black people in each country are first-gen immigrants. Obviously America has a large black population because of the slave trade, so generally black people there have family in the country going back for hundreds of years. They’re as “American” as anyone else. If we have a bigger percentage that are newish immigrants, that might account for it, because first-gen immigrants have more barriers to cross in terms of language, cultural assimilation etc.

If I’m right, then it might be more appropriate to compare black people here with Hispanic people in the US (who, again off the top of my head, I believe are disproportionately working-class). And it would suggest that we could improve things here by making more of an effort to help new immigrants to find their feet.

Another possibility is that it’s related to the fact that the US has a proportionately larger black population overall.

@141 America has seen attempts to ameliorate the racist structural oppression that leads to the associated social attitudes with schemes such as Affirmative Action.

Such schemes however, because of the fact they operate on the basis of positive discrimination can be cast as ‘reverse racism’ and are often strongly opposed.

@ steveb

<i<Unlike the UK, there is a fast growing black middle-class in the USA, which appears to have started after the gains in civil rights after the 1960s, the question is, why does it happen in the US and not in the UK?

As has been pointed out, Abbott sent he son to a private school.

Is that not “middle class” enough for you?

Illuminating insights into gang cultures from this in the Guardian:

‘Seizing gang leaders isn’t the answer. I should know. I used to be a member’
http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/oct/28/gang-member-crime-junior-smart

146. Chaise Guevara

@ 143 Cylux

“Such schemes however, because of the fact they operate on the basis of positive discrimination can be cast as ‘reverse racism’ and are often strongly opposed.”

I wouldn’t call it “reverse racism”. I’d just call it “racism”. And even if you think a little racism can be a necessary evil for the long-term benefit (which, from a utilitarian standpoint, may be valid), you’ve also got the problem that so-called positive discrimination supports the sort of people who go around saying that white people are the real victims of racism.

147. Chaise Guevara

@ 144 pagar

“As has been pointed out, Abbott sent he son to a private school.

Is that not “middle class” enough for you?”

Steve has admittedly not sourced his statement, but he’s obviously talking about the relative size of the black middle class in each country. I don’t believe you honestly thought he was saying “there are no middle-class black people in Britain”. I think you’re deliberately misreading him to start pointless rows.

@140

“There is a negative black youth subculture that is behind killings like that at Victoria station, and the very reason that Diane Abbott gave for not wanting to send her son to a Hackney comprehensive. If you don’t like the way the post @123 was worded, that’s one thing, but to dismiss it as you did is just dishonest”

What utter rubbish. Here you are claiming that “black youth subculture” (whatever that is) is responsible for the decline in ‘western values’. You don’t use that term but that’s the subtext of your ‘argument’. No mention of other ethnicities or their subcultures and you wonder why I find these views so abhorrent? What do you mean by “negative black culture” anyway? Have you ever listened to ‘white’ heavy or death metal? I wonder if you hold the same dodgy views there.

“Rap music is often about a glorification of ghetto culture. It revels in it and is attractive to young people”.

Here you show your ignorance of rap music. Do Public Enemy glorify “ghetto culture”? Furthermore, what do you mean by “ghetto culture”?

“Some take this music style FAR too seriously, and try to mimic it”.

Like who? Name some names.

@138

“Obviously there isn’t a culture of anti-white oppression in this country, but instances of anti-white racism exist, such as earlier comments by the author of the OP”.

In which case, you’ve contradicted yourself. How many white people have been refused jobs on the basis of their skin colour?

Racism is ideological and is held together and sustained by mythology. What myths are there that support this “anti-white racism” that you and others speak of? Racism towards black people is informed by several myths, one of which, it is claimed, comes from the Bible (the Curse of Ham). With anti-Semitism, the mythological framework consists of the Blood Libel and The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Both forms of racism are central to far-right ideologies because they require scapegoats. How does this work in reverse?

@140

One more thing, Damon. This whole idea of cultural contamination exists mainly on the far-right and, at the risk of risking a violation of Godwin’s Law, the Nazis also had similar ideas to you and Starkey. The same ideas were present in 1940s and 50s America, where teenagers were told not to listen to ‘race music’ lest they become beasts. You see, referring to black people are beasts is nothing new. It’s all part of the social Darwinism of Francis Galton and others.

@140

One more thing, Damon. This whole idea of cultural contamination exists mainly on the far-right and, at the risk of violating of Godwin’s Law, the Nazis also held similar ideas to you and Starkey. The same ideas were present in 1940s and 50s America, where teenagers were told not to listen to ‘race music’ lest they become beasts. You see, referring to black people as beasts is nothing new. It’s all part of the social Darwinism of Francis Galton and others.

152. the a&e charge nurse

[148] ‘What do you mean by “negative black culture” anyway?’ – in this context it has something to do with crime stats, especially violent crime.

According to this report black males are more likely to be both the victim and perpetrator of crimes – ‘The data provide a breakdown of the ethnicity of the 18,091 men and boys who police took action against for a range of violent and sexual offences in London in 2009-10. They show that among those proceeded against for street crimes, 54% were black; for robbery, 59%; and for gun crimes, 67%.
Just over 12% of London’s 7.5 million population is black, including those of mixed black and white parentage, while 69% is white”.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/7856787/Violent-inner-city-crime-the-figures-and-a-question-of-race.html

Against such a backdrop it seems the writer of the OP did not feel confident enough to send her son to a state school in her own constituency.
During one interview DA says;
‘I’d done a lot of work on how black boys underachieve in secondary schools so I knew what a serious problem it was.
I knew what could happen to my son if he was sent to the wrong school and got in with the wrong crowd.
I realised they were subjected to peer ­pressure and when that happens it’s very hard for a mother to save her son.
Once a black boy is lost to the world of gangs it’s very hard to get them back and I was genuinely very fearful of what could happen’.

The first question is whether or not such stats do, in fact represent a discrete problem, and if they do then we musk ask why, or perhaps more importantly what should be done about it – DA, it seems, harboured fears about the way young black men in the educational system are still drawn to violence and gang culture.

153. Chaise Guevara

@ 149 Buddyhell

“In which case, you’ve contradicted yourself.”

No I haven’t. There isn’t a culture of anti-white discrimination in this country in that it isn’t endemic, or even particularly common. That doesn’t mean that anti-white racism doesn’t exist.

“How many white people have been refused jobs on the basis of their skin colour?”

This is a bit of a No True Scotsman, because racism is not limited to people being refused work. But I’ll ask my team of psychics to get to work on finding out the true reasons behind every employment decision ever.

“Racism is ideological and is held together and sustained by mythology. What myths are there that support this “anti-white racism” that you and others speak of?”

You seem determined to redefine racism in such a way that it minimises the risk of admitting that it happens to white people. Why is that?

But to answer the question: “White people have lax morals compared to [country of origin] and are a bad influence with all their sex and boozing.”

@Chaise

“No I haven’t. There isn’t a culture of anti-white discrimination in this country in that it isn’t endemic, or even particularly common. That doesn’t mean that anti-white racism doesn’t exist”.

Yeah? Show me some examples of anti-white racism. We’re talking here about something institutional by the way. Which reminds me, how many black people sit on the boards of FTSE 100 companies? I’ll tell you. None.

“This is a bit of a No True Scotsman, because racism is not limited to people being refused work. But I’ll ask my team of psychics to get to work on finding out the true reasons behind every employment decision ever”.

You can’t even deal with my point and can only reply by talking in gibberish. Racism is more than calling people names. Refusing people work or promotion on the grounds of skin colour – whether or not this is verbally expressed – is racism.

“You seem determined to redefine racism in such a way that it minimises the risk of admitting that it happens to white people. Why is that”?

Au contraire, it is you and those on the right, who want to redefine racism. Is that because you’re trying to claim victimhood? It’s as if to say, “If they get to accuse us of racism, why can’t we accuse them of racism”?

“But to answer the question: “White people have lax morals compared to [country of origin] and are a bad influence with all their sex and boozing.”

You’re being silly now.

The Nation of Islam is racist. Why? Because they’re racial supremacists and nationalists whose ideology is held together by myths.

@152

“in this context it has something to do with crime stats, especially violent crime.

According to this report black males are more likely to be both the victim and perpetrator of crimes – ‘The data provide a breakdown of the ethnicity of the 18,091 men and boys who police took action against for a range of violent and sexual offences in London in 2009-10. They show that among those proceeded against for street crimes, 54% were black; for robbery, 59%; and for gun crimes, 67%.
Just over 12% of London’s 7.5 million population is black, including those of mixed black and white parentage, while 69% is white”.

The far-right use such statistics to claim that blacks are “genetically inclined towards criminality”. It’s a very slippery slope.

By the way, the clue is in the suffix “ism”. This implies an ideology.

157. Chaise Guevara

@ 154 buddyhell

“Yeah? Show me some examples of anti-white racism. We’re talking here about something institutional by the way.”

I love how you think you can make up arbitrary rules and I have to follow them. That’s not how it works. You seem to have replied to me simply to practice goalpost-shifting.

So no, we’re NOT just talking about institutional things. And for an example, see Abbott’s earlier comment that white people “love to play divide-and-rule”.

“You can’t even deal with my point and can only reply by talking in gibberish.”

Me talking in gibberish? I’m not the one making content-free attacks like the one above.

“Racism is more than calling people names. Refusing people work or promotion on the grounds of skin colour – whether or not this is verbally expressed – is racism.”

It is indeed! But throwing racist epithets is also racism. Making generalisations about people based on their race is racism. Racism is not limited to “things buddyhell reckons don’t happen to white people”.

“Au contraire, it is you and those on the right, who want to redefine racism.”

Some on the right might, but I don’t. I don’t particularly want to get into a dictionary war here, but I’m using the word both as it’s generally defined and as it’s generally used. You’re the one ducking and weaving, adding unnecessary requirements to the word “racism”.

“Is that because you’re trying to claim victimhood? It’s as if to say, “If they get to accuse us of racism, why can’t we accuse them of racism”?”

In instances of white people being victims of racism, why shouldn’t they claim victimhood? Why should white people be treated differently to other races?

“You’re being silly now.”

What a compelling counterargument. I take it from this that you’ve run out of things to say.

158. Charlieman

@149. buddyhell: “In which case, you’ve contradicted yourself. How many white people have been refused jobs on the basis of their skin colour?”

Anyone who has received training in employment selection will be familiar with the concept that all applicants should be treated equally. During evaluation, the employment panel has to pick a winner, the second and third places etc.

It is not permissible to conclude that two applicants are equal in ability, so give the job to the woman or the Asian in order to make the organisation “more representative”. Employment policy and law thus acknowledges possible discrimination against “majorities” such as white people or men.

142

Good point and I tend to agree with your analysis.

145
Although the article you refer to is about black gangs, gang culture in the UK is as old as the child street gangs of the 19th century. The Sheffield gang wars in the 1920s earned Sheffield the title of ‘little Chicago’,they were all white and more notorious than the Krays. There are girl gangs, white gangs, Asian gangs as well as black gangs and the common denominator is ‘working-class’ and high unemployment.

149,150
Anti-Semitism goes much further back than ‘Protocols’, the Jews became a racial category under the Nazis, prior to this they were a religious category.

160. Charlieman

@141. steveb: “This debate remains firmly stuck in a’race/ethnicity’ analysis and little is being said about class. Unlike the UK, there is a fast growing black middle-class in the USA, which appears to have started after the gains in civil rights after the 1960s, the question is, why does it happen in the US and not in the UK?”

Good points, Steve. But it’s going to be a tough argument to conduct, because self definition of class is always going to be bizarre. Many blue collar workers perceive themselves as middle class; I don’t declare myself as an auditor of class but I suspect that there may be some delusion in those self definitions.

My perceptions may be skewed by my job (university) and geographical location (Leicester). However black and Asian 30 and 40 year olds are getting on in life around me. I’m not referring just to those who succeed in commerce who get rich; black and Asian people are no longer entirely sidelined in low paying, inconsistent jobs alongside an elite in professions and business.


In the USA, it was observed that Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, as black people, were remarkable in government. Rather, it would have been incomprehensible given their background, education and ability that those two would not have had top jobs doing something.

@ Cylux

“so the question is ‘what is likely to casually engender a belief that the race one belongs to has an intrinsic superiority over others?’* A history of colonialism and world dominance for your race, or a history of being colonised? ”

False dichotomy. Which period in history are you taking about? The history of imperialism didn’t start in 1492. Arabs were colonisers of Europe from the 700s onwards, for around 1000 years. The Ottoman Empire only ended after WW1.

“But by your very lips abusive or aggressive behaviour is part of the uncommon definition, so is not really an important part of determining when an action is racist or not.”

That’s a distortion of what I said, i.e. it was not ‘by my very lips’. I didn’t say or imply that it wasn’t important. I said that abusive or aggressive behaviour does not necessarily stem from a position of ‘power’.

“My argument is that in order for the intrinsic belief of racial superiority to manifest requires that your ‘race’ be powerful, to be culturally dominant, to be the rule makers everyone dances to.”

Then I think you are mistaken. It is perfectly possible for racist beliefs and behaviour to derive from past power of others and glory – this is blatantly the case with Islamists who hark back to the glory days of large Islamic empires. It can stem from nostalgia for power or from appetite for power, from all sorts of things.

“I’ve not even touched upon “that races have distinctive cultural characteristics determined by hereditary factors” either. What equivalents do white people have to ‘spear chuckers’, ‘curry eaters’ and ‘ragheads’?”

Why are you asking me? Here’s a suggestion, though: there may be plenty of racist attitudes in the world of which you are not aware. You appear to have a remarkably constricted – and indeed white and eurocentric – understanding of world history and different cultures.

“*I’m presuming you don’t regard people who believe that a race other than their own has intrinsic superiority over theirs and others to be worth being concerned with, or should face some punishment.”

I don’t understand what you are saying here. It doesn’t even make grammatical sense.

You appear to be under the naive undergraduate delusion that bad things like racism and imperialism were invented by bad white people, that only the last few hundred years of world history really count, and that until the bad white Europeans started it, hostility and oppression on the basis of people looking different and having different cultures just did not exist.

162. Chaise Guevara

@ 160 Charlieman

And similarly, probably a lot of people we’d call middle-class prefer to refer to themselves as working-class.

I’m not that familiar with how class is measured in surveys and so forth, but I think the old blue-collar/white-collar distinction is even less now than it used to be. If you do an unskilled office job for minimum wage, you’re white-collar, but are you middle-class?

And of course class gets defined by other things: tastes, family, even accent. I think we see it as inherent to people rather than a description of their current circumstances: changeable, but not overnight. If you have an 18-year-old who comes from a rich, home-counties family, speaks with RP, and prefers tiramisu to trifle, but works on a supermarket kiosk, you’re probably not going to think of them as working-class.

163. Charlieman

@162. Chaise Guevara: “I’m not that familiar with how class is measured in surveys and so forth, but I think the old blue-collar/white-collar distinction is even less now than it used to be. If you do an unskilled office job for minimum wage, you’re white-collar, but are you middle-class?”

As a starting point, watch kitchen sink dramas from the 1960s or old episodes of Coronation Street. Blue collar rubbed up to white collar as much as today. They even mated.

The play _Abigail’s Party_ is a sublime demonstration of wearing a white collar but not knowing who you are.


Historic social classification (ABC1C2DE) is great fun. I was born a D but am now a B. In future times I could be an E.

Marketing people have used different classifications of consumers. ABCDE was old hat thirty years ago. They class you on your post code (how crass can you get?) or more significantly on your divvy card at the supermarket.

160

I do agree with your observations about perceptions of class, I tend to start with Marx and then add in the contradictions, but the rationale for bringing in class is that a focus on race or indeed any other social grouping such as gender, age and sexual preference is too simplistic. FWIW, I believe that class is the primary cause of inequality but there will always be other factors such as ethnicity and gender which will also be instumental. For example, you mention the Asian population, – more Asian women from middle-class families become doctors than white women from any class.

There are, of course, examples of individuals from all social groups who do well, but I tend to look at the overall outcome rather than focus on certain individuals. On saying that, I also agree that a person’s own perception of their class can act as a deterrent against persuing activities/qualifications/experiences outside of their own peer group.

“so the question is ‘what is likely to casually engender a belief that the race one belongs to has an intrinsic superiority over others?’* A history of colonialism and world dominance for your race, or a history of being colonised? ”
False dichotomy. Which period in history are you taking about? The history of imperialism didn’t start in 1492.

I’m pretty sure my comment was specifically referencing Colonialism not general imperialism. Indeed it’s within the history of colonialism that saw the possibly satirical poem The White Man’s Burden taken seriously as a justification of imperialism as a noble enterprise.

“But by your very lips abusive or aggressive behaviour is part of the uncommon definition, so is not really an important part of determining when an action is racist or not.”

That’s a distortion of what I said, i.e. it was not ‘by my very lips’. I didn’t say or imply that it wasn’t important.

You said it was the uncommon definition, moreover it’s a definition that refers to the primary definition – that thorny little phrase ‘on the basis of such a belief’. If the conditions of the first definition are not met, then it becomes irrelevant to refer to the second.

I said that abusive or aggressive behaviour does not necessarily stem from a position of ‘power’.

Unless the abuse or aggressive behaviour stems from the belief that races have distinctive cultural characteristics determined by hereditary factors and that this endows some races with an intrinsic superiority over others, then it is irrelevant.

I believe for the requirement of belief in racial superiority to be met requires that the race one belongs to be powerful, you believe me to be mistaken.

Then I think you are mistaken. It is perfectly possible for racist beliefs and behaviour to derive from past power of others and glory – this is blatantly the case with Islamists who hark back to the glory days of large Islamic empires. It can stem from nostalgia for power or from appetite for power, from all sorts of things.

I would have claimed Islamists to be driven and informed by a religio-political ideology than a racial one.

166. Chaise Guevara

@ 64 steveb

“FWIW, I believe that class is the primary cause of inequality but there will always be other factors such as ethnicity and gender which will also be instumental. ”

I suppose, in places where these things are major factors, they become part of class. An example would be the caste system in India (if that counts as a “race” thing). Downtrodden racial groups are generally expected/forced to be working class due to the colour of their skin.

“FWIW, I believe that class is the primary cause of inequality but there will always be other factors such as ethnicity and gender which will also be instumental. ”

And I think it’s unlucky to walk under ladders.

What an insight! It stands to reason that someone working in a low paid job or workless is in a lower social class and those working in highly paid jobs are upper class

What matters is the spread of incomes (the gini coefficient) and social mobility. As this research study shows, Britain is very bad at social mobility compared with peer-group countries: Intergenerational mobility across OECD countries
http://www.oecd.org/eco/publicfinanceandfiscalpolicy/45002641.pdf

As mentioned before, two maintained boys schools within walking distance of where I sit regularly achieve better average A-level scores than Eton. The website of one says that about half the boys in the school come from ethnic minorities – I often travel on buses passing that school on my way shopping and that claim certainly looks to be true judging by those leaving the school at the end of the school day. We need to bring more schools up to that standard.

Buddyhell @148. It’s difficult to know where to satrt.
Did you not look at the Youtube of my local street posse from near where I grew up in Croydon?
They have killed people.
One case even hit the national headlines. This one.

These were the faces of the 27 London teenagers who were killed by gun and knife crime in 2007.
Take a look at them. It was nearly all gang related violence and I don’t think any were done by white perpetrators.
http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/44334000/jpg/_44334004_teen-deaths-collage26.jpg

And what are you talking about decining western values for? Did I say anything about that? I was talking about a specific sub-culture. It’s what Diane Abbott was talking about regarding her son.

As for rap, it’s a huge genre, and some of it promotes the ghetto culture …. for what else can ”Get rich or die tryin” be suggesting?

There’s nothing wrong with that musical style as long as you know it’s just fantasy pop music.
It’s the kids who take it seriously that become the problem, and black youngsters do that more than others, even though it has plenty of crossover appeal for other racial groups.

And personally I think Public Enemy are crap.
I have that CD of their’s ”It takes a nation of millions to hold us back” and it really does glorify the ghetto culture. It’s there even in the album title.
But that’s another subject.

169. So Much for Subtlety

136. buddyhell

Way to misrepresent Cylux’s post. Bravo.

Thank you. Except I did not misrepresent his post. He says racism requires power. White South Africans do not have power. Therefore he seems to be claiming they cannot be racist any more.

I’d like you to tell me who ‘white’ people are being ‘oppressed’ by ‘black’ people in this country but I suspect you’ll just reply with a load of fact-free nonsense that allows you to claim some kind of spurious victimhood.

Why would you like me to tell you that? As very few White people are being oppressed by Black people. At the moment. No one has even suggested otherwise. Speaking of misrepresentation ….

Furthermore, you delude yourself into thinking there have been massive societal changes in South Africa since the end of apartheid. Nothing could be further from the truth.

I notice you did not mention Zimbabwe. There has been massive social change there. So Ian Smith was not a racist towards the end of his life because, you know, Mugabe was in power. And while there have been limited social changes in South Africa – mainly aimed at putting as much loot as possible into the hands of the ANC and its cadres – there has been change. Either way it is irrelevant as there has been a massive shift in power.

There are three clear issues for research:

1. Why are Blacks in Britain more likely to be unemployed than other ethnic minories? Linked to that, why are Blacks in Britain more likely to have come from one-parent families than other ethnic minorities and why is there a higher percentage of Blacks in the Prison Population than other ethnic minorities?

2. Why the does the Gini coefficient for income distribution in Britain indicate more inequality than in most other affluent capitalist market economies in western Europe – excepting Switzerland and Ireland?

3. Why is social mobility lower in Britain than in most other affluent capitalist market economies?

Telling us that is all due to class, just puts a label on on the causes but tells us sweet FA.

169

Section 2 and 3 are outside the scope of this thread, perhaps you could start another thread addressing the issues you raise.

‘Telling us that is all due to class, just puts a label on the causes but tells us sweet FA’

Firstly, I said that class was the biggest cause of inequality not that it was all due to class.
Secondly, I tend to believe that identifying and labelling the cause/causes is necessary before we can address the problem, maybe you have a better method.
Thirdly, there is unlikely to be a simple cause and affect; there are certain factors about the black population which may or may not skew the statistics:-

There is a tendency for large numbers of black people to live in the same geographical location, usually in cities.
The black population is also younger and we know that throughout the EU, it is the young who suffer the highest unemployment.
The unemployment rate of black males is higher than black females which suggests that there could be a gender issue.

When we can clarify the above we can then look at other factors such as class, culture and possibly employer discrimination.

166

‘What an insight! It stands to reason that someone working in a low paid job or workless is in a lower social class than those working in highly paid jobs are upper class’

I’m afraid your reason has failed you, there are thousands of unemployed graduates and professionals, and certainly there are a large number of graduates working in menial jobs. Furthermore, many jobs in the socioeconomic group C2 pay more than in Group B.

170

“Section 2 and 3 are outside the scope of this thread, perhaps you could start another thread addressing the issues you raise.”

More rubbish. You keep on about the relevance of “class” as the reason for the differences between the social characteristics of Blacks and other ethnic minority groups so I was trying to put that onto a measurable basis instead of the usual waffle that you generate. We could – for example – look to see whether there is more or less social mobility among Blacks as compared with other ethnic groups.

This research from brain scans could help with further insights providing we had large enough samples to assess whether there are systematic differences between ethnic groups:

What’s the difference between these two brains?
They both belong to three-year-olds, so why is one so much bigger? Because one was loved by its parents and the other neglected – a fact that has dramatic implications
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/children_shealth/9637682/Whats-the-difference-between-these-two-brains.html

171

It has been know for a long time that external stresses and environmental experiences impact and shape neural pathways and the article you allude to is very interesting. However, no information was given about the identity of each brain so we do not know if it was two white children, two black or ethnic children or was the undeveloped brain that of a white child and the other of a child from an ethnic/black group. To this extent I don’t know why you are presenting this evidence or are you making a massive leap and inferring that only black children can be neglected. I think you will find that children living in war zones and those subject to severe famine would present with similar brain scans.

It is also interesting that most child and serial killers in the UK are white, maybe that’s a typical behavioural characteristic of white people.

‘You keep on about the relevance of “class” as the reason for the differences between social characteristics of Blacks and other minority groups’
Nope, I keep on about class being the most significant reason for inequality within all groups.

Steveb: “I keep on about class being the most significant reason for inequality within all groups.”

That is what is daft. It tells us absolutely nothing unless we can put it on a measurable basis to assess how important what is labelled as “class” is. Without the measurements, class is just a label for an undefined and unmeasured set of social pressures.

At least I’m proposing to inquire as to why Britain has an unusally high Gini coefficient for income distribution, compared with most peer-group countries, and as to why the OECD comes out with a startling conclusion that Britain has a worse recond on social mobility – defined as the correlation between parental and sibling incomes – than in peer group countries.

Given the data, we can look to see whether Blacks in Britain have better or worse social mobility than other ethnic minority groups.

173

Well we could just ignore any variables that are inconvenient for an easy cause/effect analysis although you appear to be attempting to use unidentifiable evidence which, as far as we know, shows scans of white children. But that doesn’t matter, we can hold two scans in our hands and measure the differences and then randomly apply it to a reason for the unemployment levels of black people.

As I have already pointed out, we are not debating the Gini coefficient, and why would you be looking only at the social mobility of Black groups when you already know that lack of social mobility affects the whole population? It doesn’t make any sense.

174

“Well we could just ignore any variables that are inconvenient for an easy cause/effect analysis although you appear to be attempting to use unidentifiable evidence which, as far as we know, shows scans of white children.”

That’s more rubbish. There are published data on the Gini coefficients for the income distributions in many countries. What is extraordinary about the Gini coefficient for income distribution in Britain is that it is so high – meaning that inequality is high – compared with most capitalist market economies in our peer group.
http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/eco_inc_equ_un_gin_ind-income-equality-un-gini-index

The OECD has data supporting its assessment that social mobility is low in Britain compared with peer-group countries – see the link @166. If reliable incomes data for fathers and siblings are available for ethnic minority groups in Britain, is is possible in principle to assess whether social mobility for Blacks is worse than for other groups or not.

Compare all that with your assertion that the most important influence is “class”. How can we tell whether that is true or false – even given that we can agree on what “class” means and how to measure it?

175

‘What we need IMO, in addition to employment status data by ethnicity, not least because occupations are the basis of the social class categories in Britain’s official statistics’
So wrote BobB @103
And now we go several posts down and we have ‘even given that we can agree on what “class” means and how to measure it’. I would suggest we use the social class categories which you allude to.

And still you are waffling on about the Gini coefficient although it has absolutely nothing to do with the debate. As I have suggested previously, you should start a new thread to discuss the issues.

176

“And now we go several posts down and we have ‘even given that we can agree on what “class” means and how to measure it’. I would suggest we use the social class categories which you allude to.”

But there are disputes as to whether employment occupations are a sensible basis for defining social classes.

The allocations of occupations into ABC1C2DE social classes are completely arbitrary. Some manufacturing jobs were/are very well paid and some supposedly “middle class” jobs were/are relatively poorly paid. Payment league ranking changed over time.

Bankers were ripping off their employing shareholders as well as the customers of banks. There were no convincing reasons for believing that those working in a particular occupation identified with the social class to which they were assigned.

When I worked in a government department, there was a totally absurd policy argument in the early 1990s about whether writing computer software was “manufacturing” or “a service activity”.

Software developed for use in a machine tool counted as manufactured while software developed for a computer application or a video game was a service. Remember that working for a newspaper counted as “manufacturing” because newspapers were printed and that was manufacturing. In the event, it was decided by the minister that writing software was a service activity.

This distinction mattered greatly at the time, besides being the grist for sociologists, because manufacturing activity qualified for some government grants while service activities didn’t. Start or move a software development business into an area qualifying for regional assistance and it would miss out on some grants.

This was similar to the kind of category difficulties the government in South Africa got into before the Apartheit policy was abolished when crucial decisions had to be made as to which race every individual belonged.

With Gini coefficients of income distributions, and social mobility, defined as the correlation between the incomes of parents and siblings, we are in the realm of measurable realities.

179. Imran Khan

This debate has wandered around quite a bit so could I try to summarise what has happened?

When all else fails read the instructions, by that I mean look at the article. First of all Diane Abbott’s statement of fact is rubbish. Ms Abbott is a marginalised person of limited ability who makes outrageous statements to get attention and is quite rightly regarded as a laughing stock.

She is a racist who thinks that white people are out to divide and rule blacks who sent her son to a private school because she didn’t want him expose to the black gang culture that she denies exists but then deplores whilst organising conferences putting the blame for the failure of black boys on institutional racism.

According to her the fact that most exclusions are of black young men is because teachers are racist and pick on African Caribbean youths while ignoring all of the other ethnic minorities which are doing well in the system.

Her own constituency party want rid of here but the party nationally will not allow it because it would be racist. The people of Hackney North and Stoke Newington are stuck with a complete and utter incompetent racist and becuase of the PC cowardice of Millipede she is there until she dies. Is there any more that needs to be said?

178: Imran Khan

That amounts to more personal abuse of Diane Abbott than analysis.

IMO the issues posted @169 are more fruitful points of departure for discussion.

181. Chaise Guevara

@ 178

Well, her constituency could vote her out. And how do you know she’s being kept around because Milliband’s scared of being called racist?

182. Imran Khan

I know that Hackney North and Stoke Newington Constituency Labour Party want to replace Abbott because I meet members of it as I am in The Labour Party in a neighbouring Constituency and regularly meet with activists.

Just noticed a post earlier about the book ” When We Ruled”. I have had the misfortune to read it and it is largely fiction. Everything is the fault of Europeans and before they arrived Africa was Nirvana.

Not a mention of the pivotal role played in slavery by African rulers who sold their own people, sometimes relatives, to Arabs and Europeans. Also no mention of the fact that when Britain was about to abolish the slave trade a group of West African tribal leaders petitioned Queen Victoria to exempt them from the ban.

183. Chaise Guevara

@ 183 Imran

Yeah, but I doubt Milliband’s keeping her around because he thinks he’d be called racist for sacking her. He might be keeping her around because it helps him image-wise, but that’s a slightly different thing.

Unless anyone argues otherwise, I’m taking your word on When We Ruled. The title doesn’t exactly make it sound like sober historical analysis.

184. Just Visiting

Chaise

> I’m taking your word on When We Ruled. The title doesn’t exactly make it sound like sober historical analysis.

The book’s author Robin Walker is for me a problematic source – his other books seem not to have been published by well known reputable publishers.

And this book of his is definitely a black mark – I can’t imagine a serious historian writing it:

Black Economic Empowerment: Create Your Own Plan to Build Great Wealth

185. Chaise Guevara

@ JV

Does sound weird. From the marketing:

“A practical action plan to get you off the plantation towards financial freedom”

Riiight…

186. Imran Khan

As there has been some interest ” When We Ruled” I got hold of a copy today and looked through it with the same sense of disbelief as I had when I read it just after its publication in 2006.

It is as far as I know the only work by Robin Walker and was published by Every Generation Media a company run by Hackney Labour Councillor Patrick Vernon. It is basically a cobbling together of myths and legends and the same racial superiority theories of Nazis and black American racial nationalist groups like the Nation of Islam.

Much is made of the civilisations of the Med fringe such as the Egyptians and Carthaginians and the Sumerians and Mesopotamians are also lumped in as African. The first two were of course essentially southern European cultures and how the last couple ended up being African is anyone’s guess!

As with Holocaust denial literature there are copious foot notes to everything which if examined simply refer to themselves. Dvid Irving will give Paul Rassinier as a reference and vice versa.

In explaining the present state of the African part of the continent, it is quite clear to anyone who has been there that the continent from Morocco to Egypt is a mix of Arabic and European civilisations, page 541 says this.

” We have made frequent allusions to the research of Professor Chancellor Williams, author of The Destruction of Black Civilisation. In this work he presented as a single theory that much of African culture had spread across the continent from a single source. According to Dr Williams the Nile region of ancient Egypt and Nubia were onece the most densely populated parts of Africa. When Caucasians invaded these countries, the indigenous peoples fled to avoid being captured, colonised or enslaved”.

I rest my case with that. Either the Egyptians were indigenous Africans as a good half of the book claims them to be Africans and bases the whole hypothesis for an ” African” civilisation on their achievements, or they were merely interlopers who drove out the original ” African” inhabitants.

Chancellor Williams is a well know academic fraud in case anyone was wondering.

I suspect that few readers here will get much insight from that about how Blacks – and other ethnic minorities – fare in Britain nowadays.

182

‘Not a mention of the pivotal role played in slavery by African rulers’

It’s all about class, as I always maintain, any analysis of social phenomenon without reference to ‘class’ is futile.

I,m afraid I haven’t seen anything on class in pre-European Africa anywhere. They were of course hierarchical societies based on tribal and family allegiances but all slave orientated to one extent or another. Some essential reading I would recommend is William St Clair’s ” The Great Slave Emporium” and ” Islam’s Black Slaves” by a former white ANC member Ronald Segal.

Both books deal in detail with the role of slavery in African societies and how the Europeans simply made use of an existing system. Giles Milton’s “White Gold is a very good account of the enslavement of Europeans by various North African Muslim rulers and also deals with the trade in black Africans.

Non of this of course is ever discussed in Black History Month where everything bad that has ever happened to Africa and blacks everywhere is some Europeans fault. Dianne Abbott is basically flogging a dead horse that everyone else long since abandoned.

Interesting statistic I came across the other day. Sikhs have the highest proportion of home owners in the country. Are they members of this BME, or is it BAME, group?

Not too far off topic. Have a look over at CiF. There is an article from some woman I,ve never heard of who is apparently a freelance journalist who lives in Angola complaining about the lack of black people in Downton Abbey.

Why does the Guardian continually put up rubbish pieces like it when even Guardian readers slag them off?

I’m not getting how a class analysis helps to illuminate the white slave trade of the Barbary Coast pirates:

In the first half of the 1600s, Barbary corsairs – pirates from the Barbary Coast of North Africa, authorised by their governments to attack the shipping of Christian countries – ranged all around Britain’s shores. In their lanteen-rigged xebecs (a type of ship) and oared galleys, they grabbed ships and sailors, and sold the sailors into slavery. Admiralty records show that during this time the corsairs plundered British shipping pretty much at will, taking no fewer than 466 vessels between 1609 and 1616, and 27 more vessels from near Plymouth in 1625. As 18th-century historian Joseph Morgan put it, ‘this I take to be the Time when those Corsairs were in their Zenith’.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/empire_seapower/white_slaves_01.shtml

By some accounts, women aboard captured ships were apt to find themselves sold for service in harems.

192. Imran Khan

Not quite sure about your remark on the relevance of class analysis to the Barbary slave trade, perhaps you were being humorous!

Giles Milton gives figures of as many as a million Europeans enslaved. Certainly many millions more black Africans would have shared the same fate.

It is interesting in this article by Abbott and in another for the Guardian’s CiF that she hasn’t responded to any of the criticism. About the only person who does defend themselves and the positions they take and write about is Andrew Gilligan which is very refreshing.

189

You may not have seen anything about class, however, you will find that in all races/nationalities, the ruling class exploits the lower class, this is no different in Africa. Marx is where you will find the best analysis on class exploitation.


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