When I asked Trevor Phillips why he’d turned his back on a successful career in television and taken his last job as head of the race relations commission, he replied: ‘Because I can say things you can’t.’
Not that it’s ever stopped me, but I took his point. As a black man on the inside track, he could tell the truth without being accused of ‘racism’. And he’s been as good as his word.
In one of his first pronouncements, he attacked the ‘gold chains and no brains’ culture which leads to young black men in Britain apeing nihilistic American rappers and ensures they become trapped in a ghetto of their own creation. That kind of statement of the obvious from a white man would have been howled down.
Now, as chairman of the new all-singing, all-dancing Equalities Commission, he has gone further, endorsing what this column has been arguing for years and shattering one of the Left’s great articles of faith.
In a thoughtful, courageous article for the Daily Mail, timed to coincide with the tenth anniversary of the official inquiry report into the genuinely racist murder of black teenager Stephen Lawrence, he declares that Britain is the least racist country in Europe.
He also says that the label of ‘institutional racism’ which has hung over the police like a ‘badge of shame’ ever since is no longer valid and we need a new vocabulary.
Those of us who argued at the time that it was ludicrous to accuse the entire police force of racism, over what was a bungled murder inquiry, were ourselves slandered as ‘racists’.
The phrase was seized upon by those Trevor identifies as ‘ guilt-tripping white folks’ as a potent stick to batter every public institution in the country.
They have used the catch-all cliche; of ‘racism’ to advance their own agenda, silence dissent and bully the paying public into submission.
Until recently, anyone who questioned whether mass immigration was either desirable or sustainable was vilified. The blameless, courteous chairman of Migrationwatch–who exposed the reality behind the Government’s fiction over immigration–was subjected to a vicious campaign of character assassination.
Fear of being accused of ‘racism’ has paralysed the police force. It has been exploited by cynical chancers such as Ali Desai and Tarique Ghaffur to enhance their promotion chances and shake the money tree.
We’ve reached an absurd impasse in which police are prevented from objecting to the siting of a gypsy camp on the grounds that to do so would be ‘racist’–despite compelling evidence that it would lead to a rise in crime, which is what the Old Bill are supposed to be in business to prevent.
In local government, it has led directly to the tragic murder of Victoria Climbie, who was tortured to death while Haringey social services stood back because ‘chastisement’ was considered to be part of her African ‘culture’.
Fear of being accused of ‘racism’ stalks the corridors of our Town Halls and government departments, creating a generation of box-ticking, brain-dead bureaucrats. Zey are only obeying orderz.
Where I’d take issue with Trevor is over the description ‘ guilt-tripping white folks’. While it is true most of the phoney allegations of ‘racism’ come from humourless, middle-class, white Guardianistas, they’re not on a guilt-trip.
As far as they are concerned, they are good people. And the way in which they reinforce their own self-righteousness is via a constant crusade to make the rest of us feel guilty.
They’ve pulled the same trick with ‘homophobia’, hysterically accusing of hating gays anyone who has reservations about same-sex couples adopting children, or who objects to men having sex with each other in public parks and toilets.
In truth, most of the hatred comes from the Left, who enforce the cult of ‘diversity’ with Stalinist zeal, deliberately destroying the careers and reputations of decent people who dare to disagree with them. Being wrongly accused of racism is as hateful as racism itself.
They always deny it, but it is the Left who drive people in desperation into the arms of the BNP. And as Trevor Phillips rightly acknowledges, inequality today is more economic than racial, with poor whites as much victims as those from ethnic minorities. Yet disadvantaged whites feel there is no one to speak up for them. That’s why some turn to extremists.
I first realised Trevor was riling the Guardianistas when the odious Ken Livingstone accused him of sucking up to the BNP.
It’s difficult to think of a more vile slur to level at a black man. But that is the level to which these hate-mongers are prepared to descend.
Of course, racism hasn’t gone away. I doubt it ever will. But things have improved immensely.
I’ve described before walking through London Weekend Television with Trevor in the mid-1990s, when it dawned on me that his was the only black face which wasn’t pushing a broom or working in the canteen.
We shouldn’t be complacent, but things have progressed.
It’s easy to understand why older folk, who grew up in a monochrome Britain, have trouble coming to terms with a multi-racial society. But to my children’s generation, race isn’t an issue.
The growing number of mixed-race children, the Lewis Hamiltons and Leona Lewises, are evidence of that. Beige is the new black and white.
I’ve long argued that left to their own devices, people rub along quite well together. The indigenous British have been far more accepting of incomers than any other nation in Europe–and far more scandalously traduced by their own political leaders.
Trevor and I would probably part company on this, but I’ve always considered the race relations industry to be as much part of the problem as the solution.
I look forward to the day he announces that his own commission is being wound up.
Until then, Trev, keep telling it like it is.