The boy who cried racist

I’ve maintained for some time that we are using the charge of racism too liberally, and that by continually dismissing those we disagree with as racist we only diminish the meaning of the word until it loses any power. What I didn’t imagine is that it will also put people at risk.

Consider a case in the UK recently where a group of Pakistani and Afghan men were convicted of operating a sex gang and continually raping teenage girls they had groomed. Evidently the case was known about for some time before police or social workers got involved. Why didn’t they get involved earlier? They were worried about being seen as racist:

Police and social workers have been accused of initially not acting on allegations raised in 2008 for fear of appearing racist.

“This is an absolute scandal. They were petrified of being called racist and so reverted to the default of political correctness,” former member of parliament Ann Cryer told The Daily Telegraph.  “They had a greater fear of being perceived in that light than in dealing with the issues in front of them.”

If law enforcement have become so worried about accusations of racism they don’t even dare do their jobs, then it seems obvious to me that something’s gotten out of hand. We have to stop seeing racism under every rock. We have to stop abusing the term simply to score political points or to silence dissent. People’s lives are at stake.

The sad thing about the whole situation is that it’s usually the liberals, who insist that the world is made up of nuanced shades of gray and not black-and-white, who most often cry racism. Why would this “nuanced world view” not apply to relations between people who happen to have different ethnicity? Is it not possible to be wary of someone, or dislike someone or their ideas simply because of their ideas or other factors not related to race?

You are doing more harm than good. And here we’ve got proof. Stop it. Save the accusations of racism for true cases of racism. Or perhaps, if you can’t help but see racism everywhere, it’s time you dealt with the real problem: you.

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