“White people love playing divide and rule We should not play their game #tacticsasoldascolonialism”
I fail to find the inaccuracies in the above statement, but the tweet made by Hackney MP Diane Abbott has raised a storm of moral outrage and disgust. Apparently, calls were made for the MP to resign for the comments. Personally, I think that politicians should resign, or be re-called by their constituents, when they openly and blatantly mislead people, or when they are complicit in crimes against humanity. Not when they tweet something historically accurate. Nick Clegg, for example, whose arrogance you could hear dripping from his words as he denounced Abbott’s comments as “stupid and crass”; ironically, an apt and concise description of his political career since he was awarded the role of Deputy Prime Minister.
Although some find it a bitter pill to swallow, I have no problem with recognising the role that “white people”, “English people”, “rich people”, or whatever you want to call them, have played in drawing the borders of the world. There is no problem with recognising that. White people drew the borders of Africa. White people drew the borders of the so-called “Middle East”. White people invaded what is now known as the United States of America, and Australia, and massacred the indigenous people of those lands. It is not “self-hate”, it is simple, historical fact. And the phrase “divide and rule” would be a fairly accurate description of your country’s past if you came from Palestine, India or Korea, to name a few.
The less-than-140 characters tweeted by Diane Abbott do not equal racism. What does equal racism are the policies of British governments, both current and past, in upholding a global status quo of oppression and inequality. British governments have never had a problem of killing a few thousand brown-skinned people when “our interests” are at stake, whether it be land, profits or oil. There has never been a problem with a few black people dying in police custody in England, especially if they are sufficiently demonised as “gangsters”, “drug-dealers” and “criminals” in the immediate aftermath.
Is it not time that we recognise the real racism problem that exists in this country, in the form of the British government, and the newspaper headlines that join them in demonising young black, and Muslim people on a regular basis. The racist ideology that somehow gives some English people, still today in 2012, the inane belief that we have the ability and duty to act as some kind of moral authority when it comes to the internal affairs of other people’s countries. The Iranian people, apparently, could be the latest lucky winners of our humanitarian liberation bombs, with Defence Secretary Phillip Hammond today warning Iran that closing the Straits of Hormuz would be “illegal”, and that Britain would be prepared to use force to re-open them. Oh yes, Britain, that great arbitrator of international law; I’m sure Presidents and leaders of the world are lining up for lectures. I can’t wait to hear David Cameron’s plan for fighting racism!