In recent months Prime Minister David Cameron has called on Muslims, who he claims “silently condone” extremist ideas to do more to stop young people from travelling to Syria/Iraq to fight for ISIL.
Aside from the fact that it is clearly NOT the fault of the Muslim community that a few impressionable young people have been persuaded to go and help fill a power vacuum left by Bush, Blair and co; where are the demands for the caucasian community to prevent their youth from committing atrocities such as in Charleston?
The answer is, there has been none. And rightly so. It is absurd to request that a largely peaceful and respectful community take on the responsibility of preventing criminal behaviour among a tiny minority of their own. I’d be labelled a loon if I suggested that white middle class men come together to prevent crimes relating to distributing indecent images of children. (Seeing as they do make up the majority of convictions for such crimes)
This inconsistency is symptomatic of a wider problem. A problem where if a black or brown person is caught committing an offence, his crime is to be seen as a problem with his/her wider community. In stark contrast, efforts are made to hype-individualise the crimes of caucasion individuals. And heaven forbid the word terrorism is associated with their crimes. In the wake of Dylan Roof’s atrocities, mainstream media outlets have tried their hardest to isolate this “hate crime” as an individual act of madness; a crime that clearly demonstrates a deep seated mental illness. The coverage in no way suggests that Roof’s crime were reflective of a violent, extremist ideology prevalent in the Caucasian community.
Racism* means that white people are judged by the “content of their character” and thus their criminal behaviour is not attributed their whiteness. On the other hand the criminal behaviour of BME people is inextricably linked to their ethnicity. Another example can be seen in the Rochdale sex abuse scandal, where 9 Asian (8 Pakistani and 1 Afghan) men were charged with sexually abusing numerous white females. Blackburn MP, Jack Straw said in response to this that “there is a particular problem within the Pakistani community” where they prey on “vulnerable white girls”. The behaviour of 8 men is now a problem with the whole community?
The history of Western/European governments is tarnished by the blood of the indigenous peoples of the world. Still today Western governments commit atrocities completely unparalleled by any non-European powers, but yet whiteness still sits on the opposite end of the spectrum from criminality and terrorism.
Is it not time that we rethink who is committing “hate crimes”/crimes of passion, and who is systematically terrorising people end enforcing an oppressive ideology?
*Racism= the system of oppression that gifts undue privilege to people of European descent and systematically targets all others, especially black people.
As opposed to: Racism= I said something mean about you based on your race and your feelings got hurt.