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Trevor Phillips Exaggerating Racism Yet Again

David Green, 29 October 2004

In The Times today Trevor Phillips contends that ethnic groups still suffer from racial discrimination and that we need ‘more vigorous enforcement of existing anti-discrimination laws’. The evidence he gives is selective and takes the form of examples of disproportionate representation of ethnic groups in various walks of life: 22% of white British children live with one parent compared with 55% of African-Caribbean children; or ethnic minorities are eight times less likely to ‘visit the countryside’.

If there is a single belief underlying a free society it is the moral quality of all individuals. The founders of liberty drew their inspiration from our Christian heritage. All were equal in the sight of God and, if all were to come face to face with their maker at the end of their lives, they must be allowed to take personal responsibility for choosing truth from error and right from wrong. The underlying idea is that we should judge people according to the things they can do something about. We can’t help where we are born, or whether we are black or white, male or female. But we can control what kind of people we become. Consequently, all the great defenders of liberty believed that we should all be equal before the law.

Yet, what we now have is laws under which some people are more equal than others. A crime with a racial motive is now more serious than one without, and the force of law will be used against employers who fail to meet racial quotas (woops, forgot to call them ‘targets’) which can only be met by giving additional weight to race at the expense of personal qualities or fitness for the job. In a world dictated by Trevor Phillips, an employer who treated candidates as moral equals and ignored ascribed characteristics like race, would be at fault.

Recent guidelines from the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE), chaired by Trevor Phillips, reveal the dangers. The guidelines require employers to discriminate in favour of non-whites, so that their workforce reflects the ethnic make-up of the wider society. If ethnic minorities make up 8% of the population, then every workplace must be 8% non-white.
The CRE defends the new guidelines by insisting that racism still exists and claims that the under-representation of non-whites in particular workplaces proves its point. But the underlying assumption that the disproportionate representation of ethnic groups in an occupation must be the result of discrimination is profoundly misguided. Discrimination is a possible cause, but there are many other more likely explanations. Among the most obvious is that people in ethnic groups might prefer other jobs. People of Indian origin, for instance, are heavily over-represented in the NHS. They can’t simultaneously be doctors and police officers or business executives.

No less important, the low average age of non-white groups means that a higher proportion are too young to go to work. About 30% of non-whites in the last census were under 16, compared with only 19% of whites. Moreover, a higher proportion of non-whites are newcomers to this country, unfamiliar with its culture and language. They are at a disadvantage because command of English and knowledge of a different way of life can only come with time. In 2001, 54% of people of Indian and Bangladeshi origin, about 45% of Pakistanis, and 42% of ‘Black Caribbeans’ were not born in the UK. Attitudes to family and work also affect recruitment to workplaces. About 74% of white British women, and 72% of Black Caribbean women are ‘economically active’. But only 28% of Pakistani women are in the work force. When asked the reason for not working, 75% of Bangladeshi women and 65% of Pakistani women said it was to look after their family or home. Among white British women, only 46% gave that reason.

These factors, not to mention personal choice, make it inevitable that people from ethnic minorities will be under-represented in any workplace. To alter our law to allow racial discrimination in reverse, when racial prejudice is not the problem in the first place, would be a betrayal of our liberal heritage.
The proposed guidelines follow the earlier imposition of racial targets in the public sector, but when the Government set race targets as proof of its hostility to racism it gave no sustained attention to the dangers, despite American experience of racial preferences which have led many American blacks to be among the strongest critics. For many African Americans, preferential treatment, whether in the form of quotas or guidelines, has come to be seen as a kind of humiliation, implying that ethnic groups can’t make it on their own merits.

Moreover, racists assume that race is the most important characteristic of an individual. But a moment’s reflection reveals that it is not, probably not even for Trevor Phillips. We all have several identities, such as race, nationality, father, mother, son, daughter, friend, good or bad writer, good or indifferent footballer, loyal friend, hard worker, decent neighbour, brave, funny, honest or dishonest. Which one is the real us at any one time? For most people, their race (in practice their skin colour) is a trivial part of their self conception. It only seems important because it has been politicised and now it is advantageous to give prominence to one’s race because it can be used to gain valued positions, such as university places or a well-paid job. We already have racial quotas in the public sector, which means that civil servants, police and firemen are being appointed because of their race, not according to their personal qualities.

The CRE chooses to assume that all unexplained statistical disparities are caused by discrimination, contrary to evidence easily seen by glancing at figures published on the Internet by the Office for National Statistics. The CRE is not only encouraging reverse discrimination to compensate for existing prejudice; it is creating discrimination where none exists. The chief beneficiaries of Trevor Phillips’ demands will be lawyers, bent on multiplying grievances in the hope of creaming off their share of the compensation claims.

3 comments on “Trevor Phillips Exaggerating Racism Yet Again”

  1. Since 1973, I have seen the effects of “goals, quotas, objectives and targets” and the most despicable one, the “overide”. All BUZZ words, the currency of an oppressive government, and of “corporate welfare” in the form of the unequal EEOC government process.
    Even the name “Equal Employment Opportunity Commission” is a banner of socialist control. A commission wherein the “preferred” “minorities”, already statutorily, unconstitutionally, and unjustly, “federally protected” above that of other inhabitants consistently mandates their upward mobility at other “traditional” people’s expense; and the mob, screams for more!
    The matter is a simple process really of class subjugation using racial pressure to acheive the demolition of the middle class. The problem is one of enemy recognition and appropriate counter measure, in this case, the withholding of financial support for the repression.
    I am sure you have also seen the “good doggie” attitude and mentality of “Black preference racism” and discriminatory conduct in the form of minority business “set asides”, “special programs and incentives” and “subsidies”.
    The point is the governmental conduct which “sets aside” something not on the basis of competitive qualification, nor on the basis of desired presence, nor the wishes of the majority. The process unfolds merely to satisfy a numerical quota because of claims of “historical treatment”. No examination of case by case information, no demonstration of capability, no yielding to the basic fact of who people want to do business with occurs.
    Statistical models, which do not allow for a non statistically modeling factor, the basic one of:”I don’t feel comfortable and I would rather not; too much risk with no reward” are used.
    All because someone else “wants some”! and then using that “criteria” as the justification for the loss of the majority of one of the most basic rights, the rights of free will.
    Another indication of the “sick society” that Black Entertainment Television is acceptable but White Entertainment Television must include, yep, you guessed it!
    The perverted “standard” by which black is o.k., but non-black is not only bad it is illicit!
    It is mandatory that the viewing experience must include the mandated minority. The attitude being that they are mandated entertainment. Is that a “programming” or what?
    The concept of the effect of lack of willingness on the audience to see the entertainment and the enforcement of, if you want to watch, you must watch them, is part of the make nicey-nicey hypocrisy.
    How’s does that stack up as a “free market” economy, or basic democracy?
    You see all they want is “theirs”, as they self-define, and some of yours too!
    Their are other clear indications of the effects in the demise of the competitiveness in the work place and the dummying down of public education.
    It has always struck me as strange, that when it comes to basketball, the “numerical population of available” “basically qualified” candidates ignores the “racial composition of the population” and is generally accepted as o.k. by the government and the minority in question. A complete “blindness” and “one-sidedness” of an extremely selective nature.
    Simultaneously, despite that consistent inconsistency in thinking, both racially and governmentally (read cowardice),
    “Mandated percentages” are used where their talents are clearly demonstrated as inferior in other occupations and then the issue is “couched” as a “diversity” issue.
    But there will never be a crippled, white, 4’3″ basketball center allowed to play in the NBA.
    Never is the not the “best for the job” criteria accepted when the “shoe is on the other foot”, and never is the “why not go do something in your own hood” perspective acceptable.
    Why? because of the money.
    The money from people putting their money where they want to. The voluntary nature of discretionary expenditure and disposable income which must be mandatorily shared, literally at the point of bayonet, and armed force usage, on the basis of quota.
    Someday, the majority, after enough have experienced the “BAKKE syndrome” , will respond in overwhelming reaction and the insanity of “quota” will end.
    Until then the 12 percent of the population, that portion which generates 80 percent of all violent crime, that segment which is more demonstrably racist and simultaneously ignorant will continue to be the coddled poster child of the increasingly repressive government.
    Someday, a comparative analysis will be made with the other race/religious groups “historical experience”.
    Someday, the matter will be reviewed on the basis of the numbers of the population who are adversely affected by the government’s actions of “wrong makes right”.
    Someday, the matter will receive the benefit of unemotional review, which looks at the total population of black slaves harmed in the 18th and 19th century, by the microscopic percentage wealthy enough to own slaves, versus the non-blacks daily being harmed in the 20th and 21st century.
    But not today, today will be a day of continued mandatory quotas and unjust enrichment. Today, will be a day of escalating tensions with sporadic eruptions when safety valves open.
    Another side of the coin for consideration. Any body ready to spill a little blood on the topic, because that is how tyranny is defeated!

  2. And yet more of the same:
    to quote: ‘Mr Phillips said the best universities may need to be given extra cash to run “minority friendly courses”.
    Writing in the Guardian, he blamed poor exam results among some ethnic minority groups for the continuing failure of minority students to get into top universities.
    “Segregation isn’t always the result of voluntary choices by students,” he said. “But what is beyond doubt is that segregation is taking place.” ‘
    So, now universities must pander to the needs of the few at extra cost, so that they can fill their quotas more easily. How far is this now from the creation of jobs specifically for minorities of any given type? Not very far. How great and equal it is to be a young white male these days.
    “…nine of the 19 elite Russell Group universities had fewer than 30 students who declared themselves to be of black Caribbean origin.”
    So, that they may represent the make up of their local population is no excuse any more? If the requirement is 30 black Caribbean students per year group, and only 23 apply, are they guaranteed entry ahead of maybe students better suited to the courses but who don’t fit the quotas?
    All just racism by a different name. Discrimination is discrimination. It is never positive. Equality is the ONLY way.

  3. Racism exists ergo the CRE exists. Or the other way round. The real reason he keeps spouting his crap.

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