With the LGBT marches in London and New York bringing attention to racism within that movement and the sacking of Labour MP, Rebecca Long-Bailey for anti-semitism, despite the fact that Israel has itself been accused of racism towards its own Ethiopian-Jewish community, it can be argued that political correctness is dangerous for democracy and free speech.
I have never been a fan of political correctness. I do not see how affirmative action in employment, politics and society, for black and minority ethnic communities (BAME) can bring about genuine equality for these communities. If you have to force one group by law to treat another group fairly, then I would argue that this does not bring about genuine change.
Another thing that concerns me is the fact that other groups within society that are fighting for equality have and continue to practice racism against people from BAME backgrounds.
One example, is the LGBT community that has fought long and hard for their equal rights, but overlooked and ignored the racism within their own movement. For a long time LGBT individuals from BAME backgrounds have spoken out about the racism that they have experienced within that community.
LGBT dating apps are still rife with stereotypes and rejection based on race, and the LGBT movement continues to be the domain of predominately white voices and white experiences. (Reuters: LGBT+ marches from London to New York call for end to racism: Saturday, 27 June, 2020)
The Jewish community is another example of a community that often champions the cause for equality in society, but falls shamefully short of addressing their own racial inequalities.
In Israel the plight of Ethiopian Jews within Israel has long been documented. (DW: Tania Krämer: 29 September, 2018: Ethiopian Jews: Israel’s second-class citizens?)
More disturbingly, in an article by Chris McGreal in 2006, for the Guardian on Tuesday, 7 February, it was revealed that racist Apartheid South Africa was populated in part by Jewish people, who accepted the ideals of Apartheid and saw no contradiction between their membership of the racist South African party, which was anti-semitic and pro-Hitler, and the fact that they were Jewish.
It defies belief that survivors of the death camps and gas ovens would continue the legacy of oppression and racism in Apartheid South Africa, but this is what happened. It defies common sense in my view why Israel Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin would meet South African Prime Minister and Nazi sympathiser, John Vorster in 1976. This is a strong reason why no group in society should be above criticism in the public domain. (Chris McGreal: Guardian: Brothers in arms – Israel’s secret pact with Pretoria: Tuesday, 7 February, 2006)
The two groups that I have used as examples in this article is to demonstrate that being a member of an oppressed group does not necessarily mean that you believe in equality for all, nor does it mean that yourself cannot be an oppressor.
No one group should be allowed to prevent debate or discussion, or use their minority or oppressed status as a form of censorship on free speech.
This is the form of political correctness that I am against. If this means that I have to listen to someone who considers me racially inferior or listen to a racist joke, so be it.
I would rather live in a world of differing opinions based on real human emotions, than I would in a world based on legally enforced, and manufactured ‘niceness’. This is not how we are going to create a society where everyone respects each other.
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