April 25, 2023 at 4:05 PM #10834SUCULTUREAdminLondon, United Kingdom
Racism” – Should
Diane Abbott have
To respond to the ongoing Diane Abbott furore it is important to provide some historical context.
In June 2021 a Texas House Bill , and its companion bill — Senate Bill  were signed into law. It is one of the many nationwide, and total attack, on the public school curriculum in the United States restricting how America’s history should be taught. Similar Bills have been signed into law by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis entitled “The Individual Freedom Act” which has been blocked by a Federal Court as Unconstitutional.
This chain of events can be linked to an executive order signed by former President Donald Trump in September 2020, which banned federal employees from taxpayer-funded training programs that delves into “critical race theory” or “white privilege,” referring to it as propaganda. See below;
What is Critical Race Theory; or CRT?:
The central idea behind CRT, as a field of intellectual inquiry, is that all forms of prejudice, bigotry, and racism, is institutionalized, and codified into America’s legal systems, its history and policies. It seeks to acknowledge and critique the continued consequence of racial disparities inherent within the system.
In October 1951; The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, (JCC or Claims Conference) was formed by 23 Jewish organizations. By 2020, over $90 billion had been paid in restitution and compensation to Holocaust victims and their heirs; with the German state supplying 87.5% of Israel’s state revenue by 1956. These reparation funds helped to transform the country, and the development of key infrastructure, such as ports, and bridges.
Nazi-looted objects – [including art collections, family heirlooms, prized objects e.t.c] have been identified and returned to survivors, and their heirs, totalling over 16,000 objects in the past 20 years. Restitution also includes research, education, remembrance, and the maintenance of Memorial Sites for the Holocaust, and monthly pension for “damage to health” received by over 25,000 Holocaust survivors worldwide as of 2019.
The Slave Compensation Act 1837 – an Act of Parliament in the United Kingdom, signed into law on 23 December 1837, was to effect an agreement between the chancellor of the exchequer and those involved in the illicit trade of human beings, to be compensated for the loss of what had, under UK law at the time, been considered their property – an equivalent of some £300 billion in today’s funds.
While this agreement was finally offset in 2015 using UK tax-payers monies, you could argue over the precise monetary figure that this country [the UK] owes descendants of enslaved individuals – but it has become increasingly difficult to argue that it’s zero, even in 2023.
The Danger of a Single Story:
Diane Abbott‘s response to Tomiwa Owolade‘s article in The Guardian of Sat 15 Apr 2023, simply adds nuance and clarity to the debate and does not belittle, in any way, the experiences of other people. In fact Diane Abbot acknowledged that others “undoubtedly experience prejudice.”, but that the totality of these experiences cannot be interchangeable.
Notably, the article in question, having mentioned the Gypsy, Roma and Irish communities within the same sentence, rather gets completely ignored and swept aside as the political squabble intensifies.
Ironically, the ongoing furore adds to the toxicity of conflating our dogmas and stigmas – established through the social constructs of the mid-1400’s leading up to the 21st century, as outlined above. How does a response to an allegation of the nuances around racial hierarchy, and the need not to place importance of a group’s experience over another… by actually then placing one group’s experience above another, provide a solution and contribute to the discourse?! Diane Abbot’s treatment, after the fact, actually validates her argument.
Should Diane Abbott have been suspended? Absolutely not!
We need the freedom to respectfully engage and discuss the subtleties around these difficult topics. Not doing so presents the problem of a single story, as currently exemplified in the state-backed legislation which targets specific communities in the United States. We alone can tell our own story; which Diane Abbott knows intimately.
April 26, 2023 at 6:49 AM #10838CharlotteAdminLondon, United Kingdom
@SUCULTURE I couldn’t agree more.
Her concerns about the prolonged discrimination that people of color face, specifically racism, being disregarded and overshadowed by accusations of antisemitism, and her swift suspension by the Labour Party, demonstrate the existence of a hierarchy of discrimination, particularly within the party.
In my opinion, what Diane Abbott said was not inherently offensive or repulsive in its own right. Instead, it has been distorted by a complicit media that is eager to demonize a staunch advocate for sensible discourse and equality – using a catchphrase as antisemitism.
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