Some people who believe in the concept of multiculturalism (not me I’m an assimilationist) sometimes try hard to turn a blind eye or suppress information about certain cultures when there are negative things to say about them.
I can see their reasoning, not every individual is the same as the group or the stereotype of a group. Multiculturalists see it as wrong to give negative attributes to the groups they are championing. All well and good up to a point, after all not all Scots are mean, not all West Indians are muggers, not all English are reserved, not all Americans are loudly religious etc, and the Welsh don’t shag sheep any more than their neighbours across the border do.
But what happens when this desire not to tag the individual or the group with a negative image goes too far and information about genuine negative cultural traits are subject to self censorship especially within organisations?
What happens when those who have a desire to avoid inter communal conflict mess up or go too far?
What happens when this laudable desire to avoid different ethnic and religious mobs fighting each other in the street is perceived to interfere with the process of Justice?
The reason I bring this up is in relation to the tragic cases of Charlene Downes, the Blackpool teenager who allegedly was murdered and her remains fed into a kebab meat mincing machine, and the Rochdale Islamic street grooming gang case.
Although there appears to have been recorded incompetence on the part of the Police in the Charlene Downes case which has and will result in disciplinary action, there is also the nagging suspicion amongst some people that the police may have taken a ‘softly, softly’ approach because Ms Downes could have been seen as just another teenage runaway (of which there are loads and the police don’t have the resources to chase after each one of them) and that the suspect was from a minority community.
Because the police messed up badly certain political groups have been able to promote the meme that the accused in this case was handled in a different way because he is Muslim than if he was of any other group.
This allegation of police treating certain communities with kid gloves was certainly also around in connection with the Rochdale street grooming case.
If, and only if, the allegations that police, social services and other agencies sat on these cases or certain aspects of these cases in order to avoid inter communal conflict are true, then it has not had the desired outcome and has only served to make things worse.
The sad fact is that in both the Charlene Downes case and the Rochdale Street Grooming case not acting earlier, acting swiftly, acting efficiently and acting openly has only really benefited the far right.
By not acting in a timely or effective manner the authorities have left the field clear for groups like the BNP etc to use these cases as a hook for campaigning. Because there are perceived issues of unequal justice it has created a handy platform for the far right.
You may or may not agree with me but the ultra right, like the ultra left are no great friends of the concept of freedom and democracy.
A quick trawl of the web will show anyone just how much the far right have latched onto these cases and how they are using them as a stick to beat the authorities with.
This could all have been avoided if the police, social services and others had acted, and been seen to act, as swiftly they do in other cases.
The authorities have not done themselves any favours by being seen as if they are treating cases where minorities are behaving in a criminal manner more leniently, or by taking greater care with investigations than they would do for anyone else.
The scales of justice, like the scales in your local greengrocer must not be bent or perceived to be bent.
If the doctrine of multiculturalism or a fear of being called ‘racist’ has corrupted police and other agencies then this needs to be dealt with by way of honest and open debate.
Maybe it’s time for a Royal Commission on the sometimes negative effects of multiculturalism and get stuff out in the open. It’s going to be painful and will become a media circus but what I do know is that NOT talking about these issues is making things a whole lot worse. I don’t give a monkeys chuff whether my neighbour is black, white or a fetching shade of green but I do care about how people behave and that they are punished when the misbehave.
Britain has often benefited from the input of hard working and talented immigrants such as the Brunel’s, Michael Marks (of Marks and Spencer fame), the composer George Friedrich Handel and many more. However, it only stores up problems for the future if the Law treats or is seen to treat, those who have come to the UK as guests but behave in a criminal manner, differently than those who were born here or who have come from overseas but who contribute to our society in a positive way.
We must not oppress the stranger because often we are all strangers at sometime and somewhere in our lives, but we must not give lesser punishments to the stranger or handle the stranger in a judicially beneficial way just because they are the stranger.
Justice should not depend on the colour of your skin, the culture from which you come, your socio-economic status in society, nor the religion that you profess. As the Bible says about weighing scales in Leviticus 19:36
Just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin, shall you have: I am the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt. (American King James version).