Sunday, April 18, 2004

Discrimination - A One-Way Street

So the Met is considering the formal adoption of institutional racism.

"The idea was put forward by the Metropolitan Black Police Association (MBPA), to make the force more representative of London's racial mix.

Such a plan would mean changing the 1976 Race Relations Act.

In 2002-03, 9.8% of recruits were from ethnic minorities, but by 2009 this must be 25.9% under government targets. "

Put aside the idea of a trade association open only to those with the right ethnic background - imagine a White Police Officers Association ? I can't, either.

What ever happened to the colour of a man's skin being of no more significance than the colour of his eyes ?

The idea that any given body of people - say teachers, policemen, soap stars or criminals - should reflect the community from which they're drawn can be argued one way or the other. I think it's an idiotic idea because it fails to relect cultural realities (and in some sporting instances physical ones). A third of males have a criminal record - should a third of policemen ? Judges ?

But whether it's a good idea or not, in a nation where the elite consists of guilty white liberals, the ratchet only works one way.

Ethnic minorities grossly underrepresented in an advertisements ? Bad. Asians underrepresented in professional football ? Bad.

Black people grossly overrepresented in Premiership football ? No comment. In presenting BBC children's programmes ? Reading the News ? In medicine, IT and the law ? No comment.

No, stop - it's bad. This BBC report on admissions to medical school showed the idiocy of head-counting

"While one third of all applications for medical school places are from Asians, they represent only one fifth of those accepted."

Now this figure for applicants is so mind-bogglingly large that it should surely be the main story. Young Asians apply to medical school at a rate five of six times higher than the general population. Yet apparently it's a problem that acceptances are only at a level four times higher than the general population.

I hate to say it, but couldn't there be a cultural component to this ? Could it not be that Asian parents see young Daljit as a doctor or accountant rather than a Premiership striker ?

Another area in which the idiocy of head-counting is exposed is education. If differing results are evidence of discrimination, State education is biased against Muslim (Pakistani/Bangladeshi) and Afro-Caribbean pupils, but in favour of Chinese, Indians and Irish.

Given that the stereotypical British racist 'can't tell them apart', British teachers, those well-known racists, must be making a real effort to teach their Indian pupils so much better than their Pakistani ones.

Thank God for people like Tony Sewell. Of course, if he were white, he'd be a racist.