Monday, April 03, 2006

The 'Race' Is On

I was appalled to read this piece in yesterday’s Sunday Herald penned by their Senior Political Editor, Paul Hutcheon. It strikes me as highly racist both in tone and intent. If the SNP policy is to delegate to its membership the decision as to who should be on the SNP list for the forthcoming Scottish Parliament elections, then it is hardly surprising that individuals should opt to join the party in order to influence the outcome. Indeed, this is precisely what you’d hope for in a democracy – ordinary people taking active interest in politics. But to state that a rush to membership by “Scottish Asians” constitutes or implies an “irregularity”, is to suggest a direct link between “Asian” and “irregularity”. After all, there is nothing else in the article which implies anything untoward is taking place. And if it is the membership rush per se that is causing this pundit concern, then why the need to assign nationality, race, ethnicity – or any other descriptor – to those involved? This is basically a case of Scottish people joining a (Scottish) political party. No story.

This form of passive racism pedalled by Hutcheon (and others) should be exposed for what it is. That it appears in such a blatant form in one of our so-called quality newspapers is simply disgraceful. Maybe in his haste to condemn the SNP, Paul Hutcheon should pause to reflect on the real contribution his piece has made – which is to increase the sense of detachment and disenfranchisement that certain groups in our society feel from others solely on the basis that they are Asian. We have campaigned for years in Scotland to get racism out of sport – let’s also get it out of our journalism.

1 Comments:

Blogger BondBloke said...

Disgraceful doesn't even come close, for God's sake this is a "political editor" he should know better, and if he doesn't then he should not even have such a position!

Monday, April 03, 2006  

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