It has rather come to something when you’re not even allowed to tell the truth without being shouted at. But then that’s what happens with groupthink and fashionable opinion – any attempt to depart from it must be howled down. So it is with the contention that Britain is actually not a particularly racist nation. This is something that is actually true and I speak as one with considerable lived experience – not just Easyjet tourism – of other places. Behaviour that would have you locked up in Britain is commonplace in some other countries. So this is indeed true:

A Question Time audience member sparked a furious backlash on the BBC’s hit panel show after insisting the UK isn’t very racist.

The man prompted an angry response from poet George Mpanga and a fellow audience member when he insisted “the UK is one of the least racist societies across Europe”.

“Have you actually looked at the numbers?” the man asked during the show in London.

Those who would disagree should try being Arab in France, black in Russia, Cabo Verdean in Portugal and so on. As someone who has been out there to many of these places, sometimes for years at a time, it really us true that Britain is unusually unconcerned about such things.

But he was berated by panellist George Mpanga, a performance poet, and another audience member who jibed: ‘It is funny that you’re a white man saying that.’

Which is the problem of course.

No one at all is going to claim that no racism exists in Britain but then that wasn’t the original claim either. Nor would anyone claim that Britain was perfect in any manner at all, also not that original claim. Rather, the claim was that Britain is less racist than many other places. Something which is indeed true. But then we can’t have people going around making true statements contrary to popular beliefs, can we? How could the facade of our unremitting racism be maintained if everyone understood that we do pretty well, near all others are worse.

Including, often enough, places where it’s the pinkish ones in the minority.

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Spike
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Similarly, the US is not as racist as it is made out to be (for personal gain). It goes way out of its way to declare its non-racism, even enduring eight years of Obama Economic Malaise to do so. We go to silly extents to befriend minorities and bend over backwards for anyone who doesn’t speak English well. And by the way, stark contrasts between rich and poor are nowhere near as stark as elsewhere, including all of Latin America. Unfortunately, whoever we elect next month, we are in for another tedious National Dialogue on Race.

Rhoda Klapp
Member
Rhoda Klapp

Dialogue is not a synonym for harangue.

Quentin Vole
Member
Quentin Vole

You’d face far less prejudice (not to say physical danger) as a person of a dusky hue living in most largely Caucasian countries, than you would as a member of the ‘wrong’ tribe in much of sub-Saharan Africa.

Spike
Member

Yes, sir, and that owes to culture. And the prejudice one does face owes not to “dusky hue” but also to culture, such as overt hints that one intends not to assimilate.

Rhoda Klapp
Member
Rhoda Klapp

If it’s so awful, why don’t they relocate to that place where there is no racism?

Rhoda Klapp
Member
Rhoda Klapp

The QT audience member, the gobby shouty woman, may well be mistaking the observation that people don’t like her as racism when it is because she is a gobby shouty woman.

Spike
Member

A Bachelor’s in Grievance Studies ensures that no one will be eager to cooperate with you, until you finally unlearn it.