Like “fascist” and “Nazi”, the word “racist” has been so abused it has now lost its meaning.
Actually, it lost its generally understood meaning when it was first coined decades back – after the mainstream left had ditched Methodism for Marxism – to replace the word “racialism”. Unlike that otherwise neutral term, “racism” is a Marxist-inspired dogma which ordains that the only people who can be held responsible for doing bad things are those with power, defined solely in terms of economics or politics, while those without such power can do nothing wrong.
So instead of meaning prejudice, “racism” means solely prejudice by white people. And so if a white person says something disobliging about a person of colour, that white person is racist.
But what if the disobliging thing is actually true? Irrelevant. What if the white person’s meaning has been distorted to support the charge of “racism”? Irrelevant. What if the people claiming “racism” aren’t a race at all but, as with Muslims, followers of a religion? Irrelevant.
So Donald Trump (say no more); Boris Johnson (ditto); the philosopher Sir Roger Scruton, the meaning of whose comments was reversed; US law professor Amy Wax who spoke accurately about minority achievement in her classes; the authoritative US researcher Heather MacDonald who adduces evidence to show the American police are not institutionally racist; the 17.4 million Britons who voted for Brexit (some of whom were from ethnic minorities); anyone who ever drew attention to the Pakistani-heritage rape grooming gangs in Britain; the entire UK-wide police service (thanks to the 1999 Macpherson report); and anyone who ever criticised US president Barack Obama for anything he ever did or said, all these people are or were… racists. Even if they don’t or didn’t have a bigoted bone in their body.
Well if everyone is racist, no-one is racist. And so the evil of real racial prejudice has thus been minimised and even denied.
The latest abuse of this word is over Meghan Markle – former “Suits” actress and now the all-but non-domiciled in Britain Duchess of Sussex and wife of Prince Harry. The criticism she has received from the British press and public is said to be racist. Of course.
No matter that, at first, the public were delighted and gratified that the Royal family would no longer be entirely white-skinned – an enthusiasm displayed not only towards Meghan Markle herself but also towards her mother.
No matter that, in refusing to provide details of baby Archie’s birth, display him after he was born or reveal the identity of his godparents, Prince Harry’s new wife refused to fulfil the first rule of Royal family members: that their rites of passage are made visible to the public.
No matter that she has behaved with enormous contempt and disrespect to the Queen, the monarchy and thus Britain itself.
No matter that, as Prince Harry’s biographer Angela Levin wrote today on Conservative Woman, she has also behaved with astounding arrogance:
“Move on just a few weeks and first impressions could have been that Meghan was the royal and Harry the novice. She gave speeches at official visits, leaving Harry looking lost as he hovered in the background. She has since answered questions on his behalf even when reporters directly address the prince. I even saw her pass flowers from well-wishers during walkabouts to Harry to hold, a job usually handled by junior staff.”
All of this is deemed irrelevant and brushed aside. The only conceivable explanation for the criticism of Meghan Markle is, of course, racism.
In fact, such reflexive impunity given to people of colour says very much more about those shouting “racism” than it does about their targets.
First and most obviously, they are judging people not by the content of their character but by the colour of their skin.
Worse, implicit in their position is that people of colour can do nothing wrong. Which means they can never be held responsible for their actions.
And since at the heart of being human lies the responsibility each of us takes for what we do, the assumption that people of colour can never be held responsible is to treat them as less than human. Which by any definition amounts to appalling racial prejudice.
In other words, it’s those shouting “racism” at the critics of Meghan Markle and other supposedly “powerless” groups who are themselves the real racists here.