Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Theodore Dalrymple asks, is The Guardian institutionally racist?

This is another "read the whole thing" article but below is the beginning of it. Dalrymple normally seems to avoid all mention of race -- perhaps because he is himself Jewish -- but "The Guardian" finally seems to have got his goat:

Is The Guardian - the best newspaper in Britain - institutionally racist? Alas, I think the answer must be a resounding Yes. I had long had the impression that blacks were over-represented in photographs published in the newspaper by comparison with people from the Indian subcontinent or with the Chinese, and I tested the accuracy of my impression by counting the photographs in the edition of 19th September 2005.

There was only one photograph of an Indian, and that was in a commercial advertisement, over the content of which The Guardian, presumably, had little or no control. By contrast, there were 26 photographs of blacks. Surely this was a discrepancy that could not have arisen by chance, and is proof positive of a systematic bias amounting to racism. After all, there are more people of South Asian descent in Britain than of African and West Indian descent, and yet Indians were the subjects of fewer than 4 per cent of all the photographs of ethnic minorities to appear in the newspaper.

How are we to explain this? Does it mean that The Guardian, if it systematically ignores Indians, harbours specially friendly feelings towards blacks? By no means: I think the most likely explanation is quite otherwise. I admit that my hypothesis cannot be proved and is somewhat speculative, but I think it is more plausible than the alternatives.

The people who run and write The Guardian have deep, suppressed and subliminal doubts about the equality of human races. To prove to themselves that they do not have such doubts, they overcompensate by publishing as many photographs of blacks as possible in their pages.

They don't have any such doubts with regard to the Indians and the Chinese. Moreover, these two groups have a horrible and fatal vice, as far as the mindset of The Guardian and its readers is concerned: grosso modo, these two groups can shift for themselves, and require no help from the coalition of intellectuals, moral entrepreneurs and bureaucrats in order to thrive. On the contrary, they are well on the way to outstripping the white population in achievement, thus demonstrating the redundancy of that coalition. By contrast, blacks are regarded in the pages of The Guardian much as conservationists regard endangered species, in need of special protection.


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