NEVER have we been more confused about the difference between important issues that deeply effect human lives and trivia we commonly escalate into mountains.
I’m referring to the curse of political correctness.
How can, for example, we turn a blind eye to the fact that more than a million ‘brown faces’ have died in Iraq since NATO forces sought to ‘democratise’ the country but go crazy when a few idiots make ignorant racial slurs at footballers?
I can only conclude there is much more to racism and political correctness than meets the eye. It isn’t about truth and justice, but a programme designed to cause anger and division when it suits those who control us.
There was an age when things were very different – and, yes, racism, or racial discrimination as it was usually called, was very much an issue.
Last year I had the pleasure of talking through the life of a friend of mine – an Asian gentleman, now in his early 90s.
He told me a tale of true racism when he moved to the East Midlands and started work at a knitwear factory.
He worked in the technical department designing knitwear including jumpers, cardigans and stockings.
All well and good but he became aware that, in a separate department, they had a policy of some jobs for white men and others for the Asians.
Being a man with a pure desire to prevent injustice rather being a professional activist, he encouraged the Asians to fight the colour bar. A strike ensued that lasted several months. Then the boss and others settled the dispute with Asians being allowed to do the white men’s jobs.
I am only too aware that such circumstances in the 1970s were far from unique.
Racial discrimination was a massive issue. And it blighted a lot of lives.
Without a level playing ground, people of different races were both financially disadvantaged and subjected to attitudes we find almost laughable from the vantage point of 2020.
Note however that change proved to be possible when someone had the guts to go through the rightful channels rather than making a pantomime of the issue.
Because of people like my friend, significant change came to Britain. New laws were passed to make it illegal to ignore potential employees on account of their race and to ensure that they had equal opportunities when they were employed.
I’m not saying that racism ever died out. It didn’t. But as we all became more accustomed to a more diverse society, the situation improved greatly.
You’d think our masters would have been delighted. But, no, the opposite was the case.
With people coming together, they moved the goalposts.
Today’s racism is nothing like yesterday’s racial discrimination. Through political correctness, it is irrelevant whether anyone’s words or actions cause any loss or damage to the alleged victim. Or even if they intended any distress or offence whatsoever.
All you need to do is be caught mentioning the word ‘black’ and the full force of indignation is unleashed. People lose jobs and are treated like criminals for as trivial an issue as the slip of a tongue.
Rather than righting wrongs or fighting for justice, this is, in my view, more a battle for our minds.
Just as the Labour Party discovered as the definition of antisemitism was broadened so dramatically that it now includes any criticism of Israel’s foreign policy rather than an attack on the Jewish faith, ordinary people are the victims of a modern-day witch-hunt.
Instead of celebrating greater racial tolerance, a similar change in the definition of racism has ensured it continues to divide people.
And that’s a good result for those who want to keep us diverted from issues that really matter and really make a difference to our lives.