What We’ve Been Up To
On 22nd July DDU is hosting a public discussion online entitled Is the UK systemically racist?, on the Runnymede Trust’s report submitted this week to the International Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (ICERD), and the recent Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities (CRED) ‘Sewell report’. Taking part will be Dr Rakib Ehsan, Ike Ijeh and Alka Sehgal-Cuthbert, with Professor Doug Stokes chairing. There is no cost to take part – you can book via Eventbrite. Our inaugural Brighton meeting will be on the evening of 23rd July, and we are hosting our second DDU Parents’ Group meeting on 21st July. More information in DDU Updates.
Football has dominated the news this week. Songs featured heavily, including Sweet Caroline for the golden oldies amongst us, but the carnival atmosphere sadly disintegrated with defeat. Although there were some disfiguring incidents of violence and unpleasantness, there have also been many acts of kindness and support such as the restoration of the Rashford mural in Withington, Manchester.
As this article by Robert Tombs expresses, a national event can provide a unity which is much to be preferred to division and spitefulness from any quarter. Sadly – although research has shown that only a relatively small percentage of the abuse came from the UK and that much of it came from countries with non-white populations and unimpressive human rights – it was all piled onto one group of people and the divisive black/white debate has now kicked off again, as has social unrest. Theodore Dalrymple’s essay on perpetual grievance is well worth reading.
The use of social media as a conduit for racial hatred has prompted the Online Harms Bill which is due to go through Parliament and, in the light of the latest fracas, a report from Reuters shows how hard it is to monitor social media, to assign blame or to distinguish truth from fiction.
It is also interesting to learn that racial abuse against Priti Patel for defending freedom to choose has ratcheted up as a result of attacks on her by so-called ‘anti-racists’. Perhaps they might also like to consider their behaviour?
On the football world deciding to give moral leadership to the rest of us, Michael Crick, writing in the Daily Mail, has raised the issue of whether this moral compass will direct it to doing the ‘right thing’ and boycotting the World Cup in Qatar, which has an appalling human rights record. Sportspeople have lost out on their sporting chances before, although GB ducked out of the 1980 Moscow Olympics boycott, so it is possible that principles may not rise above the urge to participate.
Worcester College, Oxford has been in receipt of the magnificent sum of £12 million from the Sultan of Perak. Oddly, the interim provost Dr Tunstall, whilst vocal in her demands for the downfall of the statue of Cecil Rhodes at Oriel College, and personally happy to withhold tuition for the fee-paying students of that institution, has been resistant to demands for this money to be rejected, notwithstanding the persecution of homosexuals in Perak. Elastic consciences are freely available for the virtue-signalling community.
Dummy of the Week goes to the organisers of an event at Redbridge Council Libraries who, for some reason known only to themselves, decided to encourage children’s reading through the introduction of an actor dressed as a rainbow monkey complete with plastic sexual attributes. Why such a monkey would encourage children to read, we cannot say, especially as monkeys are not generally known for their reading activities. Try books next time?
As might be imagined, Council leader Jas Athwal has made sure that the next such event has been cancelled.
DDU has written to the chair of governors of all of Brighton and Hove’s schools. The letter alerts governors to the divisive and potentially unlawful aspects of Racial Literacy training (currently for school staff, but eventually pupils too). The letter invites governors to contact DDU and discuss liberal-humanist approaches to anti-racism.
This coming week we have a regular Monday meeting (July 19th) and an Academics Group meeting on Tuesday (July 20th) – drop us a line if you would like to take part.
We are also hosting our second DDU Parents’ Group meeting on 21st July at 10:00 – if you’d like to get involved, drop us a line.
And our inaugural Brighton meeting will be the evening of 23rd July. If you live locally and you’d like to get involved, drop us a line.