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Artillery Row

Britain’s communitarian delusions

Activism inflames community tensions in Surrey

Yesterday, a video went viral of an appalling incident in Ashford, Surrey, which took place just outside Thomas Knyvett College. The video opened with a black schoolgirl and a white schoolgirl fighting. A white woman and some children appeared on the scene. Rather than breaking up the fight, though, as one might expect from an adult, the woman encouraged the kids to join the violence and, well — kick the poor black girl in the head. Other older people seemed to be standing about watching. 

The video would probably have gone more viral — as an example of white supremacist violence — had the accents of the assailants not strongly suggested that they were members of the Traveller community. This has yet to be confirmed — though another concerning video circulating online appears to show black and white people standing around a house chanting about “pikeys”.

There was outrage — understandable, of course, though that does not mean that it was always properly expressed. Concern about safeguarding at the school is justified. Celebrities posting photographs of teachers with demands that they be fired? Not so much. In fact, that seems quite dangerous.

Bell Ribeiro-Addy, MP for Streatham, called for the school to be “held to account” over the attack of a “young black girl”. One suspects that eyebrows would have been raised if white MPs had made a special point of condemning attacks on white schoolkids — but the UK would be in a better place if MPs of all ethnicities caused more a stink over violent assaults so that is hardly Ms Ribeiro-Addy’s problem. What is odder is that she is now condemning schools for not being firm enough disciplinarians when she has elsewhere been so enthusiastic in opposing tools for classroom management that she campaigned against school exclusions. What should teachers be: endlessly patient pastoral figures or sergeant major types, charging out of the school gates to tear young girls apart?

Black activists travelled to Surrey to protest. Some of them were members of the Forever Family Force — a campaign group who like dressing up in paramilitary regalia and parading around at political events. Independent journalist Nadine White uploaded a video of its leader “Raspect” claiming that black people should “mobilise collectively” because incidents such as this cause young black kids to carry knives because they would “rather be judged by twelve than carried by six”. Ms White said these words sent shivers down her spine.

To me, it seems like a rather odd misunderstanding of the nature of gang violence. But what might be more relevant is the nature of the man Ms White is promoting. As the invaluable SW1 Forum blog details:

A profile … revealed that Raspect had a very active social media life, which included anti-vaxx conspiracy theories, claiming Bill Gates created coronavirus, and alleging that slavery was “the original holocaust” while Jews own the banking system via the “Rothschild bloodline”.

Elsewhere, on his YouTube channel, as the SW1 Forum blog observes, Raspect can be found ranting about “Zionists” who “make [him] sick” and about how Jews stole Jewish identity from black people. 

When the EDL marched through Northern towns in self-proclaimed opposition to the grooming and rape of young white girls you didn’t find journalists gushing over them. Indeed, in many cases it appears that grooming and rape did not come to light until it was too late because of fears about community cohesion. 

Here, though, this angry eccentric can get praiseful press as he marches around the streets. Indeed, Ms White even wrote a quick article for the Independent about how he had promised “self-defence classes”. Self-defence classes from a camouflage-clad bloke who likes to rant about the Rothschilds? What could go wrong!

It is framed in terms of one-sided majority prejudice

One hopes that tempers will not flare so much as to result in major inter-communal violence. Still, this incident has already exposed serious defects in how mainstream leftist culture perceived race relations. It is framed in terms of one-sided majority prejudice — making it impossible to comprehend difficult and inflammatory circumstances such as this. There is no progressive language with which to analyse it.

That was obvious when Hindus and Muslims clashed on the streets of Leicester last year — in social media-inflamed disturbances that led Guy Dampier to write for The Critic that “there has been a broad unwillingness to discuss the levels of sectarianism amongst some in Britain’s migrant communities.”

Early yesterday, Nadine White wrote: “There was no “violent altercation”. A gang of white people viciously attacked a Black schoolgirl while people stood by doing nothing.” Later in the day, she added: “A second victim was attacked at Thomas Knyvett College in the same incident on Monday. A white 15 y/o girl. Only the Black schoolgirl can be seen in the video footage that has been circulated.” To be clear, this by no means necessitates that the assault of the black girl was not — as the police have said — racially aggravated. But it adds a layer of complexity to her fierce and provocative “whites versus blacks” narrative. 

It would be nice to think that the activistic instinct in left-wing journalists and politicians would be qualified in the face of such complexities. It probably won’t — but a man can dream.

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