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The grievance industry

Ostentatious victimhood can be a comfortable gig

Artillery Row

We hear a lot about “white privilege” these days, despite the facts tending to suggest that such a commodity has long-since ceased to pay a dividend to its shareholders. The irony is that there are few more comfortable gigs than banging on about the sins — real and imagined — of white people. Whilst alleged privilege enjoyers struggle to make ends meet, their critics have had the chance to absolutely rake it in.

The role of “Diversity Tsar” is a class, which appears to consist of little more than lecturing others on their excess whiteness. Consider June Sarpong OBE, the oppressed millionaire who was forced to scrape for a living whilst working a £267,000 three-day week at the BBC from 2019–22 (that’s more than the Director-General).

Sarpong complains that there is “unfairness baked into our system” and that the white working-class has more power than those from Black and Asian backgrounds (which must be why Chinese and Indian workers out-earn white Brits by almost £10k per annum). She insists that white people are never judged on their race (navigate that paradox if you can).

The most ridiculous aspect of Sarpong’s tenure at the BBC, however, is that (even if you believe in quotas) it was entirely unnecessary. Not only do non-whites comprise 22 per cent of actors and presenters (whilst being just 12 per cent of the population), the BBC is actually well ahead of the curve, thanks to its ridiculous diversity targets — something Sarpong admits: “The BBC gets a hard time, but in some ways we’re ahead on diversity”. It still wasn’t good enough for June, who quit the role after less than three years, accusing BBC bosses of “gaslighting” during her career.

Perhaps she should try her hand in the charity sector. Whilst Black Lives Matter dominates the headlines, there are other players. Chief amongst them is Marlene Headley, the daughter of Barbadian immigrants who was raised in London. At a certain point, Headley seems to have concluded that this wasn’t quite working for her. It was then that she assumed the moniker “Ngozi Fulani”, by which you may know her better.

As in a religious doctrine, all whites are perennially sinful

Fulani isn’t big on inclusivity. She established the domestic abuse charity “Sistah Space” in 2015, which only caters to women and girls of African heritage. To garner authenticity, Fulani has gone out of her way to fully assume the Nigerian name, culture and dress in which she is regularly seen.

It was for this reason that she hit the headlines in 2022, claiming to have been abused by Lady Susan Hussey, who had the temerity to ask where she was “really from” at a Buckingham Palace reception. A reasonable question one might think, but Fulani milked it for all it was worth. Despite Hussey’s fulsome apology and resignation over the matter, Funali, who was now touring the daytime sofas, claimed the issue was “bigger than one individual: it’s institutional racism”. She even received a personal apology at the palace, which she accepted at the time — only to reignite the feud in March this year, claiming Hussey hadn’t apologised to her properly. This may be the point at which the CEO pushed the boat out a bit too much.

What of the comfy armchairs of academia? They afford snug spots for commentators like Kehinde Andrews, whose numerous literary works include: Resisting Racism, The New Age of Empire: How Racism and Colonialism Still Rule the World and my personal favourite: The Psychosis of Whiteness. Imagine, if you will, someone attempting to publish a book on The Psychosis of Blackness or The Psychosis of Asianness.

Andrews is currently riding the crest of the “Critical Race Theory” wave, whereby he claims “racism is as British as a cup of tea”, and defines whiteness as a “psychosis that cannot be tamed through reason”. How convenient! That’s one way to avoid a proper debate.

Sarpong, Fulani and Andrews are just three high-profile examples of the endless coterie of grievance-mongers. The products they market appear different, but are actually one and the same: racialised antagonism, marketed as victimhood. As in a religious doctrine, all whites are perennially sinful — atonement found only by digging deeper for donations.

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