A Modern Witch Trial

Dalrymple’s new essay for the Spring 2009 edition of City Journal discusses the murder of Stephen Lawrence, a young black man killed by a group of white youths outside London in 1993.

…the Lawrence murder took on a wide social significance because of its racial overtones. The botched investigation became a cause célèbre—the presumption being that racism alone could explain the police’s failure to bring the perpetrators to justice—and the government launched an official inquiry to “identify the lessons to be learned for the investigation and prosecution of racially motivated crimes.” There followed a festival of political and emotional correctness the likes of which have rarely been equaled. It would be impossible, at less than book length, to plumb the depths of intellectual confusion and moral cowardice to which the inquiry plunged.

Most pernicious, perhaps, is the change in the definition of racism recommended by the inquiry’s report, a change all too familiar to any employee who has attended the diversity training classes mandated by many large, modern corporations:

“The definition of a racist incident should be any incident which is perceived as racist by the victim or any other person.”
Such a formulation encourages racial antagonism by providing anyone who makes charges of racism, however untruthful, with an immediate and incontestable advantage, but even more than that, it means that racism is a belief that can actually be created in a person’s mind by someone else who perceives it and, as such, is outside the laws of the known universe.

It truly is “the charge against which there is no defense”.

Read the full essay here

4 thoughts on “A Modern Witch Trial

  1. Jonathan Levy

    Quite an insightful and enjoyable article.

    Keep up the good work Steve, I check your blog almost every day

    Reply
  2. Ed Snack

    The quote of the new definition is misleading: “The definition of a racist incident should be any incident which is perceived as racist by the victim or any other person.” It should read : “The definition of a racist incident should be any incident which is perceived as racist by the black or coloured victim or any other black or coloured person provided the person to be so accused IS NOT a black or coloured person”

    Reply
  3. Steve

    Good point, Ed. The Left often claims that racism requires power, so that minorities by definition can not be racist.

    Reply

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