White lies

Ruqayyah Collector“Last Orders promoted many racist myths unchallenged. The BNP was the party favoured by most of those who mentioned voting in the programme, unchallenged by the narrator, who failed to point out it wants an all-white Britain and has a history of leading members with convictions for inciting racial hatred and violence.

“Instead, we see myths about Asians and Muslims presented as fact, the culmination of which is a young BNP supporter in front of a union flag with a swastika saying: ‘If I saw a young Paki getting kicked and knocked over, I would not blink an eyelid, I hate them so much.’

“This was not debate, but allowing a space where such attacks go unchallenged on mainstream television. The prophesising of a war coming to Bradford would have been chilling for any Asian person watching. In my experience, debunking the myths displayed here is the first step to challenging and eradicating the racism and violence that it breeds….

“There is in reality a growing climate of hostility which blames Muslims for ‘changing the complexion’ of Britain, in much the same way that the migrant Jewish community was attacked at the start of the last century. The isolation resulting from racism is what underlies the issues, which the White season fleetingly dabbles with. It singles out Bradford, where racism in housing and poverty and economic disadvantage has created barriers…. the BBC must do more to challenge racist myths, especially as they tend to gain currency, which is exploited by the far right in the runup to elections.”

Ruqayyah Collector responds to the BBC’s “White season“.

Comment is Free, 13 March 2008