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The American media’s racism fantasy Stories about slurs are too good to check

The media reported that Rachel Richardson had been abused — without checking. Credit: Duke University

The media reported that Rachel Richardson had been abused — without checking. Credit: Duke University


September 16, 2022   6 mins

It was the kind of correction you love to see. The story that originally broke in the final days of August, about a young black athlete being racially heckled in front of a crowd of thousands at Utah’s Brigham Young University, was not just exaggerated but completely false. The n-word was not shouted, let alone repeatedly, at Duke volleyball player Rachel Richardson when she went up to serve. A crowd of more than 5,000 people did not stand idly by during an act of malignant racism. The United States is not, apparently, a socially backwards hellscape where people openly scream slurs at packed sporting events without compunction or shame.

Unfortunately, it’s a correction that many people are probably never going to see — or if they do, they won’t believe it.

Like many stories of its oeuvre, this one began on Twitter, when Richardson’s godmother Lesa Pamplin claimed in a series of since-deleted posts that the young volleyball player had been subject to racist abuse throughout the game: “My Goddaughter is the only black starter for Dukes [sic] volleyball team,” she wrote. “While playing yesterday, she was called a [n-word] every time she served. She was threatened by a white male that told her to watch her back going to the team bus. A police officer had to be put by their bench.”

Pamplin hadn’t been at the game herself, but the claim was incendiary. The story was soon picked up by mainstream outlets, which treated the alleged harassment — and discovery of its perpetrator — as verified fact. From USA Today: “Brigham Young fan banned after directing racial slurs toward Duke volleyball player.” The Washington Post: “BYU bans fan, relocates volleyball match after racist slurs, threats.” The New York Times: “Racial Slur During College Volleyball Game Leads to Fan Suspension.”

Additionally, readers were warned that failing to believe this story, or even asking questions about it, was simply not an option. An op-ed from USA Today columnist Mike Freeman declared any doubts about Richardson’s veracity to be a “Right-wing conspiracy theory”, like QAnon or Pizzagate or 9/11 trutherism. Ditto the suggestion that she might have made a mistake: “The other conspiracy theory is that she misheard the word. That is a word you don’t mishear. You certainly don’t mishear it more than once.”

And yet, despite Freeman’s insistence to the contrary, not only is this a word that people do mishear, it has been only a year since the last high-profile incident in which someone misheard it in a similar context: in a raucous crowd at a sporting event, and, yes, more than once. In this case, the culprit was a man trying to get the attention of the Rockies mascot, whose name is “Dinger.”

That Richardson mistook another word for that word seems more likely than the alternative: that she fabricated the whole thing. But either way, it didn’t happen — and a responsible media class should never have reported otherwise so confidently, so soon. At the time, nobody present at the game had corroborated Richardson’s allegations, despite pleas from BYU’s athletic director for anyone who’d witnessed the incident to come forward. BYU and Duke athletic officials moved into the stands after the first alleged shout, but neither saw nor heard anything amiss. A review of video and audio footage also turned up nothing, and while the fan who was originally identified and permanently banned from BYU games was found in the footage, he wasn’t shouting slurs; he was sitting and playing with his phone. (BYU has unbanned him and apologised for the error.)

One potential solution to this problem, perhaps, would be a moratorium on teams with names or mascots ending in “-ger” (the BYU team is called The Cougars). Another would be to assume that in the year 2022, a person screaming something indecipherable in front of a crowd of thousands is in all likelihood not shouting a racial slur.

That is not to say that racism in American society has ceased to exist; on a systemic level, disparities continue, and the country still has work to do to level the playing field. But on an interpersonal one, America has never been less racist than it is today. A good proxy for how Americans feel about diversity on this front is the approval rating for interracial marriage, which was just 4% when the question was first polled in 1958. Last year, that number was 94%.

And the brand of racism that involves using the n-word, let alone in public, let alone in front of thousands of people, is simply (and happily) not an accepted part of our social landscape — as evidenced by the immediate mass condemnation and punishment of anyone even alleged to have indulged in it. Not only can we safely assume that most people feel no yearning to shout racial slurs at sporting events, we might also assume that the handful of troglodytes who do will nevertheless have the good sense to to avoid indulging that urge, given the consequences.

It’s a riff on the old medical wisdom: when you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras. And when you hear a word with a hard “-ger” sound being shouted in the BYU stands, think cougars, not, well, you know.

But in our present moment, thinking “zebras” is what everyone does, and it’s not hard to understand why. Within the past few years, it seems like the folks who drive the national discourse — the cable news hosts, the talking heads, the journalists on every beat — have all coalesced around the narrative that when it comes to race in America, things are worse than ever.

The story goes like this: underneath the veneer of polite American society lies a deep and roiling river of racial resentment, barely contained at the best of times and always on the verge of spilling over. According to this narrative, that resentment is the only logical cause of every toxic, awkward, or otherwise negative interaction between a white person and a non-white person. Asking where someone is from? Racist. Working-class economic anxiety? Racist. Being unfriendly? Racist, obviously, but then again, so is being too friendly.

The idea that American race relations are bad and getting worse has been fuelled in many cases by legitimate tragedies: the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown by police in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014; the murder of George Floyd in 2020. But rather than seeing something like Floyd’s death as a problem of police abuse, and one that might be solved by police reform, we were told that it was representative of the country’s true character. When Derek Chauvin put his knee on Floyd’s neck, he was only making manifest the racist hatred that simmers inside all of us.

And if you assume the ubiquitous presence of that kind of hate, then no alleged hate crime, no matter how over-the-top, is too outlandish to be believed — even if the allegations themselves are unsubstantiated or ambiguous. The hoofbeats you hear? Zebras, not horses. When Jussie Smollett claimed to have been assaulted on the street at 3am, in one of the most liberal cities in the country, on one of the coldest nights of the year, by two Trump voters who just happened to be carrying a noose in their back pockets, it was interpreted as a sign how bad things really were. When a sixth grader alleged that she’d been pinned down and had her dreadlocks forcibly cut by three white classmates, it was the same. When a journalist accidentally said “Nakers” (a spoonerism of “Knicks” and “Lakers”) while reporting on the death of Kobe Bryant, the internet went wild: obviously this was a pathetic attempt to get away with saying the n-word, as we had been reliably assured all white Americans are constantly yearning to do. When a 15 year-old in a MAGA hat smiled awkwardly at the guy chanting and banging a drum in his face, we knew we were witnessing an act of racial aggression. And when a looped string appeared — in a public park, or in a NASCAR garage — we knew, without a doubt, that it was a noose.

This is what happens to a society that has been primed to assume the worst — and then, when the worst turns out not to be the case, to simply point to the assumption itself as evidence that things are dire. When the “noose” hung in NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace’s garage turned out to be just a pull rope, the Washington Post scolded readers that this was no reason to feel relieved: being glad that this wasn’t a hate crime just indicated a state of “denial about the dreary state of the nation”. Don’t you dare imagine that things are getting better. Don’t you dare imagine progress has been made. Maybe this cry of “wolf!” turned out to be baloney, but the fact that you believed there was a wolf tells you everything you need to know.

Needless to say, it is not good for a society to exist in a state of such constant catastrophising vigilance for signs of racial resentment. Amid our obsessive fear of fake news, this is a particularly insidious sort of misinformation; it is the reason why, for instance, liberal Americans grossly overestimate the number of unarmed black men killed every year by police. The actual number in 2019 was somewhere between 10 and 30, but fully 53% of surveyed liberals assumed it was over 1,000, while 22% estimated the number at 10,000 or more. It is also why, even as Americans across the board report feeling good about diversity and warmth for their black countrymen, we nevertheless believe that other people’s racism is bad and getting worse.

But the worst harm is something more basic: it is bad for black Americans to be unreasonably terrified that they’ll be hate-crimed every time they leave the house. It is wrong to instil fear and pessimism and panic for the sake of clicks. And telling people that many of their fellow Americans secretly hate them and wish them harm, when this is not in fact the case, is morally reprehensible.


Kat Rosenfield is an UnHerd columnist and co-host of the Feminine Chaos podcast. Her latest novel is You Must Remember This.

katrosenfield

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Derek Smith
Derek Smith
1 year ago

Whenever a new story like the BYU account mentioned above enters the public space, my automatic assumption is that it is a ‘hate hoax’, and so far I have been correct every time. The Jussie Smollet case was obvious from the very beginning.

The most egregious hoaxes are the ones carried out on University campuses, where the perpetrator (always an ethnic minority) is invariably praised for contributing to the ‘conversation’, rather than being expelled for perpetrating an ethnic blood libel.

Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson
1 year ago
Reply to  Derek Smith

I think that is one of the real harms caused by our mainstream media, universities, etc hyping false or exaggerated claims. It makes people like me cynical of all claims. What surprised me in this case was that BYU was prepared to state that this didn’t happen and to apologize to the individual who was banned. Most universities wouldn’t even do that.

Samuel Ross
Samuel Ross
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

BYU is a true Christian university. Unlike Christians who talk the talk, but don’t walk the walk, they do both.

burke schmollinger
burke schmollinger
1 year ago
Reply to  Samuel Ross

In my opinion BYU often gets left in the cold in this regard.

Being the Mormon school most Christians won’t defend them as they are viewed as weirdo heretics. At the same time, since they are quite conservative (they have an odd belief that sex should only be between man and wife, and never between man and man) the cultural mainstream absolutely delights in stories such as this hoax.

They really are in that sweet spot where most of society absolutely delights in seeing them knocked down a peg. The culture war no-mans land, if you will.

Douglas H
Douglas H
1 year ago
Reply to  Samuel Ross

Mormons are not Christians

Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger
1 year ago
Reply to  Douglas H

Depends how you define Christian. The Mormon church’s official name is, after all, the Church of Jesus Christ, and the Bible is the most important of its scriptures. Those who claim Mormons are not Christians seem to have a funny definition of Christian.

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
1 year ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

True, though having said that you also have to contend with Joseph Smith’s blatantly fabricated Book of Mormon, a semi-literate pastiche of the Old Testament full of cod Old Testamentish names and ‘and it came to pass’….

Kathy Harkness
Kathy Harkness
1 year ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

Most theologians count acceptance of the Nicene Creed as a de minimis standard for defining whether a sect is Christian or not, and Mormons do *not* — specifically, they reject the doctrine of the Trinity contained in the Nicene Creed. The same, by the way, is true of Christian Scientists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Unitarians. That is not to say that members of those religions are bad people or they are not devout followers of their faith. But their faith is not Christian, and putting the word ‘Christ’ in the name doesn’t change that.

Sam McGowan
Sam McGowan
1 year ago
Reply to  Kathy Harkness

The Nicene Creed is just that, a creed dreamed up by men. The true definition of a Christian is one who believes in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus as spelled out by the Apostle Paul in his letter to the church at Corinth. The Nicene Creed came along three centuries later.

Sam McGowan
Sam McGowan
1 year ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

Mormonism is just that, it’s based on belief in the Book of Mormon.

Sam McGowan
Sam McGowan
1 year ago
Reply to  Douglas H

You got it. They are a cult started by a fraudster. Their core beliefs are nothing at all like true Christianity.

Jenders Gribley
Jenders Gribley
1 year ago
Reply to  Derek Smith

Campus hoaxes and the lack of fallout for hoaxers discussed here.

Matthew Stewart, Author at spiked (spiked-online.com)

Derek Smith
Derek Smith
1 year ago

Great article, thanks!

Any student who does this should be expelled immediately.

Last edited 1 year ago by Derek Smith
hayden eastwood
hayden eastwood
1 year ago

After the George Floyd killing I decided to look at what data I could on racism in the USA. When I looked at disparities in police arrests, for example, black people were, at face value, disproportionately arrested.

However, once I stratified the data by college education, background, and age, what I saw was that it was not All black people who were at risk of arrest.

Foreign born black people were no more likely to be arrested than their white counterparts.

The take home message for me was that, whatever racism may exist in the USA, no sensible look at the data can conclude that it is the single cause of disparities in outcome. If it were, we would not see disparities among black groups like we do.

And this is quite aside from the question of which of these groups commits most crime.

In the medieval period there was such a concept as “spectral analysis”. This was the name given to “lived experience” and was the primary method by which witches were condemned to be burned. The accuser needed only be convinced of the spells being cast on them (hence “spectral “) to condemn someone.

It appears we have now gone full circle and that “spectral” accusations are now in and of themselves proof of guilt.

We don’t thankfully burn accused peoples but we certainly do ruin their lives.

And now that the demand for racism is so high, we can expect ever greater creativity in manufacturing such accusations.

Racial activists claim that minorities have no power while simultaneously exerting extraordinary power.

This situation requires a form of madness in all parties: madness of those who believe they have no power while exerting it, and madness of those of us who entertain it.

Last edited 1 year ago by hayden eastwood
Julian Pellatt
Julian Pellatt
1 year ago

As ever, Hayden, your balanced words of reason are a joy to read in our world where madness is the norm.
Actually, I believe so-called ‘activists’ (alternative appellation: ‘extremists’) secure and maintain power by deploying such ghastly fabrications as racism, sexism, etc., etc. Of course when genuine racism or sexism or whatever -ism occurs, it should rightly be condemned and, where appropriate, addressed. But activists use such accusation as weapons knowing that ordinary people are petrified (myself included) or being labelled as a figure of hate and cancelled, or worse.
Any persons describe themselves, or accept the description conferred on them by others, as an ‘activist’ are to be regarded with fundamental suspicion. Do not trust such people; they seek to exercise power and control over you!

hayden eastwood
hayden eastwood
1 year ago
Reply to  Julian Pellatt

Amen Julian! My eyes likewise instinctively gloss over the moment I hear that word, since it’s now completely loaded with ideology.

Last edited 1 year ago by hayden eastwood
John McKee
John McKee
1 year ago
Reply to  Julian Pellatt

A good and brave point.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

please can someone give a definition of racism?

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago

No ! It is vital to the “anti-racism” campaginers that it is not defined. Just as with “fascism”.
The smartest man I ever worked for once said “you can’t optimise what you can’t measure”. If it was defined it would be measurable. Then we would really know if it was getting better or worse (I’m deeply sceptical about the suggestion that it is worse in England now than 40 years ago if measured objectively). And if it were measurable, people would need to focus on solving what real problems remain. Rather than the rather more agreable task (for them) of talking about problems (real or imagined).

hayden eastwood
hayden eastwood
1 year ago

Once upon a time racism was the idea that genes for some phenotypical cue (like skin colour) correlated with genes for negative qualities surrounding intelligence, dishonesty, cruelty or treachery.

The Nazis fell under this category. They didn’t believe that jews could be cured of their alleged treachery by socialisation into Arian families because they assumed such propensities were in a jew’s blood. Extermination was therefore a grimly logical endpoint of this belief.

By this original definition, British colonialism was not racist because the Brits believed that colonised peoples could gradually become more British and that, once they learned of Britain’s superior ways, they would abandon their primitive ways. In other words the “other” could be made into you through socialisation.

But today this definition is “any disparity in outcome that suits a leftwing narrative and any belief that they “blames” any of the left’s chosen in-groups.”

This demands paradox after paradox:

– fight racism but also accept that it will always be there and that it cannot be defeated (because it is in white people’s blood to be like this)
– accept that all people are born the same but that white people are born uniquely evil
– accept that all cultures are equal but that Western culture is worse than other cultures.

Last edited 1 year ago by hayden eastwood
Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 year ago

Amen. Well said.

Michael McElwee
Michael McElwee
1 year ago

Here is Hanna Arendt on the question:

“Mankind remembers the history of peoples but has only legendary knowledge of prehistoric tribes. The word “race” has a precise meaning only when and where peoples are confronted with such tribes of which they have no historical record and which do not know any history of their own. They certainly appeared rather like the survivors of one great catastrophe which might have been followed by smaller disasters until catastrophic monotony seemed to be the natural condition of life. At any rate, races in this sense were found only in regions where nature was particularly hostile. What made them different from other human beings was not at all the color of their skin but the fact that they behaved like a part of nature, that they treated nature as their undisputed master, that they had not created a human world, a human reality, and that therefore nature had remained, in all its majesty, the only overwhelming reality — compared to which they appeared to be phantoms, unreal and ghostlike. They were, as it were, “natural” human beings who lacked the specific human character, the specific human reality, so that when European men massacred them they were somehow not aware that they had committed murder.”

Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
1 year ago

Racism, like many other destructive ideologies (including those that are based on sex, gender, language, religion and so on), is a form of hatred. And hatred is not merely an emotion such as anger, a transient phenomenon, but a worldview. Hatred is about malice, the urge to afflict, not merely snobbery, ignorance or stupidity. Haters will go out of their way, even take risks, to harm, disenfranchise, torment or even kill their targets. Doing so is an end in itself, not merely the means to some economic or political end. Hatred is moral disease, not primarily a psychological one. This is a high standard of evil, the Nazi standard. Without hatred as a defining feature of racism (or its equivalents), it has no objective meaning and can include anything from using the wrong word unintentionally to lynching someone.

Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
1 year ago

Racism, like many other destructive ideologies (including those that are based on sex, gender, language, religion and so on), is a form of hatred. And hatred is not merely an emotion such as anger, a transient phenomenon, but a worldview. Hatred is about malice, the urge to afflict, not merely snobbery, ignorance or stupidity. Haters will go out of their way, even take risks, to harm, disenfranchise, torment or even kill their targets. Doing so is an end in itself, not merely the means to some economic or political end. Hatred is moral disease, not primarily a psychological one. This is a high standard of evil, the Nazi standard. Without hatred as a defining feature of racism (or its equivalents), it has no objective meaning and can include anything from using the wrong word unintentionally to lynching someone.

Harvard Fong
Harvard Fong
1 year ago

Anything a white (or honorary white, as Asians were defined in the old South African apartheid regime) person does, says, doesn’t do or doesn’t say or thinks. Very simple.

fred friedman
fred friedman
1 year ago

The definition of racism is anything that upsets white liberals and black victimization and grievance mongers.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago

Evaluating people and treating them differently on the basis of their race.

rod tofino
rod tofino
1 year ago

When you look at detailed murder statistics for the USA (as I did a couple of years ago using data from the Murder Accountability Project website), you will discover three things:
1) the great majority of blacks who suffer violent deaths do so courtesy of other blacks;
2) blacks are nine times as likely to commit murder as non-blacks;
3) both perpetrators and victims are predominantly young males in big cities.
So, the obvious conclusion is that gang warfare is the root cause of the problem. This should not be news.

Last edited 1 year ago by rod tofino
Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 year ago
Reply to  rod tofino

And the irony is that most of these larger urban areas are mostly or completely controlled by black politicians and administrators. Chicago is the perfect example.

Diane Merriam
Diane Merriam
1 year ago
Reply to  rod tofino

And gang warfare, more often than not, is about drug dealing conflicts caused by the War on Drugs.

Terry M
Terry M
1 year ago

Foreign born black people were no more likely to be arrested than their white counterparts.
Foreign-born blacks are also, on average, wealthier than average white Americans.
It’s a cultural thing. Black American culture is toxic and the race-hustlers make it worse.

hayden eastwood
hayden eastwood
1 year ago
Reply to  Terry M

I agree – this is the most obvious conclusion of such disparities within the classification of “black”.

But I suppose it’s reluctant to be taken as a factor, no matter how small in magnitude, by those who are wedded to the ideology of systemic racism, wherein only the evil white perpetrators are assumed to have choice and moral agency.

Anyone not in this oppressor category is but a mere billiard ball under the Newtonian forces of a malevolent system.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago

It is almost as though there is a new corollary to Parkinson’s Law : “reported racism expands to fill the media space needing to be filled”. And since the unfilled media space keeps on expanding …

Douglas H
Douglas H
1 year ago

Can you point us towards your data?
Thanks

Last edited 1 year ago by Douglas H
Bronwen Saunders
Bronwen Saunders
1 year ago

The worst harm, in my view, is the relentless imputation of racism, homophobia, transphobia – the animus du jour – to large parts of the population, irrespective of what they say or do. Almost all Western countries are now home to a small but very vocal and influential minority, which in order to feel and appear virtuous has to insinuate that the vast bulk of the population is not. Here’s a humdrum example: a church in my home town displays a banner saying “We welcome LGBTQ worshippers” – the implication being that the other churches do not, which is undoubtedly untrue. We have become so accustomed to this kind of “messaging” – to use modern parlance – that we are no longer consciously insulted by it. Yet we should be, since what it manifests above all is bad faith.

Just how mean-spirited do you have to be to imagine that Michael Sanguinetti – or anyone, for that matter – is a rape apologist? That Tim Hunt is a male chauvinist pig? That Roger Scruton was a racist? That JK Rowling wishes transsexuals harm? Yet that same ill will is now extended to us all. Which is why having impeccable manners and behaving like a decent human being does not exempt you from “diversity training”, any more than concern for the long-term well-being of gender-confused minors exempts you from the charge of transphobia. No pluralistic society in which people from radically different backgrounds have to rub along together as best they can, can survive the corrosion of constant suspicion and low-level resentment being spread by this poisonous ideology. That, in my view, is the greatest harm.

Julian Pellatt
Julian Pellatt
1 year ago

Very well stated!

Helen E
Helen E
1 year ago

“No pluralistic society, in which people from radically different backgrounds have to rub along together as best they can, can survive the corrosion of constant suspicion and low-level resentment being spread by this poisonous ideology.”

This is the money quote. Thank you, Bronwen.

As a white person in a very demographically diverse area of a very blue US state, I am finding less ease and satisfaction in daily mundane interactions with others. I can never be sure—is this actual low-level hostility I encounter, or just people having bad days? But having lived in my area for more than 40 years, I believe we’ve become less accepting of each other, not more.

Whatever it is, the suspicion is just as bad. The social ease of being able to assume reciprocal good faith from others is disappearing from our environment. Is this what our Robin DiAngelos want for us—constant vigilance in everyday interactions?

John McKee
John McKee
1 year ago
Reply to  Helen E

Very true and well said.

Jenders Gribley
Jenders Gribley
1 year ago

Excellent.

Stephen Kristan
Stephen Kristan
1 year ago

D’accord!

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
1 year ago

Robin diAngelo and her fellow liberal racists must indeed hate those with black skins to be constantly promoting the idea that those with white skins must hate them.

It must be hell for those blacks who are persuaded by this narrative to live in a world of racial paranoia where any interaction with whites becomes instantly interpreted as evidence of racial hatred; where rudeness is not simply evidence that they have met a rude person but a racist; where friendliness is interpreted as simply masking racial hatred and every conversation run through a filter searching for supposed slights; where any failure is because of racism and any success is only earned by being twice as good as whitey.

Instead of promoting racial paranoia would it not be better to point out that most people could not care less what colour your skin is and will be friendly if you are friendly and hostile if you are hostile irrespective of the unimportant factor of your skin colour.

Dominic A
Dominic A
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

“would it not be better to point out that most people could not care less…”

Old-fashioned Jeremy…..you are using passe definitions and values in an attempt to understand a new generation that moved on years ago. The ‘new better’ is obtaining likes, power, or money, through the medium of moralising kabuki. Get with it.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Dominic A

Or maybe people with more life experience can see this as something that will pass, having seen such cultural mores rise and fall before.

And it will fall. Far too much societal energy is being consumed by wokeness, in all its manifestations, to be maintained beyond a single generation, two at most.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 year ago
Reply to  Dominic A

That is a very sad state of affairs.

Terry M
Terry M
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

“would it not be better to point out that most people could not care less what colour your skin is …”
Where’s the fame or fortune in that?
These people are race-hustlers, charlatans of the worst kind. And leftists, in particular, are so twisted by guilt complexes (left over from the abandonment of religion) that they mop it up.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

What they appear to be telling white people is never interact with black people; or, if you have to, then be totally neutral and robotic, that way you will not come across as unfriendly (i.e. racist) or friendly (i.e. racist).

Rick Hinten
Rick Hinten
1 year ago

Digressing: I think much the same can be said about men interacting with women. That is, behave neutrally or robotic so you will not seem unfriendly (i.e. misogynist) or friendly (i.e. sexual harasser).

Cho Jinn
Cho Jinn
1 year ago

While many who push these narratives are indeed living in a hellish fantasy and want accusations to be true to help justify their own failures, the broader push is to keep the populace divided. Bureaucrats and the administrative state are all who benefit from us being at each others’ throats.

John Pade
John Pade
1 year ago

Don’t offer the shooting of MIchael Brown as a tragedy. He was shot while reaching in a police officer’s car trying to grab the officer’s gun.

Michael Daniele
Michael Daniele
1 year ago
Reply to  John Pade

True, and “Little Mike” was a 300 pound giant. Also the whole “Hands Up Don’t Shoot” claim never in fact happened. Even Obama’s warped DOJ made that determination based on eye witness accounts. But I’m sure a poll taken today would find most people (like the NBA idiots) still believe it.

R Poesje
R Poesje
1 year ago

In one sense the Smollett’s and Rachel Richardsons of this world are simply stating ‘their truth’. It may be unrelated to what actually happened, but it is how they perceived it.
In other words, the concept of objective reality has ceased to exist.

Last edited 1 year ago by R Poesje
AC Harper
AC Harper
1 year ago
Reply to  R Poesje

I don’t think objective reality has ceased to exist but it has become unimportant compared to social ‘truths’. But if social ‘truths’ wander too far off the objective pathway there is no foundation to support them and they fail.

John McKee
John McKee
1 year ago
Reply to  AC Harper

Not before they do immense damage to our society.

R Wright
R Wright
1 year ago
Reply to  R Poesje

Delusional people used to get institutionalised.

Aw Zk
Aw Zk
1 year ago

On Saturday 13th August 2016 a black man called Sylville Smith was shot and killed by a police officer in Milwaukee. Following his death there were protests on the city’s streets and some protestors threw objects at police or set fire to buildings. On Monday 15th August 2016 a newspaper published an opinion article about the shooting which contained the following:
“What do we know about the shooting that sparked protests over the past two nights? Twenty-three year old Sylville Smith had an arrest record, had recently secured a permit to carry a firearm, ran from the police after a stop and was shot in the back.”
Sylville Smith was not shot in the back. According to a newspaper he was shot “in the chest and arm”, at the time the officer opened fire Sylville Smith was holding what police described as a “semiautomatic weapon“ which contained “23 rounds” and after his death the gun “was traced to a burglary” committed in March 2016. The shooting of Sylville Smith was recorded on the officer’s bodycam and the footage was shown at the homicide trial of the officer at which he was acquitted. The officer who shot Sylville Smith was black.
The newspaper which published the opinion article amended it to remove the reference to Sylville Smith being “shot in the back” and to add other information about the shooting. However, the newspaper which published the opinion article knew at the time it was published that the statement that Sylville Smith had been “shot in the back” was untrue because it was the newspaper which also published a news report over eight hours earlier stating that he was shot “in the chest and arm”, that he had a “semiautomatic weapon“ which contained “23 rounds” and that the gun “was traced to a burglary” and the opinion article contained a link to that news report.
Which newspaper knowingly published the false claim that a black man had been fatally “shot in the back” by a police officer? The newspaper which treats the statement “Comment is free, but facts are sacred” as so important that its current editor unveiled a plaque bearing the phrase on the site of its former offices in Manchester on the day of its 200th anniversary. That newspaper is The Guardian and on its 100th centenary it published an article by its then editor CP Scott which contained the famous statement “Comment is free, but facts are sacred” and the following statement:
“Neither in what it gives, nor in what it does not give, nor in the mode of presentation must the unclouded face of truth suffer wrong.”
If facts are sacred and the unclouded face of truth must not suffer wrong why did The Guardian claim that Sylville Smith was “shot in the back” when it knew that he was shot “in the chest and arm” and was armed? It is because facts are not sacred at The Guardian. What it published was a Guardian-approved lie.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  Aw Zk

Thank you.

Sheryl Rhodes
Sheryl Rhodes
1 year ago

WHY is the false accusation of racism in Michael Brown’s death–which resulted in the horrific Ferguson, Missouri fiery riots– still being promoted, as was done in this article? Please stop! It’s pretty ironic that this false claim has been made in an article that is addressing the real problem of the media and society believing that reported hate-crimes occurred even when they are ridiculously unlikely. Or after they have been completely refuted after an exhaustive investigation.
Michael Brown (a 6′ 4″ tall, 300-pound 18-year-old) stole from a small store and physically assaulted the (tiny, brown) store owner when confronted. That’s a robbery. When a police officer got the robbery report and saw Michael Brown walking in the area, he tried to stop Brown, who would not comply. Brown then turned on the officer WHILE THE OFFICER WAS STILL SITTING IN HIS POLICE CAR and grabbed the officer’s gun, trying to wrestle it away and in the process Brown sustained a contact gunshot wound to his hand. He walked away again and when the officer followed, Brown turned and charged at the officer. That’s when the officer shot Brown. NO racism at all, unless you think perhaps that Brown felt entitled to assault the poor tiny dark-skinned immigrant store-owner because the store owner was of a different race. NO improper conduct by the officer in having to employ deadly force was found—not even by Obama’s own Justice Department investigation.
There are dedicated organizations and groups of people in the US who are on permanent standby to seize the opportunity anytime any black person is shot by police (no matter what the circumstances) to advance the narrative the the US is a seething cauldron of barely-contained white race-based hatred. Many of these people and organizations are prepared to roll out a riot and do so.

John McKee
John McKee
1 year ago
Reply to  Sheryl Rhodes

Lamentably true.

Rich Rostrom
Rich Rostrom
1 year ago
Reply to  Sheryl Rhodes

There are dedicated organizations and groups of people in the US who are on permanent standby to seize the opportunity anytime any black person is shot by police…”
Nope. In 2012, Rekhiah Boyd, a 22-year-old black woman, was shot in the back of the head by an off-duty Chicago police detective. There were no protests or riots, not even when a judge acquitted the shooter on the dubious grounds that he should have been charged with murder instead of manslaughter.
BLM and Co. couldn’t be arsed to do a damn thing, because there was no video for them to raise money off.
But when George Floyd died of a self-inflicted fentanyl overdose, while under restraint for self-harming drug delirium by a police officer who had already summoned EMTs for Floyd’s injuries, there was video that could be spun as showing police abuse. BLM jumped on that like flies on garbage, and despite the facts of the case (there was no injury whatever to Floyd’s airway), triggered nationwide rioting, collected millions in donations, and got Officer Chauvin railroaded into prison.
They even sold their bogus narrative to useful idiots like Ms. Rosenfield.

AC Harper
AC Harper
1 year ago

If you look for something hard enough you will find ‘it’ – whether ‘it’ exists or not. It’s probably a human cognitive bias, especially if there is a whole industry formed around making money or generating column inches/pixels about ‘it’.

Steven Carr
Steven Carr
1 year ago

Is there any place more dangerous than a BYU volleyball court for Blacks?

I think, for their own safety, Black people should be flown to Martha’s Vineyard.

Christopher Peter
Christopher Peter
1 year ago

What’s really sickening is journalists failing to do their jobs: verifying presumed facts, corroborating allegations and so on, especially when it’s about something as potentially explosive as a racist incident involving the n-word, you would think is journalism 101.
Unfortunately, too many so-called journalists are actually commentators, like to see themselves as “activists”, “thought leaders” forming narratives, and ever anxious to push their opinions, generating clicks and cheap applause from within their own echo chambers, and reinforcing their own prejudices and world view. The concept of truth, and that they might not have a monopoly on it? Not so much. And they are the reason why journalism and the mainstream media have never been less trusted or held in lower regard.

John McKee
John McKee
1 year ago

The last sentence is an understatement of intergalactic magnitude.

Nancy Reyes
Nancy Reyes
1 year ago

Ms Richardson’s godmother, Lesa Pamplin, a lawyer, sheds light on the problem. Here are just a few of her tweets:

“Creepy a** crackers are scary.” (06/27/2013)

“Would expect nothing less than a pale white chic. Sit down Becky.” (10/16/2019)

“Why does CNN constantly interview these dumb a** white women?” (11/06/2019)

“You damn straight about that. Whypipoe being white.” (03/27/2020)

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
1 year ago
Reply to  Nancy Reyes

So racist and proud of it. But a black racist so that’s OK as racism is redefined by the woke to exclude blacks. Equity rather than Equality what a recipe to stoke hatred rather than fraternity.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

sport is defined by statistics, but no one ever points out that black sportsmen excel at athletics, football, basketball, American football, for example, but there are no black swimmers, very few racing drivers or jockeys, but there are a plethora of Finns in rallying, Irishmen jockeys….. Yes race statistically does make a difference… its called fact.

Terry M
Terry M
1 year ago

And we can applaud all people for making the most of their gifts of nature.

Diane Merriam
Diane Merriam
1 year ago

And if you want backing for that supposition, I recommend reading almost any of Thomas Sowell’s books, but particularly “The Economics and Politics of Race” or “Preferential Policies.”. Backed up, over and over again, with hard data. Not just disparities in race, but far more often in culture. Beer makers the world over tend to be Germans. Ditto for piano makers. Business intermediaries? Jews. Same for the hard sciences. Those from India dominate the tech world. Certain Chinese (and I’d have to look up the province again) over and over dominate the retail trades. Even when these groups are among the receivers of racial/cultural animus, they still excel in those fields.
Cultures that form in regions where transportation is hard, such as from mountainous regions or where there are no navigable rivers, tend to be very closed off to the world, not outward looking at all, suspicious. Cultures that form in regions where transportation and trade are easy tend to be very advanced in both human interactions and the ability to rapidly integrate new ideas. Geography is the determinant there.
There are all kinds of reasons why certain groups of people are different from other groups of people and they really have nothing to do with racism.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
1 year ago

Oh, there is systemic racism here in the US, alright. Just look at who is not on the “protected status” list.

Sheryl Rhodes
Sheryl Rhodes
1 year ago

A deliberately-staged “hate crime” is itself a hate-crime against the imaginary doers. Smolett identified white men in red MAGA hats as having assaulted him with vicious racial animosity. Hatred against white people and against Trump-supporters was thus encouraged. Imagine what could have happened to some random white dude who was unlucky enough to be walking around Chicago soon after the incident while wearing a red ball-cap?

Ian S
Ian S
1 year ago

A most welcome essay, contributing to the important task of standing up to the tidal wave of false narratives. I don’t mind the author’s use of the word ‘tragedy’ in the particular context in which she refers to Michael Brown, but I do wish people would ensure that they know the facts in this case. This 86-page report provides a thorough examination of the evidence, along with Grand Jury documents, court records of witness testimony, etc. – including the unreliability of Michael Brown’s witnesses (both their initial fabrications and their subsequent acknowledgements of their fabrications). All these sources, publicly available, demonstrate emphatically the justice of the final line of the report: ‘For the reasons set forth above, this matter lacks prosecutive merit and should be closed.’ The cop was innocent. See also Shelby Steele’s film ‘What killed Michael Brown?‘. 

Laney R Sexton
Laney R Sexton
1 year ago

I read in NYT something like, “BYU is a 90% white school” the implication being, “there’s no way they CAN’T be racist”
BYU is absolutely not 90% white because of racism, it’s white because Mormonism is square, unpopular with the youth.
Trust me, Mormons absolutely gag for cultural relevance. If suddenly there were a bunch of black SoundCloud rappers who wanted to convert and go to BYU, not only would they all get in, they would be the most popular kids on campus.
Mormons proselytize all over the world hoping to convert everyone. They are extremely unsuccessful in white countries, so they don’t only want white members. Coming home with a wife isn’t unheard of and interracial marriage is common. They only care that the person is Mormon.
So having attended sports matches in Utah, no, I don’t think a slur like that would be chanted or tolerated. Someone at the very least would go tattle and have the guy booted.

Benjamin Jones
Benjamin Jones
1 year ago

I’m not the least bit surprised by this article. I attended a League cup football match in 1998 between a Premiership team and my team which usually languishes in tier 4. Even in 98 it had been many years since I had heard any racist chanting or comments from the fans around me. So it came as a bit of a shock to read 22 years later, at the height of Floyd mania, that a black player from that prem side was subjected to the worst racism he had ever experienced as on that night ‘the whole stand behind the goal were making monkey noises’ he claimed. Strange thing is, no one, including me, remembers that happening and I was in that section. There was no reference to the alleged incident on fans forums after the match, nor did said player make a complaint at the time. What did happen was that he got roundly booed after elbowing one of our ( black) player’s in the face. Why, so racist is our club that the player in question even applied for the managers job a few years before he made the allegation. My mate was so angry he wrote to the sports reporter of our local paper only to be told ‘yeah we know it’s not true but we would get into trouble if we contradicted him’ or words to that effect.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  Benjamin Jones

Please name the black racist.

Katy Hibbert
Katy Hibbert
1 year ago

One potential solution to this problem, perhaps, would be a moratorium on teams with names or mascots ending in “-ger” (the BYU team is called The Cougars).

Better still, assume that when anybody uses the word “racist” their IQ drops 20 points. And that’s from an epsylon-minus, semi-moronic starting point.
BTW, that worthless piece of excrement George Floyd was not “murdered”. He died of a drug overdose, violently resisting arrest. Derek Chauvin, exercising a legitimate form of restraint, was thrown to the wolves as a scapegoat, because if the jury had dared to convict, the BLM thugtards would have gone to their houses and Burned, Looted and Murdered, as they always do.

Last edited 1 year ago by Katy Hibbert
Paul Rodolf
Paul Rodolf
1 year ago

This type of reporting as well as the whole CRT, DEI world of hate and division has set race relations in the US back 70 years. Much has been very well written on this subject on Unherd but I fear we are now moving further from MLK’s goal of being judged by the shape of one’s character.

Jeff Carr
Jeff Carr
1 year ago

This is why the Sewell Report has been vilified – it does not fit the perceived narrative.
Don’t let facts get in the way.

Garry Marley
Garry Marley
1 year ago

“The Left is so desperate to demonstate white racism that they must invent some.” — Dennis Prager

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
1 year ago

I just cannot listen to or read these stories anymore where the clear objective is victimhood at any price. Being a victim has become gruesomely, horridly desirable and lucrative, and it is so sick.
People will clearly bend over backwards to invent or interpret a situation that makes them a hurt or harmed party.
And the thing which drives me absolutely mad is that this has the opposite effect of what the goal should be, ie to talk rationally about past problems, address those in the present and live together peacefully.
But you can’t have a rational conversation with someone who is dead set from the get-go on labelling everything a result of racism, white supremacy, colonisation, the cult of white womanhood or whatever other schtick is pulling in the most clicks right now.

Last edited 1 year ago by Katharine Eyre
Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Well said.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 year ago

Making up stories where one is a righteous victim is a perfect example of low-IQ behavior. These people deserve to be put in pillories and be pelted with rotten tomatoes.

Terry M
Terry M
1 year ago

The left in the US is obsessed with the civil rights struggles of the 50’s and 60’s, and are trying to capture the moral high ground by re-creating a similar environment.
Instead, they should be looking at how they were on the wrong side of history – Civil War, segregation of the Civil service, Jim Crow, camps for Japanese, George Wallace and Lester Maddox and Robert Byrd, and voting against the Civil Rights Act in 1964 – and are AGAIN stoking the divisions by their prior bigotry, simply from the other side of the coin.

Diane Merriam
Diane Merriam
1 year ago
Reply to  Terry M

Half of those who fought in the Civil War were anti-slavery. Segregation was practiced by liberals and conservatives alike. The Jim Crow laws were passed because that was the only way to keep people from interacting based on reason. Same thing for minimum wage laws. Wallace and Maddox and Byrd … There used to be liberal Republicans and conservative Democrats. That’s why it didn’t use to be as hard to work across party lines. Why you couldn’t just vote for the same party no matter where you lived. The Civil Rights Act would never have passed without quite a few Republican votes.
Nothing is as simple as it first seems.

fred friedman
fred friedman
1 year ago

Minorities wallow in false accusations about harmed being done to them and the media lends credibility to these false claims.

Christopher Chantrill
Christopher Chantrill
1 year ago

Look. This is not that hard.
Step One: Internalize Nazi jurist Carl Schmitt’s idea that politics is the friend enemy distinction, and that there is no politics without an enemy.
Step Two: Understand that, since 1965 the educated class’s political agenda has Made Things Worse for blacks.
Step Three: Nobody in politics ever says “I screwed up.” Therefore, if post-1965 race politics Made Things Worse it must be the fault of that racist behind the tree.
So it makes complete sense that the Anointed in our educated ruling class have decided that systemic racism is the problem and Benighted racists are not just the problem, but the enemy.
Once you understand this, it all makes sense.

Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger
1 year ago

As a BYU graduate (though no longer a Mormon), I found this accusation hard to believe. BYU students are very self-righteous and would turn in an instant on anyone gauche enough to use a racial slur in public.
An editorial cartoon from the campus newspaper of my era captured this perfectly. A male student was lying dazed under a pile of rocks. He explained to his friend what happened. “All I said was let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”
When no one other than the single Duke athlete heard the word (not even her black teammates did), it was surely a suspect accusation. Shame on all of them for their racist jump to a conclusion.

Douglas H
Douglas H
1 year ago

Thanks, good article.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago

I’ve decided that from now on I’m going to capitalise “White” while not capitalising “black”, until the woke racists stop capitalising “black” while not capitalising “White”.

Jason Highley
Jason Highley
1 year ago

The Race Hate Hucksters wouldn’t know what to do if they actually “solved” racism. Their entire industry model is predicated on perpetrating racial identity in perpetuity. That’s why you have the “new segregation”, where there are literally spaces on campus closed off to whites – only for “BIPOC”. Can you imagine trying to get away with a whites-only anything? Anything. If there is a multiverse, then we live in the absolute stupidest of the infinitely available realms.

B Davis
B Davis
1 year ago

If all you have is a big, fat hammer, then all you ever see are nails…. lots & lots of nails.
And what do you do with all those nails you see? You hammer the heck out of ’em…over and over and over again.
The author suggests that ‘this is what happens to a society that has been primed to assume the worst.” But it’s not ‘society’ which has been so primed. As a matter of fact a major chunk of that society assumes the exact opposite when we hear stories like Richardson’s….or, back in 2014, the infamously fantastical Rolling Stone ‘rape story’: a 9000 word demonization feature devoted to today’s scariest of Witches (the White Single College Male).
So no, it’s not ‘society’ primed to find racism & sexism & toxic masculinity & rape culture in every corner ….it’s the Progressive Victim Class and their own captive Media lackeys eager and slavering to ONCE AGAIN pound, pound, pound that nail that says what a no good, terrible, horrible place is America.
Children want to believe in Santa Claus. Later, they like believing in Superman & Batman & Thor. Mythology lives because it is compelling; it exists because it tells us what we want to hear. It explains so much we want explained. And an essential part of the Left Progressive Myth is that there is a Demographic Underclass(es), perpetually victimized by the Oppressor Class. Intersectionality within that Underclass guarantees a newly minted sainthood.
USA Today’s Mike Freeman, when confronted by the utter lack of any evidence of the shouted slurs simply doubles down: “The thing about this story, is that I believe Rachel Richardson. I don’t think she’s lying. I think she’s telling the truth. If I’m proven wrong, I’ll be first in line to say so… but I’ve seen nothing to show she made it up.” Mike, in other words, prefers Belief.
In the mythological universe of The Perpetually Oppressed…that same universe that Mike and Rachel & the Times & #MeToo all inhabit, the only thing that matters is the assertion itself. In that particularly twisted ‘Wonderland’, it is the Accused who are Guilty until proven Innocent (definitively proven innocent). The fact that every video, every audio, all witnesses…the fact that they all, in unison, say ‘there was no shouted racial slur’, that doesn’t matter. To Mike that only proves they missed it.
As always, to the Progressive True Believers truth is assumed if given voice by that same Oppressed Intersectional Underclass; proof is irrelevant. Proof, in fact, is what is required if one is to disagree with the Mythical Truth.
The sad thing is…. we now inhabit a world in which the Myth must be believed. ‘Racist Hate and Oppression is EVERYWHERE!’ It must be believed (especially by the Perpetual Victim Class) because the alternative to Belief is the hard, hard truth suggested by Glenn Loury: “The 21st-century failures of too many African-Americans to take advantage of the opportunities created by the civil rights revolution are palpable, yet they are denied at every turn. This position is untenable. The end of Jim Crow segregation and the advent of equal rights for blacks were game changers. A half-century later, the deep disparities that remain are shameful and are due in large part to the behaviors of black people.”
Far easier to believe the Myth and deny the mountain of evidence that says otherwise. As Mike Freeman might say, “I’ve seen nothing!” We’re not surprised. When all you have is a hammer, all you ever see are nails.

Last edited 1 year ago by B Davis
Scott 0
Scott 0
1 year ago

Ms. Rosenfield mistakenly refers to the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown by police in Ferguson as an example of actual instead of imagined racism.
Her own misunderstanding of the Brown killing reinforces her point in the article that the media narrative can overwhelm reality. The Obama DOJ report on Brown’s death makes it very clear that it was not due to police misconduct. The report is available online and includes plenty of testimony from black community members. The officer who shot Brown is still called a murderer by leading Democrats. Remember the “Hands up don’t shoot” t-shirts NBA players wore? These were created in response to a later disproven claim that a passive Brown was shot with his hands up. Exciting lies are contagious.

B Davis
B Davis
1 year ago
Reply to  Scott 0

Exactly. And we can go one step further still.
Ms. Rosenfield tells us, “…on a systemic level, disparities continue”…as ‘proof’ that racism still exists. But she is mistaken in her understanding.
Disparities do exist. But they are evidence not of racism (or sexism or ableism or classism or any of the other isms out there) but of our own humanity. Disparity is the natural yield of human uniquity. Unequal genetics from unequal parents, leading unequal lives, making unequal choices… All that combined with our own unequal cultures encouraging unequal priorities… Is anyone truly surprised that in constant combination these cascading inequalities create, in turn, unequal outcomes? Disparity is a fact of life. Equity, a fact of death.
She tells us, “the country still has work to do to level the playing field.” But what does that even mean? And how do we know when any given field is ‘level’?
You and I both have the ‘opportunity’ to be a starting guard for the Los Angeles Laker. There is no law, or rule, or ‘systemic’ barrier which prevents us from chasing that particular position. But there is, however, the massive obstacle presented by our lack of skill, lack of size, lack of talent, & lack of drive. LeBron, on the other hand, carries none of those burdens. Is that fair? Is that right? Is the BBall ‘playing field’ level?
If we say that you have to be, academically, among the very best to be admitted to Med School… If we say you have to be even better to graduate with an MD…. And if we further say you have to be among the very best of the best to be qualified as a Cardiologist or Brain Surgeon…. Is that right?
Certainly we can say, looking simplistically at White/Black that far more of our doctors are one than the other… but is that evidence of an unlevel field? Or rather is it evidence of an unequal performance across an extraordinarily level field on which the requirements of each hurdle are clearly & definitively stated?
In the end we can only say, ‘Disparities continue, thank God!’ We all work our butts off to build those very disparities that lift our life and our family’s life above and beyond what it otherwise would be. Would any of us have it any other way?

James
James
1 year ago

womp womp

Last edited 1 year ago by James
Sisyphus Jones
Sisyphus Jones
1 year ago

The idea that American race relations are bad and getting worse has been fuelled in many cases by legitimate tragedies: the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown by police in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014

Um. What? What did the Grand Jury conclude?

Sam McGowan
Sam McGowan
1 year ago

My money is on the godmother. She wanted to draw attention to her goddaughter. She succeeded.

Last edited 1 year ago by Sam McGowan
Campbell P
Campbell P
1 month ago

Fascinating piece. Not surprisingly, much of this nonsense has already hit the ground running over here in some of our companies and institutions. The Church of England for example has yet another agenda inspired rather than empirically founded ‘Racism Enquiry’. The great irony is that it has been hastily set up because so few genuine examples have come to light: rather – and even admitted by the more honest and brave bishops – the majority of those very few cases, for example for particular roles, were nothing at all to do with racism but the obvious fact that the complainants lacked the suitable resources or character or that there were more suitable candidates who happened to be white. And in recent years, the most unfairly treated or persecuted people have been either white men, white women, or “people of colour ‘ who are brave enough to say that there isn’t a racism problem. Welcome to the new 1984!