Sunday, April 22, 2007

More Police & Racism.

Whilst I've written several posts about the police and racism in the last week or so there is one additional point I want to make. The term 'institutional racism' was always a vacuous term designed to 'prove' racism where no evidence existed. Most of the ill effects of MacPherson's popularising of the concept were entirely predictable to those who created the term. One side effect which they had not predicted was that not only does the concept prove racism where none exists but it excuses real unambiguous racist misconduct by individuals by loftily assigning the blame to the institution.

Take for example Christopher Adler who died in a police cell in 1998. The black former Paratrooper collapsed and choked to death on his own blood whilst certain police officers nearby were making monkey noises. The report into his death incredibly claimed that this was 'unwitting racism'. If these inquiries spent more time looking at the specific behaviour of individuals rather than promoting nebulous catch all phrases whereby everyone is guilty and no one is guilty then they would be considerably more illuminating.

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