I posted a piece on LabourList which linked to The Guardian’s story about the Conservatives links to the Young Britons Foundation using the term The Guardian used in their story to describe the YBF; ‘madrasa’. Immediately I was accused of ‘inverted racism’:
Meanwhile I find it a shame that you have chosen, along with the Guardian to use the McBrideesq language. Perhaps the use of Madrasa, despite years taking the asian communities vote for granted, will sound scary. Inverted racism is never pretty especially from someone who then proclaims to be progressive.
Shame on you.
No doubt the commenter also thinks the numerous people who re-tweeted the story using The Guardian’s language are ‘inverted racists’ as are the editors of Liberal Conspiracy who similarly use the term in their link to the story. Of course, none of the people involved are racists; ‘inverted’ or otherwise but the very fact the accusation was made highlights a problem: in some instances, ‘political correctness’ has become not about protecting the innocent but punishing the wicked and stigmatising views as ‘illegitimate’ and beyond the pale. In other words, free speech and free expression is curtailed and genuine prejudice is mixed-up with semantic debates about the ‘prejorative’ use of words.
Thus it becomes the negation of the sentiment that it intends to convey and becomes not protection but a weapon. This degrades the progressive lefts ability to fight genuine prejudice because as the New Statesman says of Greet Wilders:
It is precisely when people hear what Wilders has to say that they can draw the conclusion that he is crude and loathsome.
In other words, free speech is one of the strongest weapons we have in our armoury. Defending it, even when it is for people we (rightly) consider ‘loathsome’, is the most important thing the left can do. Drawing-up lists of prescribed words and charges of ‘inverted racism’ only weaken the cause and strengthen genuine prejeudice.
UPDATE: Obviously, the commenter lacks a sense of irony. They have posted this:
As for driving down wages – Labour has done that by not handling immigration correctly. When I get my car washed do I go to someone british? No. If I want a plumber who do I call? If we want crops collecting do we contact the job centre? No.