by Richard Sudan
An article by Professor Richard Garside in yesterday’s Guardian Comment is Free makes a simple point very clearly. It’s a point which needs reiterating especially when we see the damaging effect of what is at best conveyer belt ‘churnalism’, and at worst purposeful race mongering seeking to tarnish and demonise whole communities.
Professor Garside illustrates the effects of inferring that certain crimes are more likely to be committed by people of a certain ‘race’. He cites Rod Liddle’s now infamous comments last year on his right wing Spectator blog as an example. While Liddle did not state outright that black people are criminals, it’s fair to say he gave his readers a gentle nudge towards that certain assumption.
The blog caused uproar, and Liddle apologised.
It’ s nothing new for journalists to cherry pick statistics, misrepresent arguments, and manipulate the figures.
These same journalists are apt at presenting criticisms of their ‘work’ as liberally naive, politically correct responses from people too afraid to face up to reality.
Over the weekend, the Daily Telegraph claimed “The majority of men held responsible by the police for gun crime, robberies and street crime are black”
The majority of paedophiles in the UK are white. What does this say about white people? Does it mean white people are genetically predisposed and more likely to become paedophiles than any other race? A better use of the Telegraph’s resources would be conducting some research into the factors that really do produce crime.Factors like class, economic conditions, unemployment and yes fear mongering in the media.
Garside’s article is critical and at a time when most articles about race and crime present black youth in a negative light, and fail to widen the debate.
Read Garside’s article here.