Tag Archives: prejudice

‘Am I Being Unreasonable’? Mumsnet user demands eugenics against disabled kids

So much for that bastion of respectability, Mumsnet, it seems.

In fact, it seems the site has lost its shine after building a reputation for transphobia, but now it seems to have added disablism to its sins.

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Here’s what was said – and let’s enjoy the responses too:

Indeed, what next? A visit by Aktion T4 – the van with the Zyklon-B?

Let’s have some more responses:

India Willoughby stated: “Mumsnet is NOT a parenting site anymore. It’s a staging ground for bigotry and extremism, where the most awful things are said. Go look. The transphobia in the ‘Feminist’ section is stomach turning. Here a poster questions the value of educating disabled kids.”

Rachel added: “Less Mumsnet, more EugenicsNet now! This is really heartbreaking, OF COURSE disabled children deserve an education and the opportunity to learn and play with others, uncover their talents and learn social skills, regardless of what they go on to do!”

It seems this sort of thing has been happening on Mumsnet for a while.

It would be nice to have a comment from Mumsnet’s organisers.

This Site has requested one, and will publish it if it is forthcoming.


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Diane Abbott loses Labour whip for making a fair point the wrong way

Diane Abbott: she has suffered more racist abuse than anybody you can name, due to the colour of her skin – and has now lost the Labour Parliamentary whip for attacking a newspaper article that apparently tried to minimise racism against people of colour.

First they came for Jeremy Corbyn…

Then they came for his grassroots supporters…

Then they came for left-wing Jews…

Now they are coming for members of the Socialist Campaign Group – and Diane Abbott is the first to be targeted.

She is an easy target because she has an unfortunate turn of phrase and often fails to think carefully before going public with her words.

This time, it has cost her the Labour whip, after the Observer published the following letter:

For those who can’t read images, here‘s the letter in full:

Racism is black and white

Tomiwa Owolade claims that Irish, Jewish and Traveller people all suffer from “racism” (“Racism in Britain is not a black and white issue. It’s far more complicated”, Comment). They undoubtedly experience prejudice. This is similar to racism and the two words are often used as if they are interchangeable.

It is true that many types of white people with points of difference, such as redheads, can experience this prejudice. But they are not all their lives subject to racism. In pre-civil rights America, Irish people, Jewish people and Travellers were not required to sit at the back of the bus. In apartheid South Africa, these groups were allowed to vote. And at the height of slavery, there were no white-seeming people manacled on the slave ships.
Diane Abbott
House of Commons, London SW1

Anybody can see what she was trying to do: she was pointing out that people of colour suffer racism far more often in their daily lives than those who might be defined as “white/European”, because the difference is visually obvious.

(It is also misleading. I have a friend who is white and Welsh, but whose face might seem to have a Middle-Eastern look about it to those who live by stereotypes. He tans very easily, and tells me that, when he has been on holiday abroad (lucky fellow!) he is habitually picked out for a “random” bomb check on the way back into the UK, by security officials who think he looks like an Islamic terrorist.)

Nobody who knows her history could deny that she has a very strong point; if I recall correctly, Ms Abbott receives more racist hate mail than all other MPs put together.

She tried to make a distinction by saying people of colour suffer racism while Irish people, Jews and Travellers (the GRT community), suffer prejudice instead – and that’s where she went wrong.

It’s all racism. Jewish people (for example) were originally Semitic (hence the word for hate against them: anti-Semitism), and the fact that their culture, like Christianity, has been successful in absorbing people from other races does not stop hatred being directed at them because they are different.

I was going to suggest that she could have used the word “xenophobia” to describe the hatred of people of colour in this context – the so-called “dislike of the unlike”. But that does not only refer to race/skin colour but also to culture, so it might be a better umbrella title for the prejudice faced by all the groups she mentions.

The problem here is simply finding the right word for the distinction she intended, which is that the other groups can avoid abuse on occasions because their skin colour means they can blend in with what, for want of a better word, I’ll describe as the majority.

But it was enough for the usual suspects to spring to the attack – presumably secure in the knowledge that nobody is about to ask them to compare the amount of abuse those of them who present as white/European receive against Ms Abbott’s.

(Indeed, judging from the abuse that Ms Abbott has received over this letter, it seems some of them may even have perpetrated some of it.)

At the end of the day, it was a valid point made in a very clumsy way.

Ms Abbott has apologised for it, claiming that the letter published in The Observer was a draft that should not have gone out. That’s still her mistake, though – and one she should not have made. Here’s what she said:

Again, for people who can’t read images:

I am writing regarding my letter that was recently published in the Observer.

I wish to wholly and unreservedly withdraw my remarks and disassociate myself from them.

The errors arose in an initial draft being sent. But there is no excuse, and I wish to apologise for any anguish caused.

Racism takes many forms, and it is completely undeniable that Jewish people have suffered its monstrous effects, as have Irish people, Travellers and many others.

So she accepts that she was at fault and has apologised.

If she was a member of Keir Starmer’s gang, that would be the end of it. But she isn’t, so she has lost the whip and there will undoubtedly be attempts to push her out of the party (or at least out of ever again being able to stand for election to the Hackney Parliamentary seat).

But some good has come of the row, because alongside the screaming, some people are discussing her points in a reasonable way. And they have good points to make:

It’s possible to foresee difficulties for Keir Starmer, though, as the suspension can be seen to carry a meaning that is harmful to him:

How about this from a Jewish Twitter user?

And this is an important point about the online wolves who are currently baying for her blood:

At the end of the day:

Diane Abbott overreacted to a newspaper article and published hasty words and, while that reflects badly on her, she has apologised, and that goes in her favour. The Labour Party that has suspended her – and the critics and abusers who have lined up to pour hate on her – will need to justify any action taken against her in that context – and I don’t think they’ll be able to.

It is they who will come out of this smelling like bull manure – not Ms Abbott.


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Starmer proudly announces what his Labour stands for: racism, apartheid and prejudice

Keir Starmer: from his speech, he’d love to don a uniform and shoot anybody who isn’t an Israel-supporting Zionist.

What a speech. If Labour Party grassroots members weren’t scrambling to find a way to oust Keir Starmer as leader before, This Writer certainly hopes that’s what they are doing now.

Starmer made his alarming revelations at a speech to Labour Friends of Israel, where he and other party bigwigs who should have known better shared a platform with Tzipi Hotovely, the Israeli Ambassador best-known for being a murderous, genocidal racist.

After listening to the speech, some might say it was a case of like attracting like.

I’m not even going to talk about it myself. I don’t need to. All I need to do is highlight some of the reactions.

That was the message Starmer was transmitting in his speech.

He opposes universal human rights. He opposes self-determination for persecuted people – in particular, Palestinians. He stands alongside apartheid Israel in opposing international law.

He supports racism – particularly anti-Palestinian racism, but also racism against black people, other people of colour, and Muslims. He supports apartheid. He supports the Zionist doctrine of racial supremacy over others. He supports ethnic cleansing – especially of Palestinians from their own homeland, wrongly seized from them by apartheid Israel. He supports war crimes. He supports genocide.

Historically, Labour has supported the things Starmer opposes, and opposed those that he supports. Labour members have fought – literally, in some cases – to prevent them from taking hold.

Those of us who are here today have a duty to the memory of those who went before, never to let the likes of Starmer pervert their dream of the future into the nightmarish distopia he feverishly desires.

So, Labour members, I ask again: what are you doing about it?

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Tory ‘rape clause’ starts to fall apart: how can a woman be denied benefit for being raped in the wrong order?

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“Punish the rapist, not the victim”: Campaigners against the so-called ‘rape clause’ have been trying to overturn the rule for years.

We’ve been waiting for this for a long time.

The experience of the lady involved in this story shows that the Tories are discriminating unfairly between rape victims.

They’re saying that a person can have two children and still receive the child element of Universal Credit for a third born of rape, only if it was the third, and born after April 2017.

This clearly discriminates against mothers who have had first or second children as a result of rape, because they are then forbidden from claiming the child element of UC for a third child that they wanted.

Both situations involve two children not born of rape and one that is, but only one qualifies for the benefit.

That is unfair.

I hope someone takes a case through the courts. Perhaps this is a job for public interest solicitors like Leigh Day, who seem to have done very well with other benefit-related cases recently?

Then, with luck, we’ll be able to force the Tories to u-turn on this despicable rule that humiliates women who have already suffered too much.

Source: DWP denies mum Universal Credit for her child because she was raped in the wrong order – Mirror Online

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The Scottish Tories have a new leader – but he seems to be both confused … and prejudiced

New Scottish Conservatives’ leader Douglas Ross – in what seems to be the role he prefers.

The Scottish Conservatives have a new leader – Douglas Ross, who was elected unopposed by party members.

This seems a very odd thing for them to do.

Consider the evidence in the video below – which I know was created by a supporter of the SNP. Try to ignore the party political message and concentrate on what this says about the person:

The ‘dark money’ claim seems accurate, as the Scottish Unionist Association Trust did support Ross, and did not declare donations and contributions to political campaigns properly to the Electoral Commission. As a result, SUAT was fined £1,300.

His voting record speaks for itself and seems extremely, traditionally, Tory – supporting central government, hammering the NHS and minorities.

But he seems confused: his discussion of rural broadband, ATM closures and unfair postal charges challenged his own party directly, and his votes against equal marriage and equal gay rights ran against party policy.

Also, his claim that refereeing football matches would not interfere with his Parliamentary responsibilities – and his subsequent trip to Barcelona instead of voting on a Welfare Bill – is well-documented.

Let’s look a little closer at his attitude to travellers:

Tom London’s point is a good one. He doesn’t want tougher enforcement against a particular aspect of travellers’ behaviour that the public may find objectionable; he just wants enforcement against them because they are travellers.

So it is right to ask how people would have felt if Ross had been speaking about Jews, Blacks, Muslims, gay people or any other minority group.

And this is the Scottish Tory choice as leader of their party…

A man who opposes his party as much as he supports it, with a reputation for prejudice against a minority group for no reason other than that it exists, and who prefers to run off and referee football matches rather than representing his electorate.

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Covid-19 hate crime fear for people with disabilities who can’t wear face masks

This is a bitter turnabout: and Boris Johnson should be the first to admit that people in masks used to be the criminals rather than those in fear of crime:

Disabled people are frightened about travelling as lockdown eases due to a lack of public awareness and clarity about exemptions to the mandatory need to wear face coverings on public transport, according to a new survey by Disability Rights UK.

Nearly 40% of respondents said that they cannot wear a face covering and just under half said that mental health conditions and breathing impairments would prevent them from wearing a mask, with a fifth citing sensory issues and needing to intake medication and/or food and drink while travelling.

Nearly forty per cent said they had a hidden disability which affects their ability to wear a mask, and 13% said they needed to lip read.

Nearly 60% said they feared being challenged if they did not wear a mask, with the same amount not feeling they had the confidence to stand up for themselves if challenged.

Almost 70% said they feared being judged for not wearing a mask, and 55% feared being the victim of a hate crime if they were seen without a mask.

The fact that more than half of people with disabilities who cannot wear masks fear hate crime says everything we need to know about the prejudiced and judgemental attitudes that have been created in the UK – mostly by the government.

And the Tories have been blamed for creating the current situation – by switching policies with extremely short notice.

Fazilet Hadi, Disability Rights UK Head of Policy, said the Government must improve its communications strategies with big shifts like this.

“Releasing information on a Sunday for a Monday morning start, with no awareness campaign, no posters on buses and trains to provide reassurance about exemptions, and guidance hidden deep on the gov.uk website leads to the kind of horror stories we have been hearing from disabled people.

“Members of the public have been calling the police on them for not wearing masks while on trains, and British Transport Police refusing to let people through station barriers without face coverings, even when they have insisted they have an impairment which makes them exempt.

“As one survey respondent said: ‘Having both fines for not wearing a mask, and an unproveable exemption alongside each other is an impossible situation. Greater global clarity is needed, and fast.'”

So next time you’re out on the streets, if you see someone who isn’t wearing a mask, don’t jump to aggressive conclusions!

Source: Coronavirus: Disabled people fear becoming victims of hate crime as 40% say they cannot wear face masks – Welfare Weekly

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Will the UK follow America and abandon people with disabilities to die of coronavirus?

A ventilator: The NHS in the UK doesn’t have enough of these to cater for the number of people likely to need them. Will people with disabilities be passed over because of Tory prejudice?

Boris Johnson and his Tories like to copy what happens in the United States – and they already have a record for persecuting disabled people.

So what would you give for the chances of people with Down Syndrome, cerebral palsy, autism or any of the other reasons for receiving Personal Independence Payment, knowing that the US is letting them die of coronavirus?

Read:

New guidance published Alabama officials says that ‘persons with severe mental retardation, advanced dementia or severe traumatic brain injury may be poor candidates for ventilator support.’

It goes on to say that ‘persons with severe or profound mental retardation, moderate to severe dementia, or catastrophic neurological complications such as persistent vegetative state are unlikely candidates for ventilator support.’

Similar guidance has been issued in Washington and Arizona, with medics in the latter state instructed to ‘allocate resources to patients whose need is greater or whose prognosis is more likely to result in a positive outcome with limited resources.’

Disability advocacy groups have now filed complaints against the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for further clarification on the often vague guidance, and are seeking assurance that disabled people will not be discriminated against when it comes to receiving emergency care.

Too late – the discrimination is already happening.

In the United Kingdom, the NHS doesn’t have enough ventilators to go around so it is entirely logical to expect the Tories to ration them.

This Writer has a terrible feeling disabled people are already being passed over – or the orders may already be in place – in the UK.

I would appreciate any information from people who experience such prejudice.

Source: People with Down syndrome could be left to die of coronavirus to ‘save’ supplies | Metro News

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Why is the BBC contributing to anti-black racism?

Propaganda: it seems people have moved on from avoiding mainstream fake news providers like the BBC, and are now physically attacking reporters in the street.

Let’s get this right.

In the week that a Downing Street advisor resigned because it had been revealed that he is a white supremacist racist who considers black people to have lower IQs than whites…

… and prime minister Boris Johnson’s spokespeople refused to deny that he holds the same opinions…

… because they can’t; he has already apologised for them…

… the BBC – which is being attacked by the Conservatives – inexplicably advertises for white people to take part in a documentary with the premise that they are the ones facing discrimination:

To say that this is tone-deafness by BBC commissioners would be an insult to understatement.

Meanwhile, the Corporation’s own reporters are being attacked in the streets.

This is what happens when you allow your national purveyor of independent news to be overrun by supporters of a ruling party that is not only racist but, at its heart, fascist.

Will Labour take Hastings & Rye after Conservative candidate’s disablist remark?

End the hostile environment: Labour’s policies for the disabled really are kinder, gentler politics.

Hastings & Rye? That’s Amber Rudd’s old constituency, isn’t it? The one she held with an advantage of just 346 votes over Labour’s Peter Chowney in 2017? Well, it looks like he’ll take the seat this year!

Why’s that, you ask?

Well, it’s probably got something to do with the current Tory candidate being hugely prejudiced against disabled people.

Sally-Ann Hart was met with cries of “shameful!” after she told people at a local hustings that people with learning disabilities should be paid less than fully-able people because they “don’t understand money”.

What should we understand this to mean?

I think it means it is Conservative policy to rip off and shortchange people whenever and wherever they think it is possible.

Never mind whether they do a good job or not, if someone has a learning disability, the Tories are saying not only that you can – but that you should – pay them less money.

That’s exploitative – and probably against equalities law.

In response, one person shouted, “I’m autistic, and I want to get paid for the work I do!”

Quite right, too.

But we can see what kind of nation the Tories would create if they are elected into government again on December 12: one in which the hostile environment they have already built for disabled people would spill over into open contempt, with more pushed into poverty, and possibly even more deaths than we’ve seen in the last nine years of Tory misrule.

The one good aspect of this is that, with such openly prejudiced remarks, Sally-Ann Hart won’t be a part of it. Right?

Source: Man born without arms or legs told to prove he is disabled enough for benefits

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Stella Creasy is right: Nobody should be forced to choose between their career and motherhood

Facing discrimination: Stella Creasy.

At first it may seem very much a First World problem: Labour’s Stella Creasy has written a Guardian article apparently complaining that Parliamentary rules make it almost impossible for women to be both MPs and mothers.

Ms Creasy has a stake in this matter; she is expecting a baby and is currently having to deal with a deplorable lack of support from the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority.

I was ready to be extremely unsympathetic. Think of all the women who have suffered unfair discrimination – for many reasons, not least because of pregnancy, especially since the Conservatives took office in 2010.

If you are a woman who has suffered such prejudice, please feel free to tell us all about it in the comment column.

But it seems Ms Creasy was prompted to put finger to keyboard by more than just her own situation.

She writes: “If we can’t get this right for MPs, how can we get this right for parents elsewhere?

“Britain still has a long way to go to ensure that fertility isn’t a barrier to equality. A third of employers think it’s acceptable to ask women about their plans for having a family at a job interview. Non-disclosure agreements are used frequently to cover up pregnancy discrimination, with the legal advice service Pregnant Then Screwed receiving on average 350 calls a year.”

And in fairness to her, Ms Creasy has also used her position to try to ensure that people who aren’t in work, or who do not earn very much, still have access to a reasonable standard of living – and I think we can include the means to bear children as part of that.

Her voting record shows that she has supported equality and human rights; voted to increase state benefits at least in line with inflation; opposed laws to cut housing benefit; and supported increased benefits over longer periods for people with illnesses and disabilities.

All these actions suggest that Ms Creasy believes people should have more life choices, including the choice of whether – and when – to have a child. She walks the walk, besides talking the talk, it seems.

My own opinion is clear: Your body – your choice. The only person with a right to dictate when – or whether – a woman has a child is the woman herself.

It’s nothing to do with employers. In fact, pregnancy discrimination is a hypocritical nonsense in a country where successive neoliberal governments have tried to make a virtual of workforce “flexibility” – meaning people don’t stay in the same job for long anyway.

It’s certainly nothing to do with lawmakers. The idea of legislating against a biological imperative is bizarre.

And, coming back to the reason Ms Creasy wrote her article, it’s certainly not a matter for the Parliamentary organisation concerned with standards.

Fair enough – MPs’ private lives should not interfere with their work representing their constituents.

But there are many ways that they can keep on top of the matters of the day – and have their say on them – while discharging their responsibilities as mothers.

The question for IPSA, as for employers across the country, is not how to prevent women from taking maternity leave; it is how to support them when they do – or, more damning, why they do not.

Source: I’m pregnant and forced to choose between being an MP and a mum | Stella Creasy | Opinion | The Guardian

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