Don Quixote and the subject of bigotry…

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“Tis the part of a wise man to keep himself today for tomorrow, and not venture all his eggs in one basket”…

This week Baroness Warsi said that prejudice against Muslims had “passed the dinner table test” and become socially acceptable in the UK (see BBC News article). She warns that prevalent attitude in our society is responsible for the divide in our communities and we are; “dividing Muslims into moderates and extremists”. She vows to fight an “ongoing battle against bigotry“…

BBC Magazine: Hostility to Muslims has “passed the dinner table test”, a peer claims. So how did this item of furniture become the benchmark for what is and isn’t acceptable to say? (Read more)

When any prominent person in our society makes a comment about race, from whichever side of the fence, the media volcano erupts and the journalistic machine go into overdrive. For that comment to come from a Cabinet Minister, who just happens to be a female of Asian background. The media have gone into melt-down and are set to implode as they try to wring every last morsel from the story.

Why did she say what she said? Was she right to say what she said? What were her reasons, was it personal or political and, does she genuinely believe what she said or, was it simply cheap political point scoring? All these questions (and more) have been posed since she uttered the words “passed the dinner table test.” My question in all this is; what good does all this almost constant banging on about ‘bigotry’ and/or ‘prejudice’ actually achieve?

I have to say from a personal perspective; being someone who has always accepted and valued an individual for who/what they actually are, irrespective of colour/race/creed or sexual preference, it actually annoys the life out of me. I believe the constant drive for political correctness for ’embracing diversity’ or anti discrimination measures are, promoting the opposite results to those intended.

Perhaps the time is right to ease off the accelerator that is driving us headlong into constructing even higher discriminatory walls in our society? We are getting to a stage whereby; positive discrimination measures and the creation of additional legislation are starting to have adverse effects. We are starting to build resentment, perhaps even some of the hatred that is building in some communities.

It is very important to value all religious systems. Although they may have great philosophical differences, they all have precepts for cultivating a good attitude toward others and helping them. They all counsel the practice of love, compassion, patience, contentment, and observing society’s rules. Since all religions share these goals, it is important to respect them and to value the contribution they can make. (Dalai Lama)

Many people from all racial and religious backgrounds, who actually try to live in relative harmony within multi-race and multi-faith communities, see the constant perceived need for political correctness as, a substantial barrier to breaking down the misunderstanding and prejudices within those communities. Yes I agree, there is still much to be done to achieve total and seemless racial harmony however…

“And though I am but a clown, or a bumpkin, as you may say”… Let’s take a risk for once and try to put all our eggs in one basket, irrespective of size, colour or breed?

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