21 August 2023

Anti-white bigotry is the inevitable consequence of Sadiq Khan’s toxic identitarianism


Not content with blaming the so-called ‘culture wars’ for the recent homophobic attack in Clapham, Sadiq Khan has now cemented his position as Labour’s identitarian-in-chief by embroiling himself in a race row. 

It has been reported that on the Mayor of London’s website included a photo of a young white family with the caption ‘does not represent real Londoners’. Quite remarkable, given the image appeared in a guide to the Mayor’s personal brand, which describes the capital as ‘a city for all Londoners’ and promises to appeal to all – irrespective of racial identity, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, and family structure. Khan has said the caption was added by a member of staff and that it isn’t reflective of his view nor the position of the GLA. 

Nonetheless, it is worrying that people associated with the Mayor’s distinctive ‘brand’ felt this kind of divisive language was appropriate. London may be a hyper-diverse international hub, but it remains a white-majority city. According to the most recent census, 53.8% of Londoners are white (with 36.8% specifically being white-British). This includes people who have family histories which are rooted in London across the generations, if not centuries. Any suggestion that white families living in the capital are not ‘authentic’ Londoners amounts to the normalisation of anti-white bigotry – it is racism.

The incident exposes the problem at the heart of ‘diversity politics’ – contrary to promoting equality and inclusion, it is deeply exclusionary. And usually, it is members of the white-British mainstream who experience economic, social, and cultural exclusion at the hands of the ‘radical-progressive’ holy trinity of diversity, equality, and inclusion (DEI).

Take for example, the official inquiry which found that the Royal Air Force (RAF) unlawfully discriminated against white men in a recruitment drive aimed at boosting diversity. The RAF controversy erupted when former head of recruitment, Group Captain Lizzy Nicholl, resigned in protest over what she deemed to be an ‘unlawful’ order to prioritise female and ethnic-minority candidates onto training courses ahead of white men – who, according to a leaked email sent by an RAF recruitment officer, were ‘useless white male pilots’. 

Before England’s match against Spain in the women’s World Cup final, entrepreneur Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones MBE said on Sky News that the England squad was not ‘representative’ as it was filled with ‘blonde, blue-eyed girls’. Elite competition in team sports is ultimately about fielding the strongest side based on ability and skill (and the perceived weaknesses of the opposing side) – it is about delivering results, not striking a particular composition based on race, ethnicity, and religion. In any case, two of the star performers for runners-up England in the tournament, in my view, were Chelsea players Jess Carter and Lauren James – both of whom are mixed-race. 

What all of this shows is that so-called ‘whiteness’ is viewed by some as undesirable. While the majority of people in our society are perfectly able to treat people from all walks of life with decency, understanding and respect, there are far too many in positions of power and influence who are clearly unable to do so. 

The reality is that ‘diversity, equality and inclusion’ all too often entails preferential treatment for certain groups at the expense of white people – and it is time more so-called ‘anti-discrimination advocates’ speak up against it. 

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Dr Rakib Ehsan is an expert in social cohesion and institutional trust. His latest book is 'Beyond Grievance: What the Left Gets Wrong About Ethnic Minorities'.

Columns are the author's own opinion and do not necessarily reflect the views of CapX.