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Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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58 Responses

  1. Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist
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    says:

    …fears of being accused of racism…

    The problem with racism & enforcement. It’s a real problem, but it should never stop a legitimate investigation for fear of being accused of it.Report

    • Avatar notme in reply to Mad Rocket Scientist
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      MRS:

      “The problem with racism & enforcement. It’s a real problem, but it should never stop a legitimate investigation for fear of being accused of it.”

      No, spurious claims shouldn’t but sadly in the real world many liberals claim racism, sexism, etc at the drop of a hat.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to notme
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        Yes they ignore the attack on the fundamentals of Western Civilization contained in the phrase “Happy Holidays.”Report

      • Avatar Patrick in reply to notme
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        No, spurious claims shouldn’t but sadly in the real world many liberals claim racism, sexism, etc at the drop of a hat.

        Yes, I’ll bet money that liberals would be outraged that someone was investigating a widespread child sexual slavery ring (/eyeroll).Report

  2. Avatar Wardsmith
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    says:

    The 9/11 hijackers got away with it for the precise Same political correctness reasons. Red flags went up, red flags were lowered because…Report

    • Avatar Patrick in reply to Wardsmith
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      You’re going to have to point me to the section of the 9/11 commission report where “the FBI was worried about racism for political correctness reasons” was a limiting factor in preventing the terrorist attacks.Report

  3. Avatar Jaybird
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    says:

    Um, the Catholic Church did this too.

    There.Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Jaybird
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      says:

      There’s a related story here:

      More women should be appointed to the highest levels of Britain’s Islamic organisations to help prevent repetition of the child sex abuse scandal in Rotherham, according to senior Muslim figures.

      Last week a report by Professor Alexis Jay into grooming within the South Yorkshire town pinpointed a “macho culture” in the town as a factor in perpetuating the abuse, which involved 1,400 cases of child sexual exploitation between 1997 and 2013.

      Which looks to me like a hopeful sign: the Muslim community admitting that they have a problem and being wiling to alter their traditional hierarchy to help deal with it.Report

  4. Avatar ktward
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    This is the kind of horrific, criminal circumstance that feeds anti-theism. And seriously, this kind of thing makes it pretty hard to argue that religion isn’t a social evil.

    As an atheist, I’d be a-okay if religion could be painlessly removed from the world’s psyche. But since there’s no reason to think that the influence of religion is just going to magically disappear simply because Dawkins and his fellow superhero minions of reason imagine they can argue away millennia of cultural inculcation and influence, then the next best thing is to hold religion accountable where it so horrifically fails.

    When religionists themselves hold their own religions to account … looks like the arc of the universe bending toward justice.Report

    • Avatar zic in reply to ktward
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      says:

      Oy. I sort of agree.

      But I think it’s not religion, per se, it’s putting religion above the rights of individuals, which inevitably leads to women and not-my-religion people being on the short end of the stick.Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to ktward
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      I don’t follow. This was perpetrated by a criminal group that consisted of Pakistani Muslims, but I don’t have the impression that it was affiliated with Islamic institutions. The refusal to cooperate with investigators seems more ethnic and clannish than religious. The culture of shame that prevents the abused from speaking up is common to the community’s native region (it’s Hindu as well as Muslim). How would removing religion improve things?Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Mike Schilling
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        I agree with @mike-schilling here. I am disinclined to blame Islam – the religion – here, much less religious faith or organized religion, for the sexual crimes committed. Other than the individuals involved, I’d be most inclined to blame cultural misogyny (in that case, for both the crime and much of the indifference of the authorities).Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to ktward
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      I think that the disappearance of religion is going to have less effects than its supporters or detractors think it will. The people who use religion to justify horrible actions will simply find a secular philosophy to support their actions. Last year or so ago, the UK’s Socialist Workers Party disintegrated because the Trotskyite political party was revealed to be nothing more than a cult that allowed the leader to rape followers. These people were anti-religion as you can get but their political party operated no differently than one of the nuttier religious cults. Getting rid of religion will just change the justification use for positive or negative acts but it won’t change the acts.Report

      • Avatar veronica d in reply to LeeEsq
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        says:

        @leeesq — You are committing fundamental attribution error. Sure, some people will find secular excuses to do what they would have done anyway, but people shaped by secular values will differ in many ways from those shaped by religious values.

        Of course, how they are shaped is an empirical question. It is not given that broadly secular people would be better. Nor is it give that they would be worse.Report

      • Avatar El Muneco in reply to LeeEsq
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        says:

        One problem is that we don’t, in the USA at least, have a significant control group. I was raised in a completely secular environment – when I was growing up, my family only entered churches because they were polling places or for historical interest when we were traveling. Even accounting for clustering (like marries like), that’s, what, a couple hundred thousand of us scattered all over? Many/most of whom were in redder areas than the medium purple where I grew up?Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to LeeEsq
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        @el-muneco

        Are you sure? I admit to being part of the largely secular group. We largely only went to synagogue on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur and did not keep kosher. I know lots of people raised in this “culturally/ethnically Jewish kind of way.”

        NYC-Metro seems pretty secular compared to many other parts of the US but that might just be my perception and not a reflection of reality.

        You are probably right that secular people associate with secular people and this becomes the Nixon problem.Report

    • Avatar Chris in reply to ktward
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      says:

      While I’m not sure how religion really plays a role here, I have very little doubt that without the pernicious influence of religion, particularly in the realms of sexism and racism, we humans would find another rack to put our sexist and racist hats on.Report

  5. Avatar LWA (Liberal With Attitude)
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    Suzanne Moore, writing in The Guardian makes the point better than I could-
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/aug/27/poor-children-seen-as-worthless-rotherham-abuse-scandal

    She connects this to the Jimmy Savile scandal (We Americans can reference Joe Paterno) “So the bigger picture is the systematic rape of poor children by men. Not all men – I have to say this to be politically correct, don’t I?”

    Trying to pin this on racial sensitivity is wildly dishonest, since we have ample evidence that regardless of the race of the culprit or victim, wealth and power disparity is a far bettter predictor of who gets away with it and when.Report

    • So is it your position that Pakistani immigrants in the UK are wealthy and powerful and that’s why they got away with this for so long?Report

      • Avatar LWA (Liberal With Attitude) in reply to Will Truman
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        In comparison to their victims? Yes.
        Note, how these Pakistani men weren’t menacing female students from prep schools.

        How is it that this potent magical shield of invincibility called “political correctness” doesn’t shield black or Pakistani men from being accused of financial crimes or crimes against property? I mean, crying “racism!” didn’t help that black guy waiting for his daughter did it?

        Its only when the victims are poor or of color that suddenly political correctness assumes such terrifying dimensions.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Will Truman
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        Gotcha. Well, we agree that the social standing of the victims is a critical component here. I disagree that it ends there. As does Alexis Jay.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Will Truman
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        The quoted piece say a few times that the victims were largely white. I have a difficult time picturing that class issues are a full explanations of how dark-skinned, Muslim descendants of recent immigrants can get away with exploiting whites.Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to Will Truman
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        The article says they were mostly taxi drivers.Report

  6. Avatar LeeEsq
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    I think this is the same reason why European governments are having a very difficult time dealing with the explosion of Jew hatred. So much of it is linked to Muslim immigrants communities that they fear being called racist if they try to prevent it or apply their existing hate speech laws to it. I’m opposed to hate speech laws but if you have them, they should be applied consistently.Report

    • Avatar Damon in reply to LeeEsq
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      Hell, we’ve got “hate crime laws” here and we don’t enforce them evenly either. So at least there’s some commonality in the West’s inability to enforce hate crimes/speak laws….

      I’ll second what was said above….the “fear of being accused of being racist”.Report

    • Avatar Chris in reply to LeeEsq
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      says:

      Hmm… because anti-Muslim sentiments are not rampant in Europe?

      I suspect the reason European governments are having a very difficult time dealing with the “explosion” of “Jew hatred” is because they aren’t having a problem with it at all. They can’t stop some people from hating other people, to be sure, but they’ve done a pretty good job dealing with the actual outbursts of it.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Chris
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        Unless you think this kind of thing is a problem:

        http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/aug/07/antisemitism-rise-europe-worst-since-nazis

        In the space of just one week last month, according to Crif, the umbrella group for France’s Jewish organisations, eight synagogues were attacked. One, in the Paris suburb of Sarcelles, was firebombed by a 400-strong mob. A kosher supermarket and pharmacy were smashed and looted; the crowd’s chants and banners included “Death to Jews” and “Slit Jews’ throats”Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to Chris
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        Oh yeah, I think they’re a big problem. I don’t see the governments having trouble getting a grip on them, though. From what I can tell, France’s government has been working pretty closely with Jewish groups to deal with them. That they can’t stop them from happening is less a failure of government than it is a failure of society.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Chris
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        says:

        I guess I took your scare quotes for dismissal.Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to Chris
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        Yeah, I just wanted to be clear that “Jew hatred” was not my phrase, nor was “explosion.” The latter in particular because it’s not like anti-semitism has not been rampant all along in the communities we’re talking about. With “not having a problem,” I just meant Lee’s specific claim, which is that governments are having problems dealing with it. France in particular seems to have done pretty well, despite some fairly inaccurate claims to the contrary (which I’ve seen here before). By well I just mean doing what governments can do: putting boots on the ground and working with the groups who are targeted to address their concerns.

        But like I said, governments can’t make people stop hating. That’s something that societies have to work on. And France and the rest of Europe have not done particularly well with that, particularly given that we’re talking about one of the most marginalized groups in Europe.Report

    • Avatar Patrick in reply to notme
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      I think you’re conflating “covering up a horribly embarrassing lapse in maintaining the public trust” with “covering it up because of political correctness”.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Patrick
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        The argument is that the lapse occurred in the first place because of a fear of being called racist.

        The “9/11 Report” equivalent supports this narrative.

        So, too, does this story is it’s accurate, though it appears to be based on an unnamed source.Report

      • Avatar Patrick in reply to Patrick
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        says:

        Let’s say that when an unnamed source makes an inflammatory accusation regarding a particular situation, I’m less inclined to jump immediately to the inflammatory accusation being the root cause of the situation than not.Report

      • Avatar greginak in reply to Patrick
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        The Daily Caller is hardly an impeachable source.

        To prove the PC angle there really needs to be a lot more proof which has so far been lacking. Are minorities regularly treated well or harshly in the UK? Do they usually track race in child protection? Was race used as an excuse to avoid doing the work the authorities didn’t want to do in the first place? Hint…it might be convenient excuse.

        The PC argument seems mostly farcical on the face of it. The suggestion is that even with proof of child rape and abuse they were so afraid of being called bad names they hid it!!!! Do they not arrest minorities in the UK for various crimes. Hint…yes they do. They arrest plenty of them. Of course as has been noted other places there are the issues of class and patriarchy which likely fit in here but they don’t seem to graph onto the PC is Coming to Kill us narrative. However i imagine if there had been training to undercut patriarchal morays that would have been seen as PC. Of course it would be because here and in the UK that is already a common complaint about “PC.”Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Patrick
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        If that were the only thing supporting the anti-PC argument, I’d agree. The anti-PC argument didn’t come from speculative conservative blowhards. It came from the report. That wasn’t the only thing cited, but it was cited. In a report written by a former chief inspector of social work.

        The original story came from the BBC, not DC.Report

      • Avatar greginak in reply to Patrick
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        True about the Beeb. My questions about how much PC fit into this remain. I know it was in the report, but the snippet i read was one sentence so it doesn’t really give any detail. It could actually be that people were afraid to call out Pakistani men. However that still leaves the obvious gender issue. Is it PC to protect men over women? Do they arrest Pakistani men there for other crimes? Why in this one area was this an issue. Like i said maybe there is actually something to this charge, i doubt, but maybe there is. But i’d want to see a lot more info before believing it and understanding it.

        I’d also note that people here in the good ol us of a have claimed PC is so bad cops are afraid of arresting blacks or and we allow women in the military and we allow muslims to build mosques….etc etc. If there is something to the PC, which i’m skeptical of in general, it is drowned out by a lot of other odiferous stuff.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Patrick
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        I don’t know how much of a role PC played. I personally listed it last among three reasons. But we’re passed the point here where it should be considered farcical.Report

      • Avatar greginak in reply to Patrick
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        Here is an opinion re: PC and Rotherham from The Guardian. Obviously since i’m posting it i agree but its also from someone who has actually been following the case. The word he used was ludicrous fwiw.

        http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/aug/29/rotherham-abuse-political-correctness-ludicrousReport

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Patrick
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        If a backlash was feared, where would it have come from? There is no minority lobby for criminals and paedophiles. So long as communities knew the issue was one of law enforcement rather than an assault on those communities themselves, they would have supported tough action by the authorities.

        He might know the answer to that, if he read… The Guardian.Report

      • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist in reply to Patrick
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        says:

        It is possible that the fear of being labelled a racist was less institutional & more inter-personal. It could be that a single person in a supervisory/management position was so freaked out about racism or the perception of such that they created an environment that made it difficult for people to do their jobs (I haven’t read the reports in detail, so I’m not sure if there is anything to support that).

        I recall, back when I was in Navy Gas Turbine ‘A’ School, we had one instructor that was so freaked out about the potential for a sexual harassment complaint that he had to talk about it daily with us (was not part of his curriculum, he just could not shut up about it), and when he found his class of young men being, well, young men (& telling off-color jokes, etc.), he actually filed a complaint against us (not because he was offended, but because he was so afraid of a woman possibly walking into our classroom* and hearing one of our jokes & filing a complaint – said so in his complaint about us).

        His fear created an incredibly uncomfortable environment for everyone, and since he was in charge of our class, we all had to cater to his fear.

        *Note at the time, Gas Turbine Tech was an all male rating, women were not allowed to be GSM/GSE, so the possibility of a woman being in our building and randomly walking into our classroom was pretty damned remote.Report

      • Avatar greginak in reply to Patrick
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        It certainly could have been a personal thing instead of an institutional thing. People can be over sensitive or just plain weird in every direction. I haven’t read deeply about this either. But if the argument is Officer A was so afraid of being called a racist he ignored solid evidence of horrific sexual abuse of hundreds of young girls, that is cover story to a massive failure. Maybe it was an honest story but still a cover up to why someone or many people ignored evidence of a giant terrible series of crimes. Like cops uncovering a huge ring of rapists are going to be hounded out the country or fired for catching rapists. On the face of it, that seems far fetched.Report

    • Avatar Chris in reply to notme
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      Ah, this is what not jumping to conclusions looks like!Report

  7. Avatar zic
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    This whole thing is deeply disturbing. I can barely stomach reading it. I pretty much know first hand how easy it is for a poor and neglected girl to fall into this trap, how easy it is for others to look the other way.

    Then there’s also the burden of people who don’t look away, don’t flinch. This story of one women’s attempt to stop this is horrific.Report

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